The Ultimate Los Angeles To San Antonio Road Trip Itinerary (2024)

Discovering Hidden Gems Affiliate Link Disclosure

Want to know the ultimate Los Angeles to San Antonio road trip itinerary? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

The Ultimate Los Angeles To San Antonio Road Trip Itinerary

The drive on a Los Angeles to San Antonio road trip can be long and tedious, but there are plenty of places to stop along the way to make it more exciting.

If you drive straight through it’ll take you about 18 1/2 hours or more depending on the traffic.

We usually split this drive into about 3-4 days – Los Angeles to Palm Springs, Palm Springs to Tucson, Tucson to El Paso, then El Paso to San Antonio.

Or sometimes we’ll do Los Angeles to Tucson, Tucson to El Paso, then El Paso to San Antonio.

The below itinerary highlights all the best stopping points between Los Angeles and San Antonio so you can build the itinerary that’s perfect for you!

The Ultimate Los Angeles to San Antonio Road Trip Itinerary

✅ Palm Springs

We have the perfect weekend getaway itinerary for Palm Springs that is great when you’re only visiting for a day or two.

Be sure to try the German Pancakes from Elmer’s for breakfast.

Get there early or be prepared to wait awhile to be seated because this place is hugely popular.

German Pancake from Elmer's in Palm Springs

Enjoy the mid-century modern architecture on a self guided audio driving tour.

There are several different ones to choose from based on your personal interests.

mid century modern home in Palm Springs

Another great Palm Springs activity is the Azure Palm Hot Springs and Day Spa.

They have free flowing mineral tubs, a mineral spring pool, indoor spas, outdoor spas, a reflexology walk, a Himalayan salt room, and more!

Azure Palm Hot Springs and Day Spa in Palm Springs

Where to Stay In Palm Springs

There are a couple different places we like to stay when we’re visiting Palm Springs and it depends on what we’re wanting to do when we’re there.

✔️ Hampton Inn & Suites Palm Desert

When we’re just passing through on a road trip back East, we like to stay here since it’s right off the highway, includes free breakfast, and is very affordable.

?? Click Here To Book Your Stay At Hampton Inn & Suites Palm Desert Today!

Ultimate US Road Trip - view from Hampton Inn & Suites Palm Desert
View from Hampton Inn & Suites Palm Desert
✔️ Marquis Villas Resort

The Marquis Villas Resort is right in the middle of Palm Springs and we love to stay here on longer visits.

The rooms here have full kitchens, dining rooms, separate bedrooms, balconies, and more.

?? Click Here To Book Your Stay At Marquis Villas Resort Today!

✔️ Worldmark by Wyndham Indio

If you want a getaway that’s away from all the action, then Indio is the place for you.

It’s about 20 minutes from the center of Palm Springs depending on traffic, but it still has the same vibe as the rest of the area.

What we loved the most about this resort is the lazy river.

?? Click Here To Book Your Worldmark By Wyndham Indio Stay Today!

Phoenix and Scottsdale

There are so many great activities to do in this area.

We enjoy visiting local escape rooms, Top Golf, Old Town Scottsdale, wine tasting rooms, Fashion Square Mall, and especially Wonderspaces.

There are some great restaurants here too like Fry Bread House where you can get their iconic Indian Tacos.

Fry Bread House in Phoenix - indian taco

We also love Barrio Queen where you can get Chicken Mole.

Chicken Mole from Barrio Queen in Scottsdale

Where To Stay Near Phoenix and Scottsdale

There are a lot great resorts throughout Phoenix and Scottsdale and these are our favorites.

✔️ Legacy Golf Resort

The pool here has a full bar and movie nights and it’s perfectly enjoyable even when it’s 100+ degrees outside.

We stayed in a studio room here with a mini kitchen, but they also have larger bedrooms and suites.

?? Click Here To Book Your Legacy Golf Resort Stay In Phoenix Today!

✔️ Harrah’s Ak-Chin Resort & Casino

Harrah’s is a little bit outside of the city, but there’s plenty here to keep you occupied.

They have a casino, restaurants, and a great pool area.

If you’re a Caesar’s Rewards member, you will most likely be able to get a great deal here too since they’re part of the program.

?? Click Here To Book Your Harrah’s Ak-Chin Resort & Casino Stay Today!


Tucson is one of our all time favorite cities to visit.

They have a little bit of everything here.

We’ve compiled a list of all the best attractions in and around Tucson that we recommend adding to your itinerary.

Tumacacori National Historical Park in Tucson, Arizona

Some of the best restaurants in Tucson are actually UNESCO certified as part of Tucson’s “City of Gastronomy” designation because food has been grown there continuously for thousands of years.

Chocolate Caramel Crunch from Blue Willow in Tucson, Arizona

The nearby historic Old Western town of Tombstone is also a must visit when you’re in Tucson.

Tombstone, Arizona

If you love wine tasting, the Elgin and Sonoita Wine Region is an up and coming area that we actually enjoy more than Napa and Sonoma.

Rune Wines in Elgin and Sonoita, Arizona

A must visit when you’re in Tucson is Ensenada Street Food.

We had the Rojitos with Cheese and Dipping Broth on our first visit, then we went back we also tried their Birria Ramen.

This meal was PHENOMENAL.

Where To Stay In Tucson: Varsity Clubs Of America Tucson

Our favorite place to stay when we visit Tucson is always Varsity Clubs of America.

We get a one bedroom condo that comes with a full kitchen and it doesn’t cost any more than a regular hotel room.

In the Summer it’s also nice for a late night swim since it stays warm late into the evening.

Click Here To Book Your Varsity Clubs Of America Stay Today!

✅ El Paso, Texas

If you can’t get Whataburger where you’re from, El Paso is the perfect place to try it.

I love it, but JP thinks the buns are disproportionate to the burger and just too big.

I think that makes them better!

Whataburger in El Paso, Texas

There are several really great Texas BBQ restaurants right in El Paso and it’s really a city for foodies.

We love stopping here on our way to San Antonio and trying new restaurants each time.

Where To Stay in El Paso

Since we usually only stay over for one night in El Paso, we tend to stay in places like Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn because they’re affordable, right off the highway, and have all the amenities we need.

✔️ Hilton Garden Inn El Paso / University

This hotel is just before you get into the city center of El Paso.

It’s in the area of The University of Texas at El Paso and is great for when you just want to get to the closest hotel after driving all the way from Tucson to El Paso.

?? Click Here To Book Your Hilton Garden Inn El Paso / University Stay Today!

✔️ Hampton Inn & Suites El Paso/East

This hotel is the exact opposite, whereas it’s located on the far east end of El Paso after you’ve already passed through the city.

We like to stay here when we want to get a head start in the morning and already be past the city traffic.

Hampton Inn also offers free breakfast which is a great perk.

?? Click Here To Book Your Hampton Inn & Suites El Paso / East Stay Today!

✔️ Hilton Garden Inn El Paso Airport

This hotel is right in the middle of the other two hotels.

So if you’re staying a little longer and want to be more centrally located to more restaurants and things to do, then this is the place for you.

?? Click Here To Book Your Hilton Garden Inn El Paso Airport Stay Today!

✅ San Antonio

We’ve finally made it to San Antonio!

San Antonio has a ton of historic sites all close together.

You can visit the San Antonio Riverwalk, The Alamo, and go to the top of the Tower of the Americas all downtown.

On the Riverwalk, we enjoyed a great dinner at Waxy O’Connor’s Irish Pub.

We shared a Caesar Salad and Fish & Chips.

I also had an Irish Coffee since it had cooled off a bit.

We also had a great lunch at Republic of Texas, which is also on the San Antonio Riverwalk.

They serve Tex-Mex cuisine and have a great Margarita menu.

Near the zoo, the Japanese Tea Garden is a free park that is also a must visit, with a great BBQ place right outside.

Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio, Texas

If you venture outside the area as you continue onto your road trip, the towns of New Braunfels and Greune have great activities.

You can enjoy wine tasting, Schlitterbahn Water Park (number one waterpark in America), and some antique shopping in the historic downtown area.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Texas
Where to Stay In San Antonio: Club Wyndham La Cascada

We got an awesome 1 Bedroom at Club Wyndham La Cascada, which is right on the Riverwalk.

This resort is in walking distance of all the shops and restaurants, The Alamo, and several other attractions.

?? Click Here To Book Your Club Wyndham La Cascada Stay Today!

Conclusion: The Ultimate Los Angeles To San Antonio Road Trip Itinerary

The ultimate Los Angeles to San Antonio road trip itinerary is the perfect way to see popular and historic tourist sites in the Southwest US.

We’ve taken this drive 5 times in the last 3 years and highly recommend this off the beaten path itinerary.