15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive
4
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
6
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Drive
7
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly

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1
night
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): take in the pleasant sights at West Cliff Drive.

To find photos, maps, ratings, and tourist information, read Santa Cruz online tour itinerary maker.

Manchester, UK to Santa Cruz is an approximately 16-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -8 hour difference. When traveling from Manchester in May, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Santa Cruz: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 11°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

2
nights
Yosemite National Park

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Yosemite, Tunnel View and Mariposa Grove. Visiting Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point will get you outdoors. Spend the 22nd (Wed) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. Next up on the itinerary: admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, make a trip to Olmsted Point, and hike along Panorama Trail.

To see other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Yosemite National Park takes 4.5 hours. Traveling from Santa Cruz in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Yosemite National Park, with lows of 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

3
nights
Carmel

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. Explore hidden gems such as Carmel River State Beach and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Pfeiffer State Beach and Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carmel: Big Sur (Partington Cove & McWay Falls). There's more to do: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos and get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Carmel holiday builder.

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in May, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Carmel, with lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches

Side Trips

2
nights
San Simeon

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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Sun): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, explore and take pictures at Moonstone Beach Dr, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Mon): visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, and then identify plant and animal life at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop.

To find photos, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in May: highs in San Simeon hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 10°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

1
night
Santa Barbara

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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Tue): awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

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

Drive from San Simeon to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from San Simeon in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Santa Barbara: temperatures range from 25°C by day to 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries · Tours
Highlights from your trip

1
night
Santa Monica

Fortunate People in a Fortunate Land

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 29th (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at 26-Mile Bike Path, then take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica State Beach.

To see where to stay and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Monica trip maker website.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Santa Monica, with lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Beaches

2
nights
San Diego

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum and then kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at South Carlsbad State Beach and then admire the majestic nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our San Diego travel app.

You can drive from Santa Monica to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of tram and train. In May, daily temperatures in San Diego can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Trails

Side Trip

California travel guide

4
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.