8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation builder
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 1 day
Drive
2
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive
3
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive
4
Morro Bay
— 1 night
Drive
5
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
6
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Drive
7
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco — 1 day

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 13th (Thu), admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden, then contemplate the long history of Golden Gate Bridge, and then head off the coast to Alcatraz Island.

Plan a San Francisco trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

New York City to San Francisco is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and subway. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. October in San Francisco sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can drive to Santa Cruz.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Nature
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 14:

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.
On the 14th (Fri), take in the waterfront activity at Santa Cruz Harbor, surround yourself with nature on Elkhorn Slough Safari, and then take a memorable drive along West Cliff Drive.

Plan a Santa Cruz trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from San Francisco to Santa Cruz in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Santa Cruz, with lows of 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.
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Outdoors · Parks · Scenic Drive · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 14:

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.
On the 15th (Sat), snap pictures at Big Creek Bridge, then enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then explore the galleries of Hawthorne Gallery, and finally take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

To find where to stay and more tourist information, read our Big Sur online travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Big Sur takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. When traveling from Santa Cruz in October, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Big Sur: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can drive to Morro Bay.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 15:

Morro Bay — 1 night

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 16th (Sun): trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, then stop by The Shell Shop, and then indulge your senses at Central Coast Food and Wine Tours.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Morro Bay itinerary planning tool.

You can drive from Big Sur to Morro Bay in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Big Sur in October, you will find days in Morro Bay are somewhat warmer (32°C), and nights are about the same (14°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.
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Wineries · Tours · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 16:

Santa Barbara — 1 night

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 17th (Mon): meet the residents at Santa Barbara Zoo and then savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Santa Barbara trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In October, daytime highs in Santa Barbara are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Los Angeles.
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Wineries · Tours · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 17:

Los Angeles — 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): admire the striking features of Walt Disney Concert Hall, take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, examine the collection at The Getty Center, then admire the masterpieces at Norton Simon Museum, and finally look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Los Angeles travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Los Angeles, with lows of 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to go by car to San Diego.
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Museums · Childrens Museums · Historic Sites · Nightlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 17 — 18:

San Diego — 2 nights

America's Finest City

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 19th (Wed): get to know the resident critters at San Diego Zoo and then stroll around Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our San Diego trip itinerary site.

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 20°C. On the 20th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly back home.
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Parks · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 20:

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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San Luis Obispo County travel guide

4.1
The Central Coast
Separated from major metropolitan areas, coastal San Luis Obispo County has preserved its rural character. It includes many small communities with a strong agricultural heritage, and preserves a sense of old California. Many visitors on holiday come here to browse the excellent farmers' markets or tour world-class vineyards. The county offers plentiful outdoor vacation ideas, with beaches, rolling hills, and the Santa Lucia mountain range nearby. You can also take side trips to the area's larger towns, with their historical downtown districts, shopping destinations, and museums.
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