Abstract

  • A highway journey between San Diego and Sacramento is not only a easy freeway drive, however can be a scenic and attention-grabbing journey with loads of issues to see and do alongside the best way.
  • The straight route on I-5 from San Diego to Sacramento is the simplest and most direct choice, costing round $180 in gasoline for a spherical journey.
  • For a extra scenic and different highway journey, take into account taking the Pacific Coast Freeway, which provides beautiful coastal views and the chance to discover California’s well-known Napa Valley.

San Diego is the southernmost main metropolis in California and Sacramento is the northernmost main metropolis in California. A highway journey between the 2 could be deliberate as a straight freeway drive or as a scenic road trip with some of the best stops.

Sacramento is far more than the state capital; Sacramento is also home to plenty of things to see and do, so plan to spend a couple of days within the metropolis. Likewise, San Diego is a stunning city with a fantastic range of things to do. Irrespective of the place you begin or finish this drive, there’s a lot to see and expertise whereas taking a highway journey between Sacramento and San Diego.

The Straight & Easy I-5 Freeway From San Diego To Sacramento

A 1,000-mile I-5 drive from San Diego to Sacramento and again will value round $180 in gasoline


California coast line near Carpenteria off Route 101 Pacific Coast Highway
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California coast line close to Carpenteria off Route 101 Pacific Coast Freeway

The instructions to drive from San Diego to Sacramento are nearly so simple as it will get: drive Interstate 5 (I-5) the entire manner from San Diego to Sacramento (the highway leads straight from metropolis middle to metropolis middle). San Diego and Sacramento are 500 miles aside and round an eight-hour drive.

Direct Route San Diego to Sacramento Through I-5:

  • Roads: I-5 North (or South vice versa)
  • Distance: 500 miles (one-way)
  • Driving Time: 8 Hours (one-way nonstop)

A typical SUV can anticipate to get round 27 miles per gallon freeway driving. As of December 2023, the common value of gasoline in California is $4.68 per gallon in accordance with AAA Gas Prices (in comparison with a median nationwide value of $3.12 per gallon).


Landscape in Santa Barbara with mountains in the background and trees in foreground
Picture by Mason Field on Unsplash

Panorama in Santa Barbara with mountains within the background and bushes in foreground

Driving straight on I-5 with no detours, the gap is about 500 miles. This may use round 19 gallons of gasoline. So one can anticipate to pay round $90 a technique and round $180 in gasoline return (19 gallons x $4.68 = $89).

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10 Routes That Are Perfect For Any California Road Trip

A California highway journey is the right technique to discover the massive cities, coastal cities, and state and nationwide parks that make the state so distinctive.

Take The Scenic Pacific Coast Freeway From San Diego To Sacramento (Avoiding I-5)

Taking US Route 101 & I-80 from San Diego to Sacramento and again is round 1,300 miles and prices round $240 in gasoline (plus tolls)

Driving I-5 is without doubt one of the best long-distance highway journeys in California. However there are a few issues with I-5 as the selection of route. That is simply freeway journey the entire manner and the route runs straight by the Central Valley, making it arguably one of many least scenic and least attention-grabbing highway journeys in California.

To make the highway journey from San Diego to Sacramento a real highway journey and a scenic drive, take into account various the route.

Scenic Route San Diego to Sacramento through US Route 101:

  • Roads: US Route 101, State Route 37, I-80
  • Distance: 660 miles (one-way)
  • Driving Time: 12 hours (one-way, relying on visitors)

A way more scenic and attention-grabbing route from San Diego to Sacramento is to take US Route 101 (the Pacific Coast Freeway) alongside the coast as much as San Francisco throughout the Golden Gate Bridge. This route is round 660 miles lengthy, is more likely to run into significantly extra visitors (particularly by the Bay Space), and has some tolls (together with across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge).


Beautiful Sunset Sky in Napa Valley Wine Country on Spring Vineyards, Mountains
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Lovely Sundown Sky in Napa Valley Wine Nation on Spring Vineyards, Mountains

US Route 101 follows a way more scenic coastal route than the inland route. This route additionally explores a number of the most stunning coastal towns in California.

The price of gasoline to drive the 660 miles is more likely to be round $120 a technique (25 gallons at $4.68)

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Highway Journey Time! 10 days might not be a lot in massive and busy California, however there’s nonetheless loads of time to discover the state’s most scenic stops.

Lengthen The Highway Journey To The Oregon Border For A True Finish-to-Finish California Highway Journey

Full the end-to-end California highway journey and drive the final third to the Oregon state line and again for an epic 1,800-mile journey


Avenue of the Giants at Redwood National Park
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Avenue of the Giants at Redwood Nationwide Park

Sacramento is the capital of California and the northernmost main metropolis within the state. That being mentioned, it’s hardly the ‘finish’ of California as it’s one other 280 miles (4.5 hours’ drive) to the Oregon border within the north. Meaning there may be one other complete third of California to discover.

  • California Finish-to-Finish Loop: 1,800
  • Gasoline: Approx. $320 (plus tolls)

As one heads north from Sacramento, I-5 turns into far more scenic and passes a number of the state’s most dramatic points of interest (such because the volcano Mount Shasta).

One epic suggestion for an end-to-end California highway (that features San Diego to Sacramento) is to make a large loop. Drive I-5 from San Diego to Sacramento after which up by Redding to the state line with Oregon, then lower throughout to the coast and take US Route 101 south by the Redwoods, San Francisco, and again to San Diego.

That is an epic 1,800-mile and 30-hour (nonstop) driving journey of California and actually is ‘end-to-end’ (and can run you roughly $320 value of gasoline).



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