25 days in California Itinerary

25 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States travel planner

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Route & dates

25 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly + bus:  9​h 15​min
1
Sonoma
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Redwood National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Mendocino
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Santa Rosa
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Santa Cruz
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
6
Pebble Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  15​min
7
Monterey
— Few hours
bus:  45​min
8
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
9
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
10
Morro Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
11
Santa Barbara
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
12
San Juan Capistrano
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
13
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
End: Chicago

5
nights
Sonoma

Sonoma ©
Set in the heart of one of the United States' most esteemed wine-producing regions, just 45 minutes from San Francisco, Sonoma boasts colonial Mexican architecture, including a mission.
Let the collections at The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum and Mumm Napa capture your imagination. Get outdoors at Sonoma Valley and Bothe-Napa State Park. Step out of Sonoma with an excursion to Beals Point in Folsom--about 2 hours away. There's more to do: don't miss a visit to Sonoma Plaza and enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Sonoma attractions planner.

Chicago to Sonoma is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Chicago to Sonoma. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Chicago in November, with highs in Sonoma at 65°F and lows at 41°F. You'll have a few hours on the 11th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to Redwood National Park.

Things to do in Sonoma

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature

Side Trips

Napa, Beals Point, Bothe-Napa State Park, Mumm Napa
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Sonoma Valley ©
Sonoma Valley
Mumm Napa ©
Mumm Napa

1
night
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park is home to a tremendous collection of the world's tallest type of tree.
You've now added Trees of Mystery to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Trees of Mystery.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Redwood National Park tour website .

You can drive from Sonoma to Redwood National Park in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. When traveling from Sonoma in November, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Redwood National Park: temperatures range from 59°F by day to 44°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to travel to Mendocino.

Things to do in Redwood National Park

#Nature, #Parks, #Museums

Side Trip

Trees of Mystery
Find places to stay Nov 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Trees of Mystery ©
Trees of Mystery

1
night
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Start off your visit on the 12th (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Mendocino Coast, then enjoy the sea views from Point Cabrillo Light Station, and then immerse yourself in nature at Jug Handle State Reserve. On the next day, immerse yourself in nature at Montgomery Woods State Reserve and then look for all kinds of wild species at B Bryan Preserve.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Mendocino online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Redwood National Park to Mendocino takes 4.5 hours. Traveling from Redwood National Park in November, expect nights in Mendocino to be about the same, around 41°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can drive to Santa Rosa.

Things to do in Mendocino

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trips

Montgomery Woods State Reserve, B Bryan Preserve
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast ©
Mendocino Coast
B Bryan Preserve ©
B Bryan Preserve
Point Cabrillo Light Station ©
Point Cabrillo Light Station

2
nights
Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Wed): do a tasting at Korbel Champagne Cellars, identify plant and animal life at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Bodega Head. On the next day, identify plant and animal life at Safari West, then see the interesting displays at Charles M. Schulz Museum, and then explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Santa Rosa trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Mendocino to Santa Rosa in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In November, daytime highs in Santa Rosa are 67°F, while nighttime lows are 41°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Santa Rosa

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trips

Guerneville, Bodega Head, Castello di Amorosa
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Bodega Head ©
Bodega Head
Safari West ©
Safari West
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa

2
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Fri): immerse yourself in nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, visit a coastal fixture at Pigeon Point Light Station, and then explore the striking landscape at Natural Bridges State Beach.

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

Getting from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 68°F in November, and nighttime lows around 45°F. You'll have a few hours on the 17th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Pebble Beach.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Pigeon Point Light Station, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park ©
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Pigeon Point Light Station ©
Pigeon Point Light Station

1
night
Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach ©
Pebble Beach is an unincorporated community on the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey County, California. Start off your visit on the 17th (Sat): make a trip to Bird Rock Vista Point and then tee off at Poppy Hills Golf Course.

To find maps, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Pebble Beach trip builder app .

Drive from Santa Cruz to Pebble Beach in an hour. November in Pebble Beach sees daily highs of 65°F and lows of 47°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Monterey.

Things to do in Pebble Beach

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mission San Juan Bautista
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Mission San Juan Bautista ©
Mission San Juan Bautista
Bird Rock Vista Point ©
Bird Rock Vista Point
Poppy Hills Golf Course ©
Poppy Hills Golf Course

few
hours
Monterey

Monterey
Monterey is a city in the U.S. To find maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Monterey vacation planning website .

Monterey is just a short distance from Pebble Beach. In November, daytime highs in Monterey are 65°F, while nighttime lows are 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can take a bus to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

#Historic Sites

Side Trip

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 19:

2
nights
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
You've now added Pfeiffer State Beach to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls and then shop like a local with Coast Gallery Big Sur. On your second day here, admire the majestic nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in the history at Mission San Antonio de Padua, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach.

To find traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Big Sur trip planning app .

You can drive from Pebble Beach to Big Sur in an hour. In November, plan for daily highs up to 64°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Mission San Antonio de Padua
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Mission San Antonio de Padua ©
Mission San Antonio de Padua

1
night
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
When you arrive in tiny San Simeon, which lies halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can see why William Randolph Hearst chose this coastal locale for his famous hilltop castle.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Elephant Seal Rookery. Kick off your visit on the 21st (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and then explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the San Simeon trip maker app .

You can drive from Big Sur to San Simeon in 4 hours. Traveling from Big Sur in November, San Simeon is slightly colder at night with lows of 40°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) so you can drive to Morro Bay.

Things to do in San Simeon

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

2
nights
Morro Bay

Morro Bay ©
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): kick back and relax at Morro Strand State Beach, then take in the history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, then learn more about the world around you at Museum of Natural History, and finally see the interesting displays at Morro Bay State Park.

To find more things to do, photos, and tourist information, go to the Morro Bay online travel route planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Morro Bay takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Morro Bay when traveling from San Simeon in November, with lows around 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Morro Bay

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Museums

Side Trip

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Morro Strand State Beach ©
Morro Strand State Beach
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa ©
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Museum of Natural History ©
Museum of Natural History

3
nights
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Old Mission Santa Barbara and State Street. You'll get in some beach time at Zuma Beach and San Buenaventura State Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Barbara: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (in Simi Valley) and Ojai Meadows Preserve (in Ojai). Dedicate the 26th (Mon) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's much more to do: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Santa Barbara Zoo, look for all kinds of wild species at Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, explore the fascinating underground world of Salt Cave, and learn about winemaking at Carr Winery.

To see more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara online holiday planner .

You can drive from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. November in Santa Barbara sees daily highs of 72°F and lows of 46°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to travel to San Juan Capistrano.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Tours

Side Trips

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Zuma Beach, San Buenaventura State Beach, Ojai Meadows Preserve
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Santa Barbara Orchid Estate ©
Santa Barbara Orchid Estate
Zuma Beach ©
Zuma Beach
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara

2
nights
San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano ©
San Juan Capistrano is a city in Orange County, California, United States. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Newport Beach, then take a leisurely stroll along Dana Point Harbor, and then see the interesting displays at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Keep things going the next day: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, head off the coast to Balboa Island, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Corona Del Mar State Beach.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our San Juan Capistrano trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Juan Capistrano in 2.5 hours. Traveling from Santa Barbara in November, plan for a bit warmer nights in San Juan Capistrano, with lows around 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to San Diego.

Things to do in San Juan Capistrano

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Newport Beach, Dana Point, Corona Del Mar State Beach
Find places to stay Nov 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Newport Beach ©
Newport Beach
Corona Del Mar State Beach ©
Corona Del Mar State Beach
Mission San Juan Capistrano ©
Mission San Juan Capistrano

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Thu): take in the views from San Diego - Coronado Bridge, visit a coastal fixture at Old Point Loma Lighthouse, and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at San Diego Zoo. On the 30th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: appreciate the history behind Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, then take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Building and Lily Pond, and then examine the collection at USS Midway Museum.

For maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the San Diego trip itinerary planner .

Drive from San Juan Capistrano to San Diego in 1.5 hours. In November, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 57°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

#Parks, #Zoos & Aquariums, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
San Diego Zoo ©
San Diego Zoo
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Old Point Loma Lighthouse ©
Old Point Loma Lighthouse

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