Unless you suddenly became friends with Leonardo DiCaprio or came into an inheritance that would allow for the purchase of a helicopter, chances are, you’re probably driving your way to Coachella this weekend or next. Whether this is your first or fifth time to the desert oasis music festival you know there are several routes from San Diego that will get you there. For this journey, why not turn off your Google Maps or Waze apps and follow along with our road trip suggestions, which include food, photo ops and other adventures along the way. After all, it’s not the road, it’s the journey that makes for a great trip.
No matter where you are in San Diego, taking I-15 north will be the portion of the trip where everyone will journey together. Temecula is where paths diverge. You can take highways 79, 371 and 74, which is the shorter distance and more scenic of our options or you can continue north to the more traditional route on interstates 15, 215 and 10. There is only about a 30 mile distance differential and with no traffic, both will take approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes straight through, but we highly recommend stopping off at some of our highlighted points of interest.
Peterson’s Donut Corner: Open 24-hours, this Escondido mainstay is the perfect place to stop for a quick bite in the morning or to stock-up on breakfast snacks for the weekend. Try the maple bacon bar or the killer bar claws. 903 S. Escondido Blvd., Escondido petersonsdonutcorner.menutoeat.com
Stagecoach Inn: This back road pit stop has what anyone needs on a long trip to the desert: ice cream. Enjoy soft serve on a to-go cone, or step inside for some lunch in the diner for a milkshake and some chuckwagon chili. 43851 Highway 79, Aguanga. stagecoachinnaguanga.com
Hadley Fruit Orchards: Fruit, nuts and baked goods, oh my! What’s a trip to the Palm Desert without having a date shake? Stop at Hadley Fruit Orchards to stock up on snacks and cool down with a famous date shake. 48980 Seminole Drive, Cabazon. hadleyfruitorchards.com
Photo-ops and selfie stops
Stone Farms: Take a #farmlife selfie, grab a pint of beer and stretch your legs with the resident chickens at Stone Farms. If you’re staying in a hotel or house, fill a growler, to take with you, too. 9928 Protea Gardens Road, Escondido. stonebrewing.com/farm
Cabazon Dinosaurs (Cabazon): Show your claws with the world’s biggest #cabazondinosaurs. These dinos, which appeared in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,” are the perfect addition to your Instagram feed. 50800 Seminole Drive, Cabazon. cabazondinosaurs.com
Cahuilla Tewanet Vista Point (near Pinyon Flat Campground): The most scenic of our photo-op stops, this outlook, which is about 70 miles east of Temecula, provides views of the whole Coachella Valley and its surrounding mountains.
We have all the great music for your road trip here.
Shopping and other interests
Pechanga Casino: Are you feeling lucky? Stop at Pechanga Casino and drop some bills on a quick game of black jack and hope Lady Luck is feeling particularly giving. Who knows, you could win enough to pay for your whole trip. 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula. pechanga.com
Desert Hill Premium Outlets: Just in case you didn’t pack every outfit option for the three day festival, make a quick stop at the outlets which include Oakley Vault and Rip Curl for some warm weather accessories. 48400 Seminole Drive, Cabazon. cabazonoutlets.com
Costco & Costco gas (Palm Desert): Probably the cheapest place to stock up on handles of booze and snacks for your house and gas before you head back to San Diego. Or maybe you just want a cheap hot dog and berry smoothie. 72800 Dinah Shore Drive, Palm Desert.