14 days in California Itinerary

14 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Trip Planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Francisco International Airport, Drive to Carmel
1
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Calistoga
— 2 nights
Drive
3
San Simeon
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6

Carmel

— 4 nights
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at The Cheese Shop and Coast Gallery Big Sur. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Pfeiffer State Beach and Carmel River State Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Carmel: Big Sur (McWay Falls & Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Asilomar State Beach, immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and do a tasting at Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room.

To find more things to do, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Carmel tour planner.

Athens, Greece to Carmel is an approximately 22.5-hour combination of flight and car. You'll gain 10 hours traveling from Athens to Carmel due to the time zone difference. In December, daily temperatures in Carmel can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can drive to Calistoga.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Calistoga

— 2 nights
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Sharpsteen Museum, then do a tasting at Vincent Arroyo Winery, and then step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa. On the 25th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: immerse yourself in nature at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, then learn about winemaking at Peterson Winery, and then learn about winemaking at BobDog Winery and SkyPine Vineyards.

To see maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read Calistoga trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Carmel to Calistoga in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Expect slightly colder evenings in Calistoga when traveling from Carmel in December, with lows around 2°C. On the 26th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries · Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

San Simeon

— 4 nights
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.
Visit Piedras Blancas and Moonstone Beach for some beach relaxation. Do your shopping at Sebastian General Store and The Shell Shop. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Simeon: Morro Rock (in Morro Bay), AronHill Vineyards (in Templeton) and Proulx Wines (in Paso Robles). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle, and identify plant and animal life at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, you can read our San Simeon road trip website.

You can drive from Calistoga to San Simeon in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight, subway, train, bus, and car; or do a combination of bus, subway, and car. In December, daytime highs in San Simeon are 20°C, while nighttime lows are 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 2 nights

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.
On the 30th (Sat), take a stroll through State Street Underpass, then contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, and then get a taste of local nightlife at Grassini Family Vineyards. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Sun): do a tasting at Koehler Winery, do a tasting at Stolpman Vineyards, then do a tasting at Tercero Wines, and finally learn about winemaking at Carhartt Vineyard.

To see more things to do, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara online driving holiday planner.

Drive from San Simeon to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Simeon in December, Santa Barbara is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Outdoors

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.