28 days in Santa Monica & Chicago Itinerary

28 days in Santa Monica & Chicago Itinerary

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Route & dates

28 days in Santa Monica & Chicago Itinerary

Start: Brussels
train + Fly:  16​h 15​min
1
Santa Monica
— 12 nights
bus + Fly:  8​h 15​min
2
Chicago
— 13 nights
Fly:  11​h 15​min
End: Brussels

12
nights
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Santa Barbara Zoo and State Street Underpass. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum and Casa del Herrero. Change things up with these side-trips from Santa Monica: Tehachapi (Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum & Tehachapi Museum), Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara Cemetery, Grassini Family Vineyards, & more) and Ventura (Fox Fine Jewelry, Mission San Buenaventura, & more). There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Meditation Mount, learn about winemaking at Topa Mountain Winery, brush up on your military savvy at U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, and immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Santa Monica day trip planning tool .

Brussels, Belgium to Santa Monica is an approximately 16.5-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of train, flight, and tram. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 9 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Brussels in July since evenings lows in Santa Monica dip to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Chicago.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Santa Barbara, Ventura, Port Hueneme, Ojai, Beverly Hills
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Annenberg Community Beach House ©
Annenberg Community Beach House
Meditation Mount ©
Meditation Mount

13
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Your inner history buff will appreciate John Deere Historic Site and Riverwalk Lot. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Starved Rock State Park and Weber House and Garden. Change things up with these side-trips from Chicago: Matthiessen State Park (in Utica), Saint Joseph (Silver Beach County Park & St. Joseph Lighthouses) and Dixon (Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home & Veterans Memorial Park). The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Chicago Riverwalk, take in the spiritual surroundings of Shrine of the Christ's Passion, ponder the world of politics at Livingston County Courthouse, and explore the different monuments and memorials at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Chicago trip builder website .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Santa Monica to Chicago takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. When traveling from Santa Monica in July, plan for somewhat warmer days in Chicago, with highs around 33°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Chicago

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Pontiac, Utica, Dixon, Michigan City, Saint Joseph
Find places to stay Jul 26 — Aug 9:
Highlights from your plan
Matthiessen State Park ©
Matthiessen State Park
Starved Rock State Park ©
Starved Rock State Park
Cantigny Park ©
Cantigny Park

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