How Far is San Francisco from Los Angeles and How to Cover the Distance?

San Francisco is known to be the financial center in the state of California. It hosts about 10.2 million tourists in a year. Occasional business trips to San Francisco can be inevitable. Los Angeles is mostly visited for vacations and jolly trips. The nightlife of LA is what attracts the majority of its tourists.

A good understanding of how far is San Francisco from LA simplifies planning an amazing trip to these cities. Further, knowing the transportation modes along with the time taken can be important. All of these details are shared in this guide.

Non-stop Driving Time & Distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Driving DistanceNonstop Driving Distance

381 Miles/613 KM

Driving TimeNonstop Driving Time

5 Hours 48 Minutes

Considering that you choose to cover the distance from LA to San Francisco by car, a non-stop drive can be great. This will prove to be especially useful in the case of trips related to business ventures.

Estimated Driving Time Between San Francisco to Los Angeles

cover the distance by following route
Average SpeedTravel Time
30 mph (48 km/h)12 hours 50 minutes
40 mph (64 km/h)9 hours 38 minutes
50 mph (80 km/h)7 hours 42 minutes
60 mph (97 km/h)6 hours 21 minutes
70 mph (112 km/h)5 hours 30 minutes
75 mph (120 km/h)5 hours 08 minutes

Below is the route that can be preferred:

  • I-5 N: The shortest route between Los Angeles and San Francisco is the I-5 N route. To travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco via the I-5N route, head northwest toward N Spring St. Then turn right onto N Broadway to merge with US-101 N. Continue onto Hollywood Fwy and take the exit at Sacramento. Keep right at Y-junction and continue onto I-580W. Stay on I-80 W and take the exit at 1B. Turn left toward Octavia Blvd and continue onto Market St. Then turn right to reach San Francisco, California.

Flying Non-stop from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Nonstop Distance in AirNonstop Distance in Air

347 Miles/559 KM

Nonstop Time in AirNonstop Time in Air

57 Minutes

You can choose private jets or helicopters to fly non-stop from LA to San Francisco. This will allow you to cover the distance from SF to LA without any stress or anxiety related to traffic.

Tip: Stay aware of the weather conditions when deciding to cover the miles from LA to San Francisco by helicopter

Road Trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Driving DistanceRoad Trip Time

2 Days of Driving

Driving TimeTravel Time

8.5 Hours, 1 Overnight

Since San Francisco to Los Angeles drive time is quite long, you can take a road trip between these cities. A road trip with various stops will reduce the pressure of continuous driving. Some places between LA and San Francisco where you can stop include:

  • San Luis Obispo
  • Carmel
  • Morro Bay
  • Santa Barbara
  • Big Sur
  • Monterey

The following itinerary covers all the mentioned sights. Take a quick look through this itinerary:

Los Angeles Overview
  • Start your road trip in Los Angeles.
  • Drive for an 1 hour and a half to reach Santa Barbara. Here, you can visit Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara Zoo, Museum of Natural History, and MOXI.  
  • From Santa Barbara, drive for 1.5 hours to reach San Luis Obispo
  • Then drive for just 18 minutes to reach your next stop, Morro Bay. You can spend an hour here visiting the State Park’s Museum and exploring the Native American Culture.
  • You will have to drive for 42 minutes to reach Hearst Castle. Hearst Castle is a popular museum in California known to be the estate in San Simeon. You can stay here overnight and resume your journey the next morning.
  • On the next day, drive for an hour from Hearst Castle to reach Big Sur. You can enjoy the beautiful seaside cliffs and the breathtaking views.
  • After leaving Big Sur, drive for 41 minutes to reach Carmel. Here, you can visit its popular museums and its vintage-style cottages.
  • Later, drive for 10 minutes to stop in Monterey. Monterey is famous for its bars and restaurants. 
  • Then, drive for 49 minutes to reach Santa Cruz, which is your last stop. This city is popular for its fashion stores and cafes. You can take a trip around the city and spend up to 2 hours here.
  • Finally, drive for 1.5 hours to reach San Francisco, California.

Note: You are always open to making changes in the mentioned itinerary during your road trip from Miami, Fl. to Fort Lauderdale, Fl.

Los Angeles to San Francisco: Main Airports and Flights

Several commercial flights cover 347 long miles from LA to San Francisco. Scheduled flights provide reliable services to commuters. You can choose this mode of transport irrespective of whether you are traveling for vacation or business trips. The main airports of LA and San Fran. are Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as well as San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The travel time between Los Angeles and San Francisco via this mode will be:

  • Flight Time: 1 hour and 21 minutes
  • Total Travel Time: 5 hours

Note: While calculating travel time via commercial flights, we take into account the time required to drive to the airports. We also consider the time spent at security checks. Hence, this increases the total travel time.

Conclusion

In this guide, we discussed the major concern of many travelers, that is, how far is San Francisco from Los Angeles. All the travel options between Los Angeles and San Francisco along with time and distance were also specified. This information should hopefully assist you in making your plans.

How far is Colorado Springs from Denver has also been explained by us in one of our posts. You can also see how far is Austin from San Antonio to travel to these cities.

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