11 days in San Francisco, Santa Cruz & Marin County Itinerary

11 days in San Francisco, Santa Cruz & Marin County Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in San Francisco, Santa Cruz & Marin County Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly:  5​h 30​min
1
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Sausalito
— 1 day
Drive:  30​min
4
Muir Beach
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  6​h
End: Minneapolis

5
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, parks, nightlife, and childrens museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, take a memorable ride with Cable Cars, tour the pleasant surroundings at Golden Gate Park, and explore the engaging exhibits at Exploratorium.

For ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip itinerary maker site .

Minneapolis to San Francisco is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Minneapolis to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Minneapolis in April; daily highs in San Francisco reach 67°F and lows reach 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can go by car to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium
Japanese Tea Garden ©
Japanese Tea Garden

3
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Cruz: Pebble Beach Golf Links (in Pebble Beach), Point Lobos State Reserve (in Carmel) and Pacific Grove (Asilomar State Beach & Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard). There's more to do: admire the majestic nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and explore the striking landscape at Natural Bridges State Beach.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Santa Cruz route planning site .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Santa Cruz takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Santa Cruz when traveling from San Francisco in April, with lows around 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can drive to Sausalito.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Point Lobos, Pebble Beach Golf Links
Highlights from your plan
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

1
day
Sausalito

Sausalito ©
Sausalito is a city in Marin County, California. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Marin Headlands and then take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Sausalito online road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Sausalito takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In April, daytime highs in Sausalito are 66°F, while nighttime lows are 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Muir Beach.

Things to do in Sausalito

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Marin Headlands
Highlights from your plan
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Marin Headlands ©
Marin Headlands

2
nights
Muir Beach

Muir Beach ©
Muir Beach is a census designated place (CDP), unincorporated community, and beach that is located 16.5mi northwest of San Francisco in western Marin County, California, United States. Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): stop by Petaluma Seed Bank, then kick back and relax at Drakes Beach, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Alamere Falls. On the 14th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Stinson Beach and then kick back and relax at Muir Beach.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Muir Beach trip itinerary planner.

Muir Beach is just a short distance from Sausalito. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Muir Beach when traveling from Sausalito in April, with lows around 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Muir Beach

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Drakes Beach, Petaluma Seed Bank, Stinson Beach, Alamere Falls
Highlights from your plan
Alamere Falls ©
Alamere Falls
Stinson Beach ©
Stinson Beach
Petaluma Seed Bank ©
Petaluma Seed Bank

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