San Diego embodies laid-back California culture, complete with a Boardwalk, surfing communities, and outstanding Mexican food. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, then gobble down a fresh fish taco at a La Jolla seafood joint.
If you’re planning this same drive and want to know all about it – how long it is, how long it takes, and where to stop along the way – read on. By the end of this post, you’ll know everything about the drive between Brownsville and San Diego.
As the crow flies, it’s roughly 520 miles between Brownsville and San Diego. Luckily, we can’t skip over all the good stuff and have to drive – that means seeing some of the sights and countryside between these two points.
For driving, it is roughly 578 miles or 929 km between Brownsville and San Diego. This may vary slightly depending on your start and end points.
In terms of travel time by car, the 578 miles drive from Brownsville to San Diego takes 10 hours . Again, your final drive time depends on where you start in Brownsville and end in San Diego.
This is a really long drive, so it's not very realistic to drive nonstop. To get a better idea of how long this road trip would actually take, scroll down to calculate how many hours it would be if you drive with stops.
Realistically, you're not going to want to drive without stopping all the way from Brownsville to San Diego, especially if you're the main driver. So let's say you're actually planning a road trip to San Diego, and you need to stop along the way to rest. Plus if it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting stops along the way, eat at great restaurants, and find a hotel to stay overnight. That's what we are perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.
Based on the length of this trip, we think you could spread out this fun road trip over a number of days.
Road trip: 2 days of driving
With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.
Travel time: 10 hours on the road with 2 overnights
Start at Brownsville.
Drive for about 3 hours, then stop in Stanislaus County and stay for about 2 hours.
Next, drive for another 4 hours then stop in Los Angeles County. Stay overnight.
Finally, drive for about 2.9 hours and arrive in San Diego.
To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.
Departure airport: Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
Arrival airport: San Diego International Airport (SAN)
With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.
Getting to the airport: 1 hour 29 minutes
Getting to your destination:
Now finally, let's look at an example flight from SMF to SAN and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.
Commercial flight time: 1 hour
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Brownsville to San Diego including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.
Total travel time: 4 hours 32 minutes
Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Brownsville and San Diego. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.
Flight time from Brownsville, California to San Diego, California is 1 hour under avarage conditions.
Our flight time calculator assumes an average flight speed for a commercial airliner of 500 mph, which is equivalent to 805 km/hr or 434 knots.
Actual flight times may vary depending on aircraft type, cruise speed, routing, weather conditions, passenger load, and other factors.