9 days in United States Itinerary

9 days in United States Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner

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Route & dates

9 days in United States Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Drive:  3 h 45 min
1
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h 45 min
2
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h
3
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
4
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  8 h 30 min
End: San Diego

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara vacation planner.

San Diego to Santa Barbara is an approximately 4-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or fly. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from San Diego in abril since evenings lows in Santa Barbara dip to 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara

1
night
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
On the 12th (Sun), tour the pleasant surroundings at Partington Cove, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach, and finally admire the natural beauty at Hawthorne Gallery. On your second day here, take some stellar pictures from Rocky Creek Bridge and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Big Sur day trip planner.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Big Sur in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or fly. When traveling from Santa Barbara in abril, plan for slightly colder days in Big Sur, with highs around 20°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Mon) to allow time for the bus ride to Carmel.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Apr 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Partington Cove ©
Partington Cove
Bixby Bridge ©
Bixby Bridge

2
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. Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): view the masterpieces at Gallery by the Sea Carmel and then do a tasting at Caraccioli Cellars. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Tue): kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, kick back and relax at Point Lobos, then take in the waterfront at Carmel Beach Boardwalk, and finally trek along Scenic Road Walkway.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel trip planner.

Carmel is just a short distance from Big Sur. abril in Carmel sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Monterey
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Scenic Road Walkway ©
Scenic Road Walkway
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for nature, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden, take a stroll through SoMa, and examine the collection at de Young Museum.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Francisco travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In abril, daytime highs in San Francisco are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Apr 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

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