12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary maker

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1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive
2
St. Helena
— 1 night
Drive
3
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive
4
Big Sur
Drive
5
San Luis Obispo
Drive
6
Pismo Beach
— 1 night
Drive
7
Solvang
Drive
8
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
9
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive
10
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly

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San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Muir Woods National Monument, Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar and Golden Gate Park. Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): walk around Golden Gate Park, then examine the collection at de Young Museum, and then join in the after-dark buzz at Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar.

To find where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco driving holiday planner.

Washington DC to San Francisco is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of subway and train. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Washington DC in December, with highs in San Francisco at 59°F and lows at 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to St. Helena.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Nature · Nightlife · Museums

Side Trip

St. Helena

— 1 night

The Heart Of Napa Valley

The city of St.
To find more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the St. Helena vacation planner.

You can drive from San Francisco to St. Helena in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of subway and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in December, expect little chillier with lows of 36°F in St. Helena. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in St. Helena

Wineries · Tours · Parks · Outdoors

Monterey

— 1 night
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 29th (Sun), explore the landscape on two wheels at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, visit a coastal fixture at Point Pinos Lighthouse, and then stroll around Dennis the Menace Park.

For reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Monterey trip app.

Getting from St. Helena to Monterey by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and shuttle; or fly. Traveling from St. Helena in December, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 43°F in Monterey. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Big Sur

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach.

To see ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Big Sur road trip app.

You can drive from Monterey to Big Sur in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Big Sur can reach 62°F, while at night they dip to 43°F. On the 30th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Luis Obispo.

Things to do in Big Sur

Beaches · Parks · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. Your day by day itinerary now includes Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. On the 30th (Mon), take in the history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your San Luis Obispo trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to San Luis Obispo takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 67°F, and evening lows to 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can drive to Pismo Beach.

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip

Pismo Beach

— 1 night
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. Plan my day in Pismo Beach using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Pismo Beach is just a stone's throw from San Luis Obispo. In December, daily temperatures in Pismo Beach can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 42°F. On the 31st (Tue), you're off to Solvang.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Wineries · Outdoors · Parks · Tours

Solvang

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): see the interesting displays at Hans Christian Andersen Museum and then pause for some serene contemplation at Bethania Lutheran Church.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read Solvang online tour builder.

Getting from Pismo Beach to Solvang by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Pismo Beach in December since evenings lows in Solvang dip to 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Solvang

Historic Sites · Museums

Santa Barbara

— 1 night

The American Riviera

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.
To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Santa Barbara route planner.

Getting from Solvang to Santa Barbara by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Santa Barbara are 67°F, while nighttime lows are 41°F. You'll set off for Los Angeles on the 1st (Wed).

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors · Parks · Wineries · Tours

Los Angeles

— 2 nights

City of Angels

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 Petersen Automotive Museum. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Crystal Cove and The Getty Center. Discover out-of-the-way places like The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens and Dolphin & Whale Watching. There's still lots to do: look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Los Angeles road trip website.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in January, Los Angeles is a bit warmer at night with lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trips

San Diego

— 2 nights

America's Finest City

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes San Diego Zoo Safari Park as well as San Diego Zoo. On the 4th (Sat), learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at San Diego Zoo and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

To see more things to do, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Diego trip builder website.

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In January, daily temperatures in San Diego can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. On the 5th (Sun), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Zoos & Aquariums · Parks

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.