12 days in California & Reno Itinerary

12 days in California & Reno Itinerary

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Santa Monica
— 2 nights
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Santa Cruz
— 2 nights
— 4 nights
— 1 night


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 (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica Bay, immerse yourself in nature at Santa Monica State Beach, then take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, and finally find something for the whole family at Pacific Park. On your second day here, get in on the family fun at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, use the Santa Monica online trip builder.

Boston to Santa Monica is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Boston to Santa Monica, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Boston in August: highs in Santa Monica hover around 76°F, while lows dip to 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Santa Barbara.
Theme Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 11:

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Santa Barbara side-trips: Oxnard Beach Park (in Oxnard) and Ventura (Calboat Diving - Spectre Dive Boat & Fox Fine Jewelry). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, kick back and relax at Carpinteria State Beach, hike along Cabrillo Bike Path, and admire the landmark architecture of Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Santa Barbara fast, fun, and easy.

You can drive from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. Expect little chillier evenings in Santa Barbara when traveling from Santa Monica in August, with lows around 60°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Santa Cruz.
Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Aug 11 — 13:

Santa Cruz — 2 nights

Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sun): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, admire the majestic nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and then find something for the whole family at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

For maps, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Cruz sightseeing planning site.

Traveling by flight from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 74°F in August, and nighttime lows around 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can drive to Quincy.
Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 15:

Quincy — 4 nights

Quincy is a census-designated place and the county seat of Plumas County, California.The population was 1,728 during the 2010 census, down from 1,879 during the 2000 United States Census.HistoryQuincy started as a Gold Rush community just outside Elizabethtown, CA. Elizabethtown started in 1852 and slowly dissolved and moved a mile away into American Valley to form Quincy after 1858.Quincy is named after the city of Quincy, Illinois, named in turn after John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848), the sixth president of the United States (1825 - 1829).The Quincy post office opened in 1855. Change things up with these side-trips from Quincy: Graeagle (Lake Basin Recreation Area & Plumas-Eureka State Park), Biz Johnson Trail (in Susanville) and Lassen Volcanic National Park (Lassen Peak , Bumpass Hell, &more). There's more to do: get engrossed in the history at Plumas County Museum.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Quincy trip itinerary tool.

You can drive from Santa Cruz to Quincy in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Santa Cruz in August: high temperatures in Quincy hover around 94°F and lows are around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Reno.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 19:

Reno — 1 night

Biggest Little City in the World

A sea of casinos in the high desert of the Sierra Nevadas, Reno capitalizes on gaming and nightlife.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Fri): make a trip to Reno Arch.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Reno road trip planning app.

You can drive from Quincy to Reno in 1.5 hours. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Quincy in August since evenings lows in Reno dip to 60°F. On the 20th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.
Find places to stay Aug 19 — 20:
Highlights from your trip

California travel guide

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.