11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Big Sur
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Santa Monica
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Beer Tastings & Tours and Marin Headlands. Dedicate the 30th (Wed) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's much more to do: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Alcatraz Island.

To find where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read San Francisco road trip planning site.

Charlotte to San Francisco is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Charlotte in June; daily highs in San Francisco reach 71°F and lows reach 55°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Francisco

Tours · Wineries · Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jun 30 — Jul 3:

Big Sur

— 3 nights

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Explore hidden gems such as Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Bixby Bridge. When in Big Sur, make a side trip to see Joullian Vineyards & Winery in Carmel Valley, approximately Carmel Valley away. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, admire the majestic nature at Andrew Molera State Park, and stroll through Sand Dollar Beach.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Big Sur trip builder app.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Big Sur takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in July, and nighttime lows around 55°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 3 — 6:

Santa Barbara

— 2 nights

The American Riviera

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
On the 7th (Wed), make a trip to Chaucer's Bookstore, look for all kinds of wild species at Douglas Family Preserve, and then take a memorable tour with Santa Barbara Sportfishing Charter. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about all things military at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, take a stroll through State Street Underpass, then indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and finally stroll around Hans Christian Andersen Park.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara attractions planner.

You can drive from Big Sur to Santa Barbara in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Big Sur in July: highs in Santa Barbara hover around 75°F, while lows dip to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Wineries

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 6 — 8:

Santa Monica

— 2 nights

Fortunate People in a Fortunate Land

A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): explore and take pictures at Mulholland Drive, examine the collection at The Wende Museum of the Cold War, then enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica State Beach, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Ocean Avenue.

To find ratings, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Santa Monica road trip app.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 76°F, and evening lows to 65°F. On the 10th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Outdoors · Historic Sites · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 8 — 10:

California travel guide

4.1
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.