16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock San Francisco Bay Area trip planner

Make it your trip
1
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Santa Rosa
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Sacramento
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Modesto
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Monterey
— 3 nights

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco

— 6 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Asian Art Museum and Cable Car Museum. Get in touch with nature at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Fort Funston National Park. Get out of town with these interesting San Francisco side-trips: Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve (in Moss Beach), Devil's Slide Trail (in Pacifica) and Mount Diablo State Park (in Clayton). Spend the 4th (Wed) exploring nature at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Grace Cathedral, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Tamalpais State Park, take in nature's colorful creations at San Francisco Botanical Garden, and cast your line with a fishing tour.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco online trip builder.

If you are flying in from New Zealand, the closest major aiports are San Francisco International Airport, Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and Travis Air Force Base. May in San Francisco sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 13°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Santa Rosa.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 2 — 8:

Santa Rosa

— 2 nights

Where Everything Comes Together

Located less than an hour's drive north of San Francisco, Santa Rosa serves as a convenient hub for travelers on their way to the world-famous Napa Valley wine country.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): admire the verdant scenery at Bennett Valley, then learn about winemaking at Sherwin Family Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at Tedeschi Family Winery, and finally explore by horseback at Hood Mountain Regional Park. Here are some ideas for day two: head outdoors with Snoopy's Home Ice, stroll through Laguna de Santa Rosa, then explore the landscape on two wheels at Santa Rosa Creek, and finally stroll through Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve.

To see more things to do and other tourist information, read Santa Rosa trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Santa Rosa takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Francisco in May, you will find days in Santa Rosa are somewhat warmer (28°C), and nights are slightly colder (10°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can drive to Sacramento.

Things to do in Santa Rosa

Parks · Outdoors · Wineries · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 8 — 10:

Sacramento

— 2 nights

River City

The capital city of America's most economically significant state, Sacramento is an important stop for any politico.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Cosumnes River Preserve, do a tasting at Macchia Wines, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Natoma, and finally grab your bike and head to Lower American River. Keep things going the next day: hike along Davis Greenbelt, then examine the collection at Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Governor's Mansion, and finally trek along Stevens Trail.

For maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Sacramento trip maker website.

Traveling by car from Santa Rosa to Sacramento takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Santa Rosa in May, Sacramento is a bit warmer at night with lows of 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can go by car to Modesto.

Things to do in Sacramento

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 10 — 12:

Modesto

— 2 nights
Modesto, officially the City of Modesto, is the county seat and largest city of Stanislaus County, California, United States. Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): take a memorable drive along Palos Verdes Scenic Drive, trek along Pacific Crest Trail - Southern Terminus, then examine the collection at Great Valley Museum, and finally stroll through Tuolumne River Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sat): take a peaceful walk through Ancient Bristlecone Forest, explore the activities along San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge, then buy something for everyone on your list at Vintage Faire Mall, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Modesto tour itinerary builder site.

Getting from Sacramento to Modesto by car takes about 1.5 hours. In May, daytime highs in Modesto are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel to Monterey.

Things to do in Modesto

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 12 — 14:

Monterey

— 3 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Get in touch with nature at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail and Elkhorn Slough Safari. Discover out-of-the-way places like Asilomar State Beach and Wine Tours & Tastings. Change things up with a short trip to Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Moss Landing (about 36 minutes away). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, immerse yourself in nature at Garrapata State Park, pause for some photo ops at The Cannery Row Monument, and hike along Scenic Road Walkway.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our Monterey online attractions planner.

You can drive from Modesto to Monterey in 2.5 hours. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Modesto in May; daily highs in Monterey reach 21°C and lows reach 12°C.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 14 — 17:

California travel guide

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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.