DRIVE » TOUR
Historic Highway 101, also called the PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY, runs through San Diego’s idyllic NORTH COUNTY coastal communities, passing by gorgeous long beaches and wild lagoons. You can do the trip in a couple of hours, but why hurry? Begin at the north end of La Jolla at TORREY PINES STATE PARK and descend a steep hill to Torrey Pines beach, then uphill again to DEL MAR. Stop signs at each block force you to slow down and appreciate the Tudor-style buildings and quaint shops and cafés in town before you descend again and cruise through SOLANA BEACH, CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA, ENCINITAS, LEUCADIA, CARLSBAD and OCEANSIDE. Each town’s main street presents an array of dining and browsing options, from funky Mexican takeout stands to fancy restaurants on the sand. Of the many beaches along the way, MOONLIGHT BEACH in Encinitas presents the most playtime possibilities including a playground, snack bar, picnic tables and a year-round lifeguard station. Take your time and stop often. The distance between Torrey Pines and Oceanside is only 25 miles, but you can easily spend a full day exploring. When you’re ready to return to central San Diego, just hop on I-5 South at one of the many entrances along 101.