San Diego to Yosemite National Park Road Trip Guide


San Diego is California’s ultimate beach city, and considering the fact that a good portion of the state is on the Pacific Coast, that's no small praise. This beautiful city is blessed with pretty much everything; great weather, 70 miles of pristine coastline, big city vibes, beach excitement, sophisticated arts, entertaining nightlife, and scrumptious food.

With attractions like the Nine Arts Districts, Balboa Park, the USS Midway Museum, and Whale Watching Tours, the idea of vacationing somewhere else may just seem pale in comparison. What’s more is that San Diego is only a few hours away from the historically significant and downright legendary Yosemite National Park.

Between your departure point and your destination, this RV road trip would take you along some great stopover points that will make for a unique, one-of-a-kind road trip.

Escape the city via the US-101 Hwy to see some of the best attractions along the way, and then approach Yosemite National Park through the CA-99.

Once you reach Yosemite National Park you’ll understand exactly why it is one of America’s most popular national parks.

Visitors here get to witness a seven-mile wide canyon known as the Yosemite Valley, as well as humongous rock formations, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, 3000-years old Giant Sequoia Trees, and numerous more sights that will simply take your breath away.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 2-3 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: friends

Point of Interest

Island Waterpark

If you simply can't get enough of the water than head to Island Waterpark for a fun-filled day splashing about in refreshing pool water. Island Water Park at Fresno, CA, is just on your way and provides low-cost amusement that will leave you feeling refreshed and light.

This water park is located on the northwest side of the city, near Forestiere Underground Gardens, and it is huge. It has so many slides and wave machines that you’ll never feel bored even for a single moment.

Some of the best highlights of the water park include the Tunnel of Terror and Mumbai Monsoon. The water park even has a variety of solo, raft, and family-raft. When you feel famished from all the water activities, you’ll find numerous food and drink stalls, to keep you fed and hydrated.

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach is a small city on California’s central coast that features vintage vibes and that small-town charm. After being on the road for so long with only attractions to entertain you, Pismo Beach feels like a welcome refuge where you can stock up on any necessities and enjoy piping hot and freshly prepared seafood.

The main attraction of the city is obviously the beach where you can enjoy volleyball, kiteboarding, swimming, boating, or long walks on soft sand.

If you want to watch something fascinating then head to Monarch Butterfly Grove where thousands of monarch butterflies − after a long-distance migration − descend upon this cool and windy shelter.

Another interesting place to visit in the city is the Pismo Beach Surf Museum which is housed in the oldest surf shop in California. This is especially a place of interest for surfers who can not only buy surfing gear from here but also ride a few waves at Pismo Beach.

Santa Maria Raceway

If you are a racing enthusiast or someone who has never been at a racing event, this is your chance to experience the thrill and adrenaline of track racing. Stop at Santa Maria and park your RV in one of the many huge parking spaces provided here.

First operated in 1964, this clay oval track holds seasonal races involving sprint cars, stock cars, bikes, and other types of vehicles. Of course, you won’t be able to participate but that doesn’t mean you would not enjoy the fun-packed races happening here.

In addition to seasonal races, themed nights and holiday races are also organized here. Locals and tourists can both enjoy the thrilling experience and get to meet car lovers and racing enthusiasts. It’s a unique stop-over and not something you see every day.

Little Italy

A long time ago, Italian families settled down in a fishing district of San Diego, which then became home to a flourishing tuna fishing industry managed by generations of Italian families. Over time, this lively neighborhood represented everything Italian, from its patio cafes, craft brew stops, and urban wineries, to its sophisticated antique shops and art galleries.

Eventually, the neighborhood began to be called Little Italy and today it receives hundreds of tourists in a day for its dynamic eateries. The charm of the old neighborhood remains here with centuries-old family-run Italian eateries standing side-by-side with shops set up by Top Chef alums.

The entire atmosphere of this little neighborhood is vibrant and magical with music shows taking place at the Piazza Della Famiglia, and the Italian Market offering savories and souvenirs to tourists. The farmer's market of Little Italy also receives lots of attention for its fresh produce and everything gourmet.


Yosemite National Park in California has numerous attractions and natural sights to admire. The park is home to the Yosemite Valley, in Mariposa County, CA, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is mainly because of this valley that the park receives more than three million visitors every year. We suggest making short stops to all the other attractions along the way so you can spend the most time here.

The park is spread over 747,956 acres, and you at least need to be here for a day to appreciate its beauty. The most iconic features of the park are its granite cliffs, rock formations, tall trees, and magnificent waterfalls.

Activities at Yosemite National Park include camping, hiking, exploring the wilderness, biking, fishing, horseback riding, tours, picnicking, rock climbing, stargazing, and rangers and interpretive programs to name just a few. Make sure to visit Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, and Hetch Hetchy.

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