13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Sonoma
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive
4
South Lake Tahoe
— 1 night
Drive
5
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco

— 4 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Go for a jaunt from San Francisco to Mill Valley to see Muir Woods National Monument about 48 minutes away. There's still lots to do: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden, and take a stroll through Union Square.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip itinerary planning app.

New York City to San Francisco is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and subway. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from New York City to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Traveling from New York City in September, San Francisco is little chillier at night with lows of 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to drive to Sonoma.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Nature · Museums · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Sonoma

— 2 nights
Set in the heart of one of the United States' most esteemed wine-producing regions, just 45 minutes from San Francisco, Sonoma boasts colonial Mexican architecture, including a mission.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): do a tasting at Schramsberg Vineyards and then look for all kinds of wild species at Safari West. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about winemaking at Benziger Family Winery, then learn about winemaking at Chateau St. Jean, and then see the interesting displays at Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Start your trip to Sonoma by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

You can drive from San Francisco to Sonoma in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of subway and taxi; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in September, plan for a bit cooler nights in Sonoma, with lows around 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in Sonoma

Wineries · Wildlife · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Monterey

— 2 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Monterey attractions planner.

You can drive from Sonoma to Monterey in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. Traveling from Sonoma in September, expect nights in Monterey to be about the same, around 56°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors

Side Trips

South Lake Tahoe

— 1 night
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): admire the striking features of Vikingsholm and then explore the activities along Emerald Bay State Park.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our South Lake Tahoe trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monterey to South Lake Tahoe takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect little chillier evenings in South Lake Tahoe when traveling from Monterey in September, with lows around 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Mon) early enough to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): see the interesting displays at de Young Museum, admire the masterpieces at Legion of Honor, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Grace Cathedral, then stop by Chinatown, and finally see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique. Here are some ideas for day two: stroll through Lands End, immerse yourself in nature at Marin Headlands, and then get a sense of history and politics at San Francisco City Hall.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our San Francisco online road trip planner.

Drive from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe in September, plan for somewhat warmer nights in San Francisco, with lows around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Museums · Nature · Trails

Side Trip

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.

Lake Tahoe (California) travel guide

4.3
Ski Areas · Zipline · State Parks
Lake of the Sky
Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe draws visitors from both states and beyond to its shores. With an average of 300 sunny days annually, it's no surprise that the lake is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. The blue-green waters beckon travelers for swimming, boating, windsurfing, or kayaking. The lake also has a number of walking trails for those who don't want to get wet. In the colder months, skiers take to the surrounding mountains. The south shore is the most developed side of the lake, with more things to do, while the west and north shores are generally more tranquil.