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Santa Barbara From Los Angeles (Fun Road Trip Itinerary)

Santa Barbara From Los Angeles (Fun Road Trip Itinerary)

It’s always exciting to plan a road trip within California.

While people are going to look at hiking in Palos Verdes or exploring flower fields in Los Angeles, we believe it’s important to also drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.

This is a fascinating experience and one you are going to remember for a long time.

Of course, you will need to plan for this and make sure the trip turns out the way you want it to. This is going to include paying attention to the tips we provide in this guide.

We will take the time to showcase what the route is going to be between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles and also pinpoint where to stop. This is how you are going to maximize the route from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.

The General Route For Santa Barbara From Los Angeles

Let’s begin with the basic route for those driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.

The average person is going to take the freeway to Santa Barbara, which means they are going to take the US-101. This is a common option and it will suffice for most people because it’s quick, efficient, and in line with your goals to get to your destination.

However, you can also take the time to plan a few stops along the way.

This is going to include taking the PCH.

It’s important to note that the distance between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara is approximately 95 miles. This is going to take you around 90 minutes from one place to the other assuming you are taking the US-101.

If you end up taking the PCH route then you are going to require an additional 30 minutes to complete the journey.

We still recommend this because it’s beautiful for those who have never used the PCH to get to Santa Barbara.

Itinerary For Los Angeles To Santa Barbara Drive

Santa Monica Pier

Why not head out to the Santa Monica Pier?

This is an underrated stop for those who are looking to drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Due to how the route is going to be planned, you can easily go to the beach here.

It will be a lot of fun and most people do like the idea of going here for a bit of fun in the summer.

It’s a vibrant place and you can even sit on the beach depending on the weather.


If you are passionate about hiking, it is never a bad idea to hike in Malibu because of its gorgeous trails.

You can even check out the Sandy Dune in Malibu for a bit of fun.

This is a beautiful stop that is going to add to your journey and will make it unforgettable. It’s always nice to check out the surrounding areas too including Brentwood. This is going to make it fun for those who are history buffs.

You can go to the Getty Center or simply roam around Brentwood looking at its architecture. For those who have not been here before, it’s always worth the time to check out.


At this point, you are going to be heading towards the end of Los Angeles.

This means Oxnard is going to pop up.

This is a beautiful region that is going to add to the aesthetic of your trip. We often recommend this part of the drive because of the coastline. It’s easy on the eyes and you are going to meet wonderful people along the way if you take the time to stop too.

We would look for one of the beaches in Oxnard and stop there.

You are going to have multiple options to choose from and depending on how much time you have, this is a nice place to spend a part of the day.


Imagine being able to go to a charming, quaint town in California to relax.

Well, you are going to have a great time in Ojai if that is what you are looking for. We know people will often look out for glamorous places on a road trip, but Ojai is beautiful.

It’s sa delightful location that is culturally vibrant and a lot of fun. You are going to want to explore the streets, check out the Spanish-infused eateries, and just meet the locals. It’s always unique to meet people here as they are laid back and you can have a great time with everyone.

We believe this is one of those places where you are going to get to eat good food and drink great wine.

Santa Claus Beach

The final stop before you get to Santa Barbara is going to be Santa Claus Beach.

Yes, this is a charming beach that is set along the way to Santa Barbara and is quite beautiful to look at. Most people in the area are relaxed and welcoming because of its beachy vibes. You are going to adore the natural beauty of the place and it will help you relax before completing the trip.

Heading back to the coast on this final stop on the Los Angeles to Santa Barbara drive is Carpinteria, a lovely small beach city located just about ten miles south of Santa Barbara proper.

Most people only think about the main beaches in California when it comes to beauty and warm sand. However, you are going to get all of that here too at Santa Claus Beach making it an ideal option for those who want to sit in the sun for a bit.

Final Thoughts

This is all you are going to need to know when completing a road trip from LA to Santa Barbara.

This is a fun road trip that’s short and sweet. You can add the stops mentioned here to elevate the experience and make it a memorable one.

Take the time to do this and know you are going to put together an itinerary that is well worth it.