Anaheim and San Diego are beautiful coastal cities in South California. Anaheim is recognized as the hub of Disneyland. It is the most joyful site for kids. There are multiple reasons why people from Anaheim prefer to go to San Diego on a family vacation. Firstly, it is not far from Anaheim.

Whether you want to tour Seaworld, enjoy a sunset cruise, or a midway tour, San Diego is a perfect city. You can walk along the waterfront and listen to the sound of the rushing water that leaves an everlasting impact. Moreover, its dining and nighttime options make it one of the most adored cities.

How Far is Anaheim to San Diego?

Different transport options exist from Anaheim to the city of San Diego.

1- By Bus

Take a Greyhound bus ticket from the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Cen bus stop. It will take you to San Diego Bus Station. The duration is almost 2 hours and 15 minutes. Have a Flixbus for $11 to San Diego for 2 hours and 17 minutes.

2- By Train

Catch an Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train from Fullerton Amtrak Station to Old Town Transportation Center of San Diego. The time to cover the span is about 2.5 hours, from $4-$80, with eight daily trains. Likewise, book a Metrolink train ticket to Oceanside. At this stop, take a North County Transit bus to the famous Genesee Av & La Jolla Village.

3- By Airplane

Take a train from Fullerton station to LA airport. Fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to San Diego (SAN) airport for $66 – $333. The getaway covers about 45 minutes, and the total trip time is 4 hours.

Travel by By Airplane
By Airplane

4- By Car

Take route I-5 S, 96 miles, including 1 hour and 40 minutes, relying on traffic conditions. Gas is almost $20-$30, plus toll tax or parking fees.

Quick Stops on a Road Trip from Anaheim to San Diego

 There are many quick stops when you plan to travel from Anaheim. It depends on your budget, preference, or time to stop and move to San Diego.

1- Encinitas

Encinitas is a seaside city that unites the joy of a small town with the energy of surfers. This city is between Anaheim and San Diego. The span from Anaheim to San Diego, with Encinitas in between, is almost 98 miles. You can sit or sleep under the sun for a while, make castles with the soft sand, and move along the waves at one of the beaches of this site.

Enjoy the Moonlight Beach, Swami’s Beach, or Beacon’s Beach. Further, explore the La Paloma Theatre, the San Dieguito Heritage Museum, and the Lux Art Institute. Moreover, it will increase your trip time to more than one hour. You can look for some peace and relaxation at the Self-Realization Fellowship.


It is a spiritual hub with yoga classes, a temple, and the ocean. You can adore the beauty of the San Diego Botanic Garden. It has around 4,000 plant types worldwide. Thus, it is a city that presents various attractions, like natural beauty, arts, or adventure.

2- Orange County

Orange County is a famous site, with many sites to marvel at. You can dig into this area’s diverse activities and vistas for an hour or more. Likewise, you can encounter the spell of Disney at Disneyland Adventure Park. Click pictures with your favorite cartoons, purchase character clothes, or watch stunning shows here. 

Apart from all this, you can have enjoyment at Knott’s Berry Farm. It is a theme park with breathtaking roller coasters, water rides, and live performances. If you like to rest by the seaside or play with the sand and water, you can go to Huntington Beach or Laguna Beach. Enjoy its nightlife at Fashion Island or Irvine Spectrum Center.

3- Oceanside

Oceanside has a history of surfing, culture, military ground, and a gallery. You can watch the long Oceanside Pier, one of the state’s lengthiest wooden piers. Check out the California Surf Museum, which portrays exhibits and antiques linked to surfing past and culture. If you are curious about the military, you can see Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base.


Remember to study at the Oceanside Museum of Art, which shows modern art from local and regional painters. It is a city that praises its legacy and diversity on multiple occasions. The famous events you should check out while you stop at Oceanside are Harbor Days Festival, the International Film Festival, and the Turkey Trot. You will encounter this coastal city after traveling 59 miles and almost one hour from Anaheim.

4- Dana Point

If you are a fan of water sports, you can stop at thirty-four miles and enjoy at this point site. Dana Point is a lovely city that presents panoramic sights of the Pacific Ocean. You can also see a port, marina, and harbor. During the trip, you can stop to enjoy a tasty meal at Las Brisas. It is a cafe that serves Mexican food with a local twist. You can also view Victoria Beach from its terrace. This beach has a tower comparing a palace.

Moreover, if you want to undergo some adventures, try some water marks at Dana Point Harbor. Remember to have a booking to have a whale-watching or a dolphin safari tour and see some incredible aquatic life. It is also a shelter for the Ocean Institute, an academic center. There are many exclusive displays, ocean science, and conservation plans. Thus, it invites you to find its untouched beauty and marine charm.

5- San Onofre State Beach

San Onofre State Beach is a park with many facilities. It includes a sandy beach, a playground with camping hubs, and a surfing zone. You can rest on the beach, swim, or see long waves. Likewise, you can also adore the sights of the cliffs and the nearby nuclear power plant. This site of the park is banned from entering due to specific reasons.

San Onofre State Beach
San Onofre State Beach

It is known for its surf facility and history. It is considered the state’s most famous surfing destination. The authority of the park organizes many contests and occasions. You can even get access to the San Onofre Surfing Club to enjoy various surfing levels. Therefore, it is where you can have fun under the sun and encounter surfing magic.

6- Steady State Roasting Co.

This place is perfect if you are tired of driving and want to drink coffee. Steady State Roasting Co. is a cafe offering a high-quality coffee venture in Carlsbad. It is a beautiful, modern set and a honeycomb bar that grabs your sight. The cafe has an extensive and colorful interior, with plants creating a cozy aura. They toast coffee beans and show multiple brew methods and tastes.

You can complement your coffee with a filled croissant, cupcake, or pastry. Enjoy a sandwich or fresh salad for lunch. They use organic ingredients with gluten-free choices. Thus, the cafe seeks to provide its customers with the best coffee. They welcome you to have a mug of coffee and a bite.

Final Thoughts

Anaheim and San Diego are the famous cities of California. The trip from one city to another leads to a thrilling venture. It offers multiple transport choices, places, and activities. You can de-stress at one of the beaches, eat at famous restaurants, or plan an exceptional family vacation. Whether you love nature, art, civilization, or attractions, these locations have something to present. Thus, you will never forget this trip.

FAQs on Anaheim to San Diego

What is the best time to arrange a trip to San Diego?

The best time to visit this city is from March to May. Similarly, September to November are appropriate months. These moderate months have pleasing weather, fewer crowds, and expenses. Summer has peak tourists, and winter has fewer people, but the weather is unbearable.

What are the notable cafes in San Diego for vegan and gluten-free?

San Diego offers various dietary choices. Cafe Gratitude is a plant-based diner that delivers organic and local meals. Trilogy Sanctuary is a cafe that delivers vegan and gluten-free dishes, with yoga classes and rooftop events. Donna Jean is a vegan cafe that offers delicious pizza with gluten-free options.

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