15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

London
Fly:  17​h
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  14​h
London

3
days
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.
Visit State Street and Old Mission Santa Barbara for their historical value. Step off the beaten path and head to Bart's Books and Chocolate Maya. Get out of town with these interesting Santa Barbara side-trips: Santa Monica (Bergamot Station, Magicopolis, & more) and Ventura Harbor Village (in Ventura). There's much more to do: enjoy breathtaking views from Santa Barbara County Courthouse, learn about winemaking at Grassini Family Vineyards, and browse the eclectic array of goods at Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara sightseeing planner.

London, UK to Santa Barbara is an approximately 17-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Santa Barbara is minus 8 hours. In February, Santa Barbara is somewhat warmer than London - with highs of 20°C and lows of 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Sightseeing Historic Sites

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Ventura Harbor Village, Bart's Books
Highlights from your plan
Bergamot Station
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Old Mission Santa Barbara

2
days
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.
On the 7th (Wed), stop by Sebastian General Store, stop by Red Moose Cookie Company, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and then stop by Brown Butter Cookie Co.

To find other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Simeon sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. While traveling from Santa Barbara, expect slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in San Simeon, ranging from highs of 16°C to lows of 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Wildlife Areas

Side Trips

Cambria, Morro Rock, Pasolivo Olive Oil, Brown Butter Cookie Co
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas
Morro Rock

3
days
Carmel

Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply referred to as Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Discover out-of-the-way places like Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach and The Cheese Shop. You'll get in some beach time at Point Lobos State Reserve and Asilomar State Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Carmel: Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, McWay Falls, & more). There's still lots to do: wander the streets of Ocean Avenue and snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

For photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Carmel itinerary planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Carmel by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in February, you will find days in Carmel are a bit warmer (20°C), and nights are about the same (8°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Nature

Side Trips

Big Sur, Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos State Reserve
Pfeiffer State Beach

4
days
San Francisco

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Ferry Building Marketplace and Union Square. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Alcatraz Island and Castello di Amorosa. Change things up with these side-trips from San Francisco: V. Sattui (in St. Helena), Oxbow Public Market (in Napa) and Wine Country Chocolates (in Glen Ellen). And it doesn't end there: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, steep yourself in history at City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Baker Beach.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read San Francisco travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Sightseeing Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Oxbow Public Market, Wine Country Chocolates, V. Sattui, Castello di Amorosa
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island
Castello di Amorosa
Fisherman's Wharf

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