18 days in West Coast Itinerary

18 days in West Coast Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in West Coast Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  11 h
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
South Lake Tahoe
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
3
Santa Cruz
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h
4
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
5
San Luis Obispo
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
6
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 45 min
7
Santa Monica
— 4 nights
Bus + Fly:  14 h 30 min
End: London

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Relax by the water at Fort Funston National Park and Marshall’s Beach. Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge are good opportunities to explore the local culture. And it doesn't end there: take in the pleasant sights at Fisherman's Wharf, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and engage your brain at Exploratorium.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the San Francisco day trip tool.

London, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 8 hours traveling from London to San Francisco. In July, daily temperatures in San Francisco can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to drive to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

3
nights
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe ©
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Tallac Historic Site and Genoa Cemetery. Take a break from the city and head to Van Sickle Bi-State Park and Emerald Bay State Park. There's lots more to do: stroll through Pope Beach, hike along Mt. Tallac Trail, explore the historical opulence of Vikingsholm, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the South Lake Tahoe travel itinerary planner.

Getting from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, flight, and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in July, expect nights in South Lake Tahoe to be little chillier, around 9°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Emerald Bay State Park, Genoa Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
Pope Beach ©
Pope Beach
Emerald Bay State Park ©
Emerald Bay State Park
Van Sickle Bi-State Park ©
Van Sickle Bi-State Park

2
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
On the 2nd (Sun), get in on the family fun at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon): explore and take pictures at West Cliff Drive, then visit a coastal fixture at Pigeon Point Light Station, and then kick back and relax at Natural Bridges State Beach.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Cruz trip itinerary builder site.

You can drive from South Lake Tahoe to Santa Cruz in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. When traveling from South Lake Tahoe in August, plan for a bit cooler days in Santa Cruz, with highs around 27°C, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 16°C. You'll have a few hours on the 4th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Monterey.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Theme Parks Tours

Side Trips

Pigeon Point Light Station, Corralitos Market and Sausage Co
Highlights from your plan
Boat Tours & Water Sports
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk ©
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

1
night
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 4th (Tue), get to know the fascinating history of Cannery Row and then cruise along 17-Mile Drive.

For traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Monterey online trip planner.

Drive from Santa Cruz to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 16°C. You'll have a few hours on the 5th (Wed) to wrap things up before traveling to San Luis Obispo.

Things to do in Monterey

Historic Sites Outdoors Scenic Drive

Side Trip

AiX
Highlights from your plan
Cannery Row ©
Cannery Row
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive

1
night
San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo ©
San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. On the 5th (Wed), get engrossed in the history at Old Mission Gift Shop and Museum and then admire the architecture and history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Luis Obispo trip itinerary website.

Drive from Monterey to San Luis Obispo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Monterey in August, you will find days in San Luis Obispo are somewhat warmer (30°C), and nights are about the same (17°C). On the 6th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Fiona Bleu Gallery
Highlights from your plan
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa ©
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Old Mission Gift Shop and Museum ©
Old Mission Gift Shop and Museum
Fiona Bleu Gallery ©
Fiona Bleu Gallery

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, take a stroll through State Street Underpass, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Douglas Family Preserve.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read Santa Barbara online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in August, and nighttime lows around 18°C. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Fri) before leaving for Santa Monica.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Historic Sites Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Douglas Family Preserve ©
Douglas Family Preserve

4
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.
For shopping fun, head to Annenberg Community Beach House or Revolver Gallery. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum and Camera Obscura will appeal to museum buffs. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica State Beach, take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, steep yourself in history at Shotgun House, and get a taste of the local shopping with Rodeo Drive.

To find where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Monica trip builder site.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 21°C. You'll have a few hours on the 11th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Shopping Museums Parks

Side Trips

Beverly Hills, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Carbon Beach
Highlights from your plan
Third Street Promenade ©
Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach

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