10 Most Scenic Drives to Take When Visiting San Diego

San Diego is surrounded by beautiful beaches, snow-capped mountains, and vast forests, all of which are only a short drive away. Indeed, there are countless scenic drives to enjoy in this beautiful Southern California gem of a city. Whether you're looking for a one-hour cruise to enjoy alone or a longer road trip with the family, San Diego offers the appropriate scenic route for you.

These activities are stimulating and entertaining; however, utmost caution is required because we never know when disaster will strike, especially when traveling in a strange city. If all else fails and an accident occurs, get immediate aid and keep in mind that you can call a car accident lawyer in San Diego at any time. Hopefully, sooner than later.

best road trips from San Diego

Here is a list of the most picturesque drives in San Diego that you can take on your next trip!

1. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is located in the far south portion of the state, bordering I-10 just north of the Palm Springs area. Joshua Tree is the closest of the big California National Parks to San Diego. It takes around 3 hours to get there whether you enter from the south or north. The park gets its name from the unusually formed trees that resemble a person standing up with their arms raised aloft.

In between Las Vegas and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Death Valley is located. They have almost every type of desert you can imagine. With Joshua Tree State Park to the east and the wide plains of the Mojave and Death Valley to the north, the small enclave of temperate weather and forests in the San Bernardino National Forest's northern section may come as a surprise.

2. Big Bear Lake

Lake Arrowhead is a private lake, so you can go on boat excursions and try your hand at water skiing at the local school. But if you want to spend the day lounging on the beach and swimming, you'll have to travel to Lake Gregory instead. Big Bear Lake features the same advantages as Lake Arrowhead, including plenty of sun and snow activities as well as forest-covered mountains surround a lovely lake that is slightly larger.

The village here may be even more lovely, with cobblestone streets and traditional wooden-clad buildings hidden among the trees. If you visit in the winter, ensure your car is equipped with good tires and snow chains - something that is easy to neglect when leaving the pleasant climates of San Diego!

3. North County Backcountry Backride

North County is another one of San Diego's distinctive landscapes. This wilderness path allows you to discover the beauty of Northern San Diego. The desert region offers visitors a whole different perspective.

Begin your journey in Escondido by traveling along Highway 78, where you'll pass by beautiful, locally-owned stores selling a range of old-fashioned delights. You may make a loop out of this route by following Highway 79 to Highway 76 and finally to the summit of Palomar Mountain. Return down Highway 76 to Interstate 15, which will take you back to Escondido.

Make a road trip out of it if you're coming from crowded downtown San Diego and want to extend your journey. Planning your adventures is nearly always half the fun. On this scenic road trip, you can stop at numerous eateries and stay at hotels along the way.

4. Ojai

Ojai is located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and between the two possibilities on our list. Suppose you're seeking meditation, soothing Hawaiian massages, or a diverse range of vegan and paleo restaurants. In that case, Ojai is the place to be. There are also small hipster shops selling all types of outfits and items that would look fantastic on a shelf at home.

After you've recharged your batteries, you may head out to Los Padres National Forest, which begins just outside of town and offers numerous hiking trails and mountain views.

5. Sunrise Scenic Byway

This 24-mile route, which runs through East San Diego and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area, is especially popular during the spring and summer months. This path runs through the Cleveland National Forest and parallels the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The Laguna Mountain Recreation Area will have you appreciating all that nature has to offer.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has a large expanse of green meadows, mountains covered with trees, and breathtaking desert views.

6. The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is one of the most strange places in California, if not the entire United States, which is why it's worth a weekend of your time. This massive body of water, roughly the size of San Francisco Bay, was formed by accident in 1905, which is reason enough to visit it.

Engineers attempted to divert water from the Colorado River for an irrigation project when technical difficulties caused the water to breach the banks and flood into the Salton Basin. A new sea was born by the time the engineers corrected the problem two years later.

The area was a famous holiday destination in the 1950s. Still, it faded over the decades, leaving traces of the once-popular tourist destination. It's fascinating to see the old signs and abandoned buildings today. The entire neighborhood has the feel of a place where time has passed.

7. Carlsbad

Carlsbad is less than an hour away from San Diego and is the shortest of our road trips, ranking first on the list. If you're looking for a day trip, this is a terrific option because there's a surprising amount to do in this small town. The most well-known attraction is Legoland California, which opened in 1999 as the first outside of Europe. Carlsbad is a terrific spot to spend a few hours if Lego is your thing, or even if it isn't.

Attractions include thrilling coasters, miniature models of world-famous cities, landmarks, and even an aquarium that isn't made of Legos but is Lego-themed nonetheless!

8. Phoenix

Only a few people outside of these cities are aware of the intimate relations between Phoenix and San Diego. Phoenix has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Several successful startups have begun to expand, while larger corporations are expanding their Phoenix operations.

9. Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a stylish and dynamic Phoenix community. Scottsdale has a pleasant old town with shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as some of the city's best hotels, while downtown Phoenix is dominated by suits and suits and suits and suits and suits.

10. The Grand Canyon

For those who want to see what the fuss is, the Grand Canyon can be reached in a single day, with time for lunch and pit stops along the route. You may explore over 3 million acres of untamed territory in Utah's Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Glen Canyon Recreational Area. There are arid landscapes and harsh red rock formations here and lakes, rivers, and more canyons.

Have you ever found yourself wishing for a short vacation? A vacation does not have to be taken by plane, rail, or boat. Road trips are an excellent opportunity to explore the city while taking in the natural splendor. Stay safe and keep this list in mind for your next trip!

Kalyan Panja