15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

Start: Manchester
Fly + Shuttle:  14​h 30​min
1
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
+2
Shuttle + Fly + Drive:  5​h 30​min
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
7
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Manchester

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): take a memorable drive along West Cliff Drive.

Find out how to plan Santa Cruz trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Manchester, UK to Santa Cruz is an approximately 14.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 8 hours traveling from Manchester to Santa Cruz. When traveling from Manchester in May, plan for somewhat warmer days in Santa Cruz, with highs around 24°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Shark Fin Cove, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Monterey Bay
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay
Shark Fin Cove ©
Shark Fin Cove

2
nights
Yosemite National Park

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Bridalveil Fall and Tunnel View. Step out of the city life by going to Vernal Fall and Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, make a trip to Olmsted Point, and hike along Panorama Trail.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Yosemite National Park tour builder site .

Traveling by combination of shuttle, flight, and car from Santa Cruz to Yosemite National Park takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, subway, and taxi. Traveling from Santa Cruz in May, Yosemite National Park is a bit cooler at night with lows of 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

3
nights
Carmel

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. Get in touch with nature at Pfeiffer State Beach and Carmel River State Beach. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Carmel: Big Sur (Partington Cove & McWay Falls). Spend the 25th (Sat) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's more to do: immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Carmel day trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Carmel takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and bus; or do a combination of car, flight, shuttle, and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Carmel, with lows around 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

2
nights
San Simeon

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, then explore and take pictures at Moonstone Beach Dr, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station, kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read San Simeon day trip website .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in May: highs in San Simeon hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

1
night
Santa Barbara

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 28th (Tue), indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara online journey planner .

You can 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) to allow time to drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings

1
night
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): take in the pleasant sights at 26-Mile Bike Path, take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, and then admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica State Beach.

For other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Santa Monica vacation maker website .

Drive from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Santa Monica, with lows around 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach
26-Mile Bike Path ©
26-Mile Bike Path
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
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): examine the collection at USS Midway Museum and then kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove. Keep things going the next day: stroll through South Carlsbad State Beach and then immerse yourself in nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the San Diego trip planner .

Getting from Santa Monica to San Diego by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of tram and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. In May, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

South Carlsbad State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
South Carlsbad State Beach ©
South Carlsbad State Beach
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove

Similar Plans

17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM ITALY August, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in California BY A USER FROM RUSSIA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in California BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in California BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 18 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM FRANCE August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 30 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM ISRAEL August, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM GREECE July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM MYANMAR January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
View more plans