8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner

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Route & dates

8 days in California Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
Fly:  7​h
1
San Diego
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Los Angeles
— 1 night
3
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Cambria
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
End: Philadelphia

few
hours
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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Diego driving holiday planner.

Philadelphia to San Diego is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Philadelphia to San Diego. In May, daily temperatures in San Diego can reach 71°F, while at night they dip to 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay May 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, kick back and relax at Will Rogers State Beach, then examine the collection at The Getty Center, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles online trip maker .

Traveling by car from San Diego to Los Angeles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In May in Los Angeles, expect temperatures between 75°F during the day and 59°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Santa Monica Pier
Find places to stay May 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Will Rogers State Beach ©
Will Rogers State Beach
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): take in panoramic vistas at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, then learn about winemaking at Jaffurs Wine Cellars, and finally learn about winemaking at Santa Barbara Winery.

To see traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Los Angeles in May, expect a bit cooler with lows of 52°F in Santa Barbara. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Jaffurs Wine Cellars ©
Jaffurs Wine Cellars
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Courthouse ©
Santa Barbara County Courthouse

1
night
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): take in nature's colorful creations at Cambria Nursery & Florist, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

Plan a Cambria trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Getting from Santa Barbara to Cambria by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in May, plan for a bit warmer days in Cambria, with highs around 82°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Elephant Seal Rookery
Find places to stay May 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Cambria Nursery & Florist ©
Cambria Nursery & Florist

1
night
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 8th (Wed), tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then look for gifts at The Cheese Shop.

For photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Carmel tour itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Cambria to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from Cambria in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 65°F by day to 51°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to drive to Calistoga.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay May 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

1
night
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): learn about winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery, do a tasting at V. Sattui Winery, learn about winemaking at Moone Tsai Winery, then do a tasting at Modus Operandi Cellars, and finally explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Calistoga trip maker website .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Calistoga takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus, flight, and subway. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in May: highs in Calistoga hover around 76°F, while lows dip to 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Historic Sites

Side Trips

St. Helena, Robert Mondavi Winery
Find places to stay May 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
V. Sattui Winery ©
V. Sattui Winery
Robert Mondavi Winery ©
Robert Mondavi Winery

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, and then take a stroll through Fisherman's Wharf.

For maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the San Francisco online vacation builder .

You can drive from Calistoga to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. Traveling from Calistoga in May, you will find days in San Francisco are little chillier (69°F), and nights are about the same (53°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay May 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf
Twin Peaks ©
Twin Peaks

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