18 days in United States Itinerary

18 days in United States Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in United States Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  4​h 15​min
1
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
2
Santa Monica
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  5​h
3
San Francisco
— 11 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
End: San Francisco

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): look for gifts at The Last Bookstore, look for gifts at The Original Farmers Market, and then explore the activities along Santa Monica Bay. On your second day here, get engrossed in the history at La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, look for gifts at Amoeba Music, and then look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles day trip planner .

San Francisco to Los Angeles is an approximately 4.5-hour combination of flight and train. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from San Francisco in July, things will get somewhat warmer in Los Angeles: highs are around 82°F and lows about 64°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Childrens Museums Parks
Highlights from your plan
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Santa Monica Bay ©
Santa Monica Bay
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): take a stroll through Rodeo Drive, then stop by Bergamot Station, and then admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica Beach. On the 22nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Santa Monica Mountains and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Santa Monica Pier.

To see maps, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Monica driving holiday planner.

Santa Monica is just a stone's throw from Los Angeles. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Los Angeles in July: highs in Santa Monica hover around 74°F, while lows dip to 63°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can travel to San Francisco.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Rodeo Drive
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Mountains ©
Santa Monica Mountains

11
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Fort Funston National Park and Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve. Alcatraz Island and SS Jeremiah O'Brien will appeal to history buffs. Explore San Francisco's surroundings by going to Limantour Beach (in Point Reyes National Seashore), Wine Tours & Tastings (in Napa) and St. Helena (Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, V. Sattui, & more). The adventure continues: take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, wander the streets of Chinatown, kick back and relax at China Beach, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Baker Beach.

To find more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco trip planner.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Santa Monica to San Francisco in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of tram, train, and flight; or drive. Traveling from Santa Monica in July, San Francisco is a bit cooler at night with lows of 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

St. Helena, Wine Tours & Tastings, Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, Limantour Beach
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

2
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. Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): get to know the fascinating history of Cannery Row and then enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Sat): take in the views from Bixby Bridge, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos State Reserve, and then stop by The Cheese Shop.

For other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Carmel day trip planning app .

Getting from San Francisco to Carmel by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in August, and nighttime lows around 56°F. On the 5th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Monterey, Bixby Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

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