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Top Scenic Drives in San Diego County
Things to Do in San Diego

icon/user/avatar/20 Created with Sketch. By Travis Triggs

San Diego is famous for its beautiful beaches and coastal views. But this Southern California region also boasts incredible mountain scenery, desert landscapes, and historic small towns just waiting to be explored. Taking a drive is a great way to experience all that San Diego County has to offer. Here are some of the best routes to consider:


Coastal Cruise - Start in Oceanside and take the Pacific Coast Highway south through Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Del Mar. Stop at Torrey Pines State Beach and continue through La Jolla and Mission Beach before finishing in downtown San Diego. This drive offers spectacular ocean vistas the entire way.


Mountain Meander - Head east from San Diego on Interstate 8 into the Laguna Mountains. Exit on Sunrise Highway and follow the winding road with views over Anza-Borrego Desert. Stop at villages like Julian and Santa Ysabel before looping back to San Diego.


Desert Oasis - From Escondido, take Highway 78 northeast to the desert town of Borrego Springs, famous for its spring flower blooms. From there, head south on the scenic Split Mountain Road back toward Highway 78 for a look at unique rock formations and vistas over the valley.


East County Highlights - Drive east from San Diego on Interstate 8, exiting for Alpine Boulevard. Turn south to travel through the small mountain towns of Alpine and Descanso. Return to I-8 heading west and detour north on Highway 79 through quaint Ramona before arriving back in San Diego.


Exploring San Diego County by car allows you to see far more than just the beaches. Try one of these scenic routes perfect for a weekend drive or even your daily commute. The diverse scenery and small towns are sure to make any drive an adventure.

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