16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Napa
— 1 night
Drive
3
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Santa Maria
— 1 night
Drive
7
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
8
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Drive
9
Long Beach
— 1 night
Drive
10
San Diego
— 1 day
Fly

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San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for nature, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Golden Gate Bridge, admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden, engage your brain at Exploratorium, and go for a walk through Lombard Street.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip planner.

London, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 8 hours traveling from London to San Francisco. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from London in May; daily highs in San Francisco reach 24°C and lows reach 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Napa.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums

Napa

— 1 night

America's Wine Country

Located just 80 km (50 mi) north of San Francisco, Napa sits at the southern end of the scenic Napa Valley, one of the world's major wine regions.
On the 10th (Tue), indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Napa road trip planner.

You can drive from San Francisco to Napa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of subway and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in May, Napa is a bit cooler at night with lows of 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Napa

Wineries · Tours
Highlights from your trip

Yosemite National Park

— 3 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): get great views at Yosemite, Tunnel View, then explore the striking landscape of Bridalveil Fall, then contemplate the waterfront views at Mirror Lake/Meadow Trail, and finally trek along Mariposa Grove. On the next day, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome, admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Center at Happy Isles, then take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, and finally take some stellar pictures from Valley View.

To find ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park vacation planning tool.

Traveling by car from Napa to Yosemite National Park takes 4.5 hours. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Napa in May; daily highs in Yosemite National Park reach 21°C and lows reach 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Monterey.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Monterey

— 2 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. On the 13th (Fri), take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, then make a trip to Carmel Beach Boardwalk, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and finally grab your bike and head to Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail. Here are some ideas for day two: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, cruise along 17-Mile Drive, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Monterey route maker website.

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Monterey by car takes about 5 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Yosemite National Park in May since evenings lows in Monterey dip to 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Outdoors · Zoos & Aquariums · Trails

Side Trips

Big Sur

— 2 nights

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Partington Cove, admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in nature's colorful creations at Hawthorne Gallery, and finally take in the views from Bixby Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and then enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Big Sur road trip site.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Big Sur takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 21°C in May, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Santa Maria.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Santa Maria

— 1 night
Santa Maria is a city near the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara County. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Tue): learn about winemaking at Rancho Sisquoc Winery, then do a tasting at Foxen Vineyard & Winery, and then learn about winemaking at Presqu'ile Winery. On the 18th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the waterfront at Pismo Pier, then wander the streets of Bubblegum Alley, and then immerse yourself in nature at Montana de Oro State Park.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Santa Maria vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to Santa Maria takes 3.5 hours. When traveling from Big Sur in May, plan for a bit warmer days in Santa Maria, with highs around 25°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Maria

Wineries · Neighborhoods · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

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.
On the 19th (Thu), steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara and then indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Santa Barbara trip itinerary planning site.

Traveling by car from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara takes 1.5 hours. In May, daytime highs in Santa Barbara are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries · Tours · Historic Sites

Santa Monica

— 1 night

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.
Discover how to plan a Santa Monica trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica takes 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. You will leave for Long Beach on the 20th (Fri).

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nightlife

Long Beach

— 1 night

Aquatic Capital of America

Long Beach has long been overshadowed by its bigger and more famous neighbor known as the City of Angels.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): see the interesting displays at The Queen Mary, then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Aquarium of the Pacific, and then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour.

Make your Long Beach itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Santa Monica to Long Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a tram; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in May, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Long Beach

Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Parks · Tours

San Diego

— 1 day

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 21st (Sat): appreciate the history behind Cabrillo National Monument and then meet the residents at San Diego Zoo.

Plan a trip to San Diego easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can drive from Long Beach to San Diego in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or fly. In May, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Zoos & Aquariums · Parks

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.

Napa Valley travel guide

4.3
Wineries & Vineyards · Wine Tours & Tastings · Castles
Thanks to a Mediterranean climate and idyllic location in Northern California, Napa Valley is one of the top wine producing regions in the world. This, coupled with the area's breathtaking scenery, abundance of quaint B&Bs, and exquisite local gastronomy, makes Napa Valley one of the country's most popular spots for peaceful weekends and romantic getaways. While wine tasting and vineyard tours are the traditional things to do, the region offers a variety of other attractions, including hot air balloon rides, spa treatments, and trips aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train.