20 days in California Itinerary

20 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States visit planner

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Route & dates

20 days in California Itinerary

Start: Rome
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Los Angeles
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
San Diego
— 4 nights
Fly + bus:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Francisco
— 5 nights
subway + Fly:  17​h 30​min
End: Rome

6
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Let the collections at Getty Center The Publications and Griffith Observatory capture your imagination. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Venice Beach and Boardwalk and Santa Monica Beach. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Los Angeles: Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary (in Silverado) and Santa Monica Mountains (in Santa Monica). Pack the 30th (Sat) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. Next up on the itinerary: get a new perspective on nature at La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Monica Pier, pause for some photo ops at Guitar Center, and look for all kinds of wild species at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Los Angeles route maker site .

Rome, Italy to Los Angeles is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 9 hours traveling from Rome to Los Angeles. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Rome in December, with highs in Los Angeles at 23°C and lows at 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks Wildlife Theme Parks

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
Find places to stay Dec 26 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

4
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Museum-lovers will appreciate USS Midway Museum and San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Marston House Museum and Mormon Battalion Historic Site. Step out of San Diego to go to Oceanside and see Oceanside Pier, which is approximately 1h 05 min away. The adventure continues: stroll through La Jolla Cove, appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, explore the galleries of Maritime Museum of San Diego, and see the interesting displays at San Diego Air & Space Museum.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our San Diego travel route website .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In January in San Diego, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) early enough to travel to Carmel.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trip

Oceanside Pier
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Maritime Museum of San Diego ©
Maritime Museum of San Diego

3
nights
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. On the 6th (Sat), appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row, take in the architecture and atmosphere at San Carlos Cathedral, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Sun): admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos State Reserve, take a leisurely stroll along Old Fisherman's Wharf, and then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel online visit planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from San Diego to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. In January, Carmel is little chillier than San Diego - with highs of 19°C and lows of 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Monterey, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
San Carlos Cathedral ©
San Carlos Cathedral
Cannery Row ©
Cannery Row

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll explore and learn at Exploratorium and SS Jeremiah O'Brien. You'll get in some beach time at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve and Baker Beach. Explore San Francisco's surroundings by going to Safari West (in Santa Rosa) and Miramar Beach (in Half Moon Bay). There's lots more to do: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, learn about all things military at USS Pampanito, examine the collection at Musee Mecanique, and get curious at California Academy of Sciences.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco day trip tool .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. In January in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 17°C during the day and 8°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Beaches

Side Trips

Miramar Beach, Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, Safari West
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
SS Jeremiah O'Brien ©
SS Jeremiah O'Brien
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

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