12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California route maker
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Berkeley
Drive
3
Stanford
— 1 night
Drive
4
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Salinas
Drive
6
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive
7
San Luis Obispo
— 1 night
Drive
8
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
9
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco — 3 nights

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Relax by the water at Sonoma Coast State Beach and Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve. Get outdoors at Alcatraz Island and Fishing Charters & Tours. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Francisco: Point Reyes Safaris (in Point Reyes Station) and Bodega Dunes (in Bodega). The adventure continues: take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, take in the pleasant sights at Lombard Street, and wander the streets of Union Square.

To see maps, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip builder site.

Houston to San Francisco is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Houston to San Francisco. Plan for colder temperatures traveling from Houston in July, with highs in San Francisco at 73°F and lows at 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Berkeley.
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Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours
Side Trips

Berkeley

Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California. To find more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Berkeley trip planner.

Berkeley is very close to San Francisco. In July, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 58°F. You'll set off for Stanford on the 6th (Wed).
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Wineries · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Stanford — 1 night

Stanford is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at El Corte De Madera, then examine the collection at Anderson Collection at Stanford University, and then admire the masterpieces at Rodin Sculpture Garden.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Stanford trip itinerary builder site.

Drive from Berkeley to Stanford in an hour. In July, daytime highs in Stanford are 77°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Yosemite National Park.
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Museums · Parks · Wildlife
Side Trip

Yosemite National Park — 2 nights

Massive granite mountains, towering waterfalls, groves of Giant Sequoia trees, and wilderness as far as the eye can see distinguish the landscape of Yosemite National Park.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Nature Center at Happy Isles, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, take in the dramatic scenery at Bridalveil Fall, then get great views at Yosemite, Tunnel View, then take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, then hike along North Dome, then make a trip to Olmsted Point, and finally explore the activities along Tenaya Lake.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park vacation planning website.

You can drive from Stanford to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Stanford in July, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be slightly colder, around 46°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 83°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can travel to Salinas.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Trails

Salinas

Salinas is the county seat and largest municipality of Monterey County, California. To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Salinas vacation maker tool.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Yosemite National Park to Salinas. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in July: highs in Salinas hover around 71°F, while lows dip to 56°F. You will leave for Monterey on the 9th (Sat).
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wineries

Monterey — 1 night

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read Monterey online trip itinerary maker.

Monterey is just a short distance from Salinas. In July, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 55°F. On the 10th (Sun), you're off to San Luis Obispo.
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wineries

San Luis Obispo — 1 night

San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. state of California, located roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Central Coast. On the 10th (Sun), see the interesting displays at Morro Bay Skateboard Museum, then identify plant and animal life at Morro Bay National Estuary, then admire the architecture and history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and finally stop by Bubblegum Alley.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the San Luis Obispo route maker.

You can drive from Monterey to San Luis Obispo in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or fly. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Monterey in July: highs in San Luis Obispo hover around 80°F, while lows dip to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Santa Barbara.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Historic Sites
Side Trip

Santa Barbara — 1 night

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.
On the 11th (Mon), identify plant and animal life at Douglas Family Preserve, then wander the streets of State Street Underpass, then kick back and relax at Butterfly Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Carpinteria State Beach.

To see where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara route planner.

Traveling by car from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from San Luis Obispo in July, you will find days in Santa Barbara are slightly colder (75°F), and nights are about the same (60°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Shopping
Side Trips

Los Angeles — 2 nights

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 12th (Tue): get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Hollywood. Keep things going the next day: find something for the whole family at Disneyland Park.

To see where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles day trip planning site.

Drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Santa Barbara in July, with highs in Los Angeles at 83°F and lows at 66°F. You will have some time to spend on the 14th (Thu) before leaving for home.
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Theme Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.
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