12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly + bus:  9​h 15​min
1
Santa Monica
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
2
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  15​min
3
Pasadena
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
Palm Springs
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h
End: Washington DC

2
nights
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Fri): shop like a local with Third Street Promenade.

To see where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Santa Monica trip maker site .

Washington DC to Santa Monica is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Washington DC to Santa Monica is minus 3 hours. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Washington DC in March, with highs in Santa Monica at 68°F and lows at 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Outdoors Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach
Third Street Promenade ©
Third Street Promenade

3
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 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as well as Hollywood Sign. The Getty Center and Hammer Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Get some cultural insight at Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Walk of Fame. There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, learn more about the world around you at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, stroll the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and stop by The Original Farmers Market.

To find other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Los Angeles online trip planner .

Los Angeles is just a stone's throw from Santa Monica. Traveling from Santa Monica in March, expect nights in Los Angeles to be about the same, around 54°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 74°F. On the 13th (Wed), you'll travel to Pasadena.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Shopping Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

3
nights
Pasadena

Pasadena ©
Known as the "City of Roses," Pasadena hosts the annual Rose Bowl parade and football game.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Thu): take in nature's colorful creations at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, then see the interesting displays at The Gamble House, and then have fun at Rose Bowl Stadium. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Fri): make a trip to City of Pasadena City Hall, take a stroll through Old Pasadena, and then try to win big at Santa Anita Race Park.

For other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Pasadena trip maker website .

Pasadena is very close to Los Angeles. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Los Angeles in March: high temperatures in Pasadena hover around 64°F and lows are around 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Pasadena

Fun & Games Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Santa Anita Race Park, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Highlights from your plan
The Gamble House ©
The Gamble House
Old Pasadena ©
Old Pasadena

3
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. You've now added Pioneertown to your itinerary. Museum-lovers will get to explore Cabot's Pueblo Museum and Motif. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Indian Canyons and Brandini Toffee. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Bump and Grind Trail and explore the fascinating landscape at Palm Canyon.

To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs online holiday planner .

Getting from Pasadena to Palm Springs by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of tram and flight. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Pasadena in March, with highs in Palm Springs at 84°F and lows at 58°F. On the 19th (Tue), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Cabot's Pueblo Museum, Bump and Grind Trail, Pioneertown
Highlights from your plan
Cabot's Pueblo Museum ©
Cabot's Pueblo Museum
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Brandini Toffee ©
Brandini Toffee

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