San Diego to Bakersfield Road Trip Guide


A road trip from San Diego to Bakersfield covers a distance of 232 miles but if you are travelling with a family you are going to have to stop at Disneyland or risk having a serious mutiny on your hands. We will also look at a couple of alternatives for those who want to break with tradition and skip the famed park altogether. (Good luck with that!)

With a comfortable van acting as both transport and a base from which to operate, you will be in the perfect position to tailor this road adventure to your own requirements. Your biggest problem on a one day trip is going to be deciding what to leave out. We suggest you collect your van early and get on the road as soon as possible to maximize your exploration time.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 1 days
Recommend rig: van
audience: family

Point of Interest


Disneyland is situated just seven miles from Anaheim and to get there from San Diego shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half. Anaheim was first settled by Germans way back in 1857 when a group of them bought up the tract of land for the specific purpose of producing wine. For a while, this was the top winemaking area in California.

In 1955 Disneyland was built and rapidly became by far the biggest employer in the area. As a family, there can be few places more iconic to visit and there is no shortage of things to do for both adults and kids. In addition to the parades, rides, tours, and events, there are shops and restaurants.

For ease of access, drop the family and then park up in the acres of parking lots from where it is a short walk back to the park. It would be a good idea to check out ticketing options in advance because Disney offers a huge variety ranging from day passes through to Premium Annual Passports which also cover their other parks.

To soften the financial blow you can take your own picnic lunch, and there is a picnic area just opposite the main gate. What you can be sure of is that this will be a day that the whole family will remember.

Long Beach

Disneyland may be iconic but on long weekends and public holidays, the crowds might be something that put you off. Fortunately, there are plenty of other tantalizing places to visit.

Long Beach is an hour and ten-minute drive from San Diego and offers plenty to amuse both adults and children. This vibrant seafront town is the permanent mooring of the RMS Queen Mary which is now an opulent museum. The retired cruise ship boasts no less than 347 staterooms, many lined with beautiful hardwood finishes.

The Long Beach Aquarium is another site that has plenty to offer. This is the largest aquarium in the world and as one would expect from such a prestigious aquarium, it offers plenty of unusual activities. In addition to thousands of different species of fish, there are sea lions, penguins, sea otters, and even a shark and ray lagoon which actually allows some of these creatures to be handled.


It will take you a further two hours to reach Bakersfield. You will probably feel exhausted after your crammed day but if you can summon up just a little more energy, Bakersfield hosts an eclectic mix of great restaurants to round off your excursion. You will find everything from waffle houses to Mexican food as well as some pretty amazing top-end restaurants featuring fabulously prepared country cooking.

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