16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary maker
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive
3
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive
4
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive
5
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Santa Monica
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5

San Francisco — 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for sightseeing, nature, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, ponder the world of politics at San Francisco City Hall, and buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco trip site.

Manchester, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 16-hour flight. Traveling from Manchester to San Francisco, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Manchester in October, expect San Francisco to be a bit warmer, temps between 26°C and 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Santa Cruz.
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Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums
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Santa Cruz — 1 night

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 20th (Thu): explore and take pictures at West Cliff Drive, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then immerse yourself in nature at Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Santa Cruz trip builder app.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Santa Cruz takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from San Francisco in October since evenings lows in Santa Cruz dip to 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can go by car to Monterey.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Nature
Side Trips
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Monterey — 1 night

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. On the 21st (Fri), get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then cruise along 17-Mile Drive, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Monterey visit website.

Getting from Santa Cruz to Monterey by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. When traveling from Santa Cruz in October, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Monterey: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Big Sur.
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Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors · Nature
Side Trip
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Big Sur — 1 night

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach, trek along Partington Cove, admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, then enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and finally admire the natural beauty at Hawthorne Gallery.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Big Sur road trip planner.

Getting from Monterey to Big Sur by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Big Sur are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): take in nature's colorful creations at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, wander the streets of State Street Underpass, and then awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, then get to know the resident critters at Santa Barbara Zoo, and finally take in the waterfront at Stearns Wharf.

To find photos and tourist information, read our Santa Barbara trip planner.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to Santa Barbara takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Big Sur in October: highs in Santa Barbara hover around 29°C, while lows dip to 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can go by car to Santa Monica.
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Wineries · Tours · Historic Sites · Parks
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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.
On the 25th (Tue), get in on the family fun at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Keep things going the next day: walk around Beverly Gardens Park, browse the different shops at Two Rodeo Drive, take a stroll through Rodeo Drive, then kick back and relax at Santa Monica State Beach, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Monica Pier.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Santa Monica trip planning tool.

Drive from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in October, expect a bit warmer with lows of 19°C in Santa Monica. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.
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Theme Parks · Shopping · Parks · Outdoors
Side Trips
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Los Angeles — 4 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Los Angeles: USS Midway Museum (in San Diego), Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens (in Encinitas) and Disneyland Park (in Anaheim). Pack the 30th (Sun) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. Next up on the itinerary: see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory, tour the pleasant surroundings at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame, and see the interesting displays at The Getty Center.

To find out how to plan a trip to Los Angeles, use our trip itinerary maker.

Los Angeles is just a short distance from Santa Monica. In October, daytime highs in Los Angeles are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to catch the flight back home.
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Theme Parks · Museums · Parks · Outdoors
Side Trips
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California travel guide

4.2
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.
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