18 days in California Itinerary

18 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

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Route & dates

18 days in California Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  26​h
1
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
San Diego
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Menifee
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Lancaster
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
6
San Luis Obispo
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
Soledad
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
8
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
9
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
shuttle + Fly:  30​h
End: Johannesburg

1
night
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
On the 21st (Thu), take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier and then look for gifts at The Original Farmers Market.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles trip planner .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Los Angeles is an approximately 26-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Johannesburg to Los Angeles is minus 10 hours. Traveling from Johannesburg in December, things will get little chillier in Los Angeles: highs are around 23°C and lows about 11°C. You'll set off for San Diego on the 22nd (Fri).

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Santa Monica Pier
Highlights from your plan
LA Farmers' Market ©
LA Farmers' Market
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

1
night
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.
For maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the San Diego online sightseeing planner .

Drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in December, and nighttime lows around 13°C. On the 23rd (Sat), you're off toMenifee.

Things to do in San Diego

Outdoors Parks Tours

1
night
Menifee

Menifee ©
Menifee, California is a city in Southwestern Riverside County, California, United States and part of the Los Angeles Combined Statistical Area. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): play a few rounds at Oak Valley Golf Club.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Menifee planning tool .

Traveling by car from San Diego to Menifee takes 1.5 hours. Traveling from San Diego in December, plan for slightly colder nights in Menifee, with lows around 5°C. On the 24th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Lancaster.

Things to do in Menifee

Golf Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Orange Empire Railway Museum, Tom's Farms, Oak Valley Golf Club
Highlights from your plan
Oak Valley Golf Club ©
Oak Valley Golf Club
Tom's Farms ©
Tom's Farms
Orange Empire Railway Museum ©
Orange Empire Railway Museum

2
nights
Lancaster

Lancaster ©
Lancaster is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. On the 24th (Sun), take a stroll through The BLVD. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the majestic nature at Fort Tejon State Historical park, steep yourself in history at Tehachapi Loop, and then look for gifts at Canine Creek Dog Wash & Pet Boutique.

To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Lancaster day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Menifee to Lancaster takes 2 hours. Traveling from Menifee in December, things will get slightly colder in Lancaster: highs are around 17°C and lows about 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Tue) so you can travel to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Lancaster

Parks Nature Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Tehachapi, Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, Fort Tejon State Historical park
Highlights from your plan
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument ©
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument
Fort Tejon State Historical park ©
Fort Tejon State Historical park
Tehachapi Loop ©
Tehachapi Loop

1
night
Santa Barbara

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 27th (Wed), immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach, take a stroll through State Street, and then steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara trip itinerary maker tool .

Getting from Lancaster to Santa Barbara by car takes about 2.5 hours. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Lancaster in December; daily highs in Santa Barbara reach 20°C and lows reach 5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to go by car to San Luis Obispo.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Carpinteria State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara

1
night
San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo ©
San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. On the 28th (Thu), look for all kinds of wild species at Monarch Butterfly Grove, stroll through Pismo State Beach, and then stop by Alapay Cellars Tasting Room.

For reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our San Luis Obispo day trip website .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 20°C in December, and nighttime lows around 5°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel to Soledad.

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Parks Beaches Wildlife

Side Trips

Alapay Cellars, Monarch Butterfly Grove, Pismo State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Monarch Butterfly Grove ©
Monarch Butterfly Grove
Pismo State Beach ©
Pismo State Beach
Alapay Cellars ©
Alapay Cellars

2
nights
Soledad

Soledad ©
Soledad is a city in Monterey County, California, United States. On the 29th (Fri), stroll through Partington Cove, immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and then admire the architecture and history at Mission San Antonio de Padua. Here are some ideas for day two: visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park, kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, then take in the exciting artwork at Coast Gallery Big Sur, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Soledad online journey planner .

Traveling by car from San Luis Obispo to Soledad takes 2 hours. In December in Soledad, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 6°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can travel to San Francisco.

Things to do in Soledad

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Big Sur, Mission San Antonio de Padua
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
McWay Falls ©
McWay Falls

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sun): stroll through Twin Peaks, then enjoy the sand and surf at Baker Beach, then browse the exhibits of SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and finally browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Miramar Beach, kick back and relax at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, and then examine the collection at Cable Car Museum.

To see photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco attractions planner .

Getting from Soledad to San Francisco by car takes about 2.5 hours. In December, daily temperatures in San Francisco can reach 17°C, while at night they dip to 8°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to go by car to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Miramar Beach, Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Ferry Building Marketplace ©
Ferry Building Marketplace
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve ©
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Cable Car Museum ©
Cable Car Museum

3
nights
Santa Cruz

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 2nd (Tue): play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links and then kick back and relax at Lovers Point. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic natural features at Natural Bridges State Beach, stop by ARCANGELI GROCERY CO/NORMS MARKET, and then admire the majestic nature at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Santa Cruz using our trip planner.

Drive from San Francisco to Santa Cruz in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Santa Cruz, with lows of 5°C. You will have some time to spend on the 4th (Thu) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pebble Beach Golf Links, Carmel Mission, Arcangeli Grocery Company, Lovers Point, Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Highlights from your plan
Pebble Beach Golf Links ©
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Big Basin Redwoods State Park ©
Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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