My longest road trip this time was from Coronado/San Diego to Los Angeles. Usually it takes around 2 hours to get to LA but I wanted to drive along the coast and that took me 4,5 hours. I’ve done the CA-1 before but from San Francisco to the south and now I wanted to try south to north. Honestly this is not something I would recommend you to do. First of all CA-1 north of LA is way much nicer and second is that the speed limit is like 35mph because you drive in the cities and third you barely see the beaches and nature.
This was my route:
San Diego -> La Jolla -> I-5 to Del Mar and that’s where I got on the Highway 101. Drove through Solana Beach -> Cardiff by the sea -> Encinitas -> Carlsbad -> Oceanside. Highway 101 ended here so I got on the I-5 again. Drove through San Clemente to get to CA-1. Got to Dana Point -> Laguna beach -> Newport Beach and this is where I gave up and got tired of the boring city view. I got on the I-405 and drove all the way to LA.
If you plan to spend a whole day just driving along the coast and stop at all beaches then go ahead but all the beaches looks the same. I would recommend to do the highway to LA and get there as quick as possible instead. If you want to do CA-1 then north to south is highly recommended.