12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  9​h 30​min
1
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Paso Robles
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Grover Beach
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Long Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  30​min
5
Los Angeles
— Few hours
Fly:  7​h
End: Chicago

3
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Monterey is known for zoos & aquariums, scenic drive, wildlife, historic sites, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, do a tasting at Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room, cruise along 17-Mile Drive, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

To find ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Monterey trip itinerary site .

Chicago to Monterey is an approximately 9-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also fly; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Chicago in December, expect nights in Monterey to be a bit warmer, around 43°F, while days are much hotter, around 62°F. You will have some time to spend on the 28th (Sat) before leaving for Paso Robles.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Carmel, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

2
nights
Paso Robles

A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): shop like a local with Pasolivo Olive Oil and then do a tasting at Tobin James Cellars. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sun): learn about winemaking at Oso Libre and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the Paso Robles planner .

You can drive from Monterey to Paso Robles in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Monterey in December since evenings lows in Paso Robles dip to 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to drive to Grover Beach.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Tours Wineries Wildlife

Side Trips

Santa Rosa Catholic Church, Friends of the Elephant Seal
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Tobin James Cellars ©
Tobin James Cellars

4
nights
Grover Beach

Grover Beach ©
Grover Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Grover Beach: Santa Maria (Rancho Sisquoc Winery & Foxen Vineyard & Winery), Morro Bay (Morro Rock & Fiona Bleu Gallery) and Montana de Oro State Park (in Los Osos). There's lots more to do: grab your bike and head to Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, contemplate the long history of Price Anniversary House - Price Historical Park, identify plant and animal life at Monarch Butterfly Grove, and learn about winemaking at Casa Dumetz Wines.

To see where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Grover Beach trip planner .

You can drive from Paso Robles to Grover Beach in an hour. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Paso Robles in December since evenings lows in Grover Beach dip to 42°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Long Beach.

Things to do in Grover Beach

Parks Nature Wineries

Side Trips

Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Santa Maria, Avila Beach, Montana de Oro State Park
Highlights from your plan
Morro Rock ©
Morro Rock
Foxen Vineyard & Winery ©
Foxen Vineyard & Winery
Rancho Sisquoc Winery ©
Rancho Sisquoc Winery

1
night
Long Beach

Long Beach
Long Beach has long been overshadowed by its bigger and more famous neighbor known as the City of Angels.
To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Long Beach trip itinerary planning tool .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Grover Beach to Long Beach. In January, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 48°F. You will leave for Los Angeles on the 4th (Sat).

Things to do in Long Beach

Outdoors Parks Tours

few
hours
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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): look and learn at Griffith Observatory and then see the interesting displays at The Getty Center.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles online day trip planner .

Los Angeles is just a stone's throw from Long Beach. January in Los Angeles sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 49°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

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