Within Southern California there are two major cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as three of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. With a population of approximately 4 million, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States. South of Los Angeles and with a population of approximately 1.4 million is San Diego, the second most populous city in the state and the eighth most populous in the nation. The distance between San Diego and Los Angeles is 180 kilometers (112 miles).
The driving distance from San Diego to Los Angeles is 195 kilometers (121 miles). The driving distance from Los Angeles to San Diego (city center to city center) is 120 miles. In theory, you can travel from one place to another in two hours. However, even if the distance seems small, after traveling this route dozens of times, I can assure you that there is a world between the two big cities.
There are a lot of places to visit between San Diego and Los Angeles. My itinerary will take you through the cities of Orange and San Diego counties. If you've decided that Los Angeles is the city for you in the big debate between Los Angeles and San Diego, then you'll need a place to stay while you're visiting. Central Business Districts (CBD) include Downtown Los Angeles, Downtown Riverside, Downtown San Bernardino, Downtown San Diego, and the South Coast Metro.
In 1900, the Los Angeles Times defined Southern California as including the seven counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara. The film, television and music industry is focused on the Los Angeles area of Southern California. This definition perfectly matches the county lines at 35° 47′ 28″ north latitude, which form the northern boundaries of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino counties. Overall, I would recommend San Diego if you are looking for a family vacation if there are a lot of things to do.
However, in general, if cost is a major factor, it may be a little easier to save money in San Diego, but no city is significantly cheaper than the other. Overall, San Diego is filled with a lot of things that are great for tourists, while Los Angeles may be a better city to live and get to know intimately, but it's not ideal for a short stay. To the east, the United States Census Bureau considers the areas of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, Riverside-San Bernardino, as a separate metropolitan area from Los Angeles County. In the grand scheme of things, San Diego is probably no more or less expensive for tourists to visit than Los Angeles, however, there are different areas where you could save money and some things in San Diego may be a little more affordable than some things in Los Angeles.
Although there is no official definition for the northern boundary of Southern California, such a divide has existed since the time when Mexico ruled California and political disputes were unleashed between the Californians of Monterey in the upper part and Los Angeles in the lower part of Alta California. San Diego is located in the United States with (32.7153, -117.157 coordinates) and Los Angeles is located in the United States with (34,0522, -118,243 coordinates). For example, there is slightly more affordable accommodations available in San Diego, and the fact that you can use public transportation to get around San Diego a little more on foot will probably save you money.