7 days in San Diego, Los Angeles & Joshua Tree National Park Itinerary

7 days in San Diego, Los Angeles & Joshua Tree National Park Itinerary

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7 days in San Diego, Los Angeles & Joshua Tree National Park Itinerary

Start: San Diego
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Joshua Tree National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
End: San Diego

2
nights
San Diego

Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Windansea Beach and Mission Bay Park. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to La Jolla Shores Park and Pacific Beach. There's much more to do: stroll through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, appreciate the history behind The Unconditional Surrender, admire the natural beauty at Botanical Building and Lily Pond, and get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Diego road trip site .

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to San Diego. October in San Diego sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 64°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park
Windansea Beach ©
Windansea Beach

1
night
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): see the interesting displays at The Getty Center and then identify plant and animal life at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

Plan trip to Los Angeles with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by car from San Diego to Los Angeles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In October, daytime highs in Los Angeles are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 62°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can go by car to Joshua Tree National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Wildlife Parks Museums
Highlights from your plan
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area ©
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

3
nights
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park ©
Joshua Tree National Park takes its name from the Joshua tree, a twisted, spiky tree with bayonet-shaped leaves at the top that's one of the few plant species hardy enough to thrive in the extreme climate of the Mojave Desert.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Fri): hike along Wall Street Mill, then explore the striking landscape at Keys View, and then hike along Split Rock. On the 12th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic natural features at Wonderland of Rocks, then discover the riches below the earth's surface at Desert Queen Mine, and then admire nature's extreme beauty at Cottonwood Spring Oasis.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Joshua Tree National Park road trip planning app .

You can drive from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. In October, daily temperatures in Joshua Tree National Park can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride back home.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Keys View ©
Keys View
Cholla Cactus Garden ©
Cholla Cactus Garden
Cottonwood Spring Oasis ©
Cottonwood Spring Oasis

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