12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly:  7​h
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Santa Cruz
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h
3
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Santa Barbara
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h
6
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
San Diego
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Newark

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You've added Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, and other attractions to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 5th (Fri): take a stroll through Fisherman's Wharf and then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island. Keep things going the next day: take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument, contemplate the long history of Golden Gate Bridge, wander the streets of North Beach, then take a stroll through Chinatown, and finally join in the after-dark buzz at Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco attractions planner .

Newark to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Newark to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. In March, San Francisco is somewhat warmer than Newark - with highs of 65°F and lows of 50°F. On the 7th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in San Francisco

Nature Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

few
hours
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've now added Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): find something for the whole family at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, use the Santa Cruz holiday maker website .

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. Traveling from San Francisco in March, plan for little chillier nights in Santa Cruz, with lows around 45°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monterey.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Theme Parks
Highlights from your plan
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk ©
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

3
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Your list of things to see and do now includes Cooper's Pub & Restaurant, Bixby Bridge, Monterey Bay Kayaks, and other attractions. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): join in the after-dark buzz at Cooper's Pub & Restaurant. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row.

To find other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Monterey trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Monterey takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 64°F in March, and nighttime lows around 47°F. You will have some time to spend on the 10th (Wed) before leaving for San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Zoos & Aquariums Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Bixby Bridge, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Cannery Row ©
Cannery Row
Cooper's Pub & Restaurant ©
Cooper's Pub & Restaurant

1
night
San Simeon

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Hearst Castle as well as Friends of the Elephant Seal. Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Friends of the Elephant Seal and then explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our San Simeon tour itinerary planning site .

Getting from Monterey to San Simeon by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Monterey in March, expect nights in San Simeon to be little chillier, around 41°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 72°F. You'll have a few hours on the 11th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle

few
hours
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.
Santa Barbara Harbor has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Thu): take in the waterfront at Santa Barbara Harbor.

To find traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara trip itinerary builder app .

Getting from San Simeon to Santa Barbara by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Simeon in March, expect a bit warmer with lows of 48°F in Santa Barbara. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.
Highlights from your plan
Santa Barbara Harbor ©
Santa Barbara Harbor

2
nights
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Universal Studios Hollywood as well as Wine and Dine Walking Tours. On the 11th (Thu), indulge your senses at Wine and Dine Walking Tours.

To find maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in March, Los Angeles is a bit warmer at night with lows of 54°F. You'll have a few hours on the 13th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Tours
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Hollywood ©
Universal Studios Hollywood
Wine and Dine Walking Tours ©
Wine and Dine Walking Tours

3
nights
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.
You've added Coronado Beach, Seaport Village, La Jolla Shores Park, and other attractions to your itinerary.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the San Diego road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Los Angeles in March, expect nights in San Diego to be about the same, around 56°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 69°F. You'll have a few hours on the 16th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Coronado Beach
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park
Coronado Beach ©
Coronado Beach
Ocean Beach ©
Ocean Beach

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