27 days in California, Willamette Valley & Seattle Itinerary

27 days in California, Willamette Valley & Seattle Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip builder
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Paso Robles
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Yosemite National Park
— 5 nights
Drive
4
San Jose
— 1 night
Drive
5
Lafayette
— 1 night
Drive
6
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive
7
San Rafael
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Napa
— 1 night
Drive
9
Salem
— 1 night
Drive
10
McMinnville
— 3 nights
Drive
11
Seattle

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Santa Barbara — 2 nights

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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Santa Barbara: Ventura (Calboat Diving - Spectre Dive Boat & Fox Fine Jewelry). There's much more to do: awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, don't miss a visit to Old Mission Santa Barbara, observe the fascinating underwater world at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, and admire the landmark architecture of Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

For where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Santa Barbara tour itinerary planning tool.

Seattle to Santa Barbara is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. August in Santa Barbara sees daily highs of 76°F and lows of 60°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Paso Robles.
Tours · Wineries · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trip

Paso Robles — 5 nights

A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
Get out of town with these interesting Paso Robles side-trips: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (in Big Sur), Cambria (Moonstone Beach & Stepladder Ranch & Creamery) and San Simeon (Piedras Blancas, Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, &more). The adventure continues: cruise along Highway 1 Discovery Route, explore the striking landscape at Morro Rock, do a tasting at Fratelli Perata Winery, and awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Paso Robles holiday planning tool.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. When traveling from Santa Barbara in August, plan for a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Paso Robles: temperatures range from 94°F by day to 55°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.
Parks · Outdoors · Wineries · Beaches
Side Trips

Yosemite National Park — 5 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.
On the 5th (Sun), spend a scenic day exploring the area around Half Dome. There's still lots to do: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, hike along Lembert Dome, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mariposa Grove, and admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park travel route planner.

Getting from Paso Robles to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Paso Robles in September: high temperatures in Yosemite National Park hover around 74°F and lows are around 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

San Jose — 1 night

The metropolitan center of Silicon Valley, San Jose considers itself a global city.
On the 9th (Thu), get engrossed in the history at Computer History Museum and then steep yourself in history at Winchester Mystery House.

For photos, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose road trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to San Jose takes 4 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, plan for somewhat warmer days and much hotter nights in San Jose: temperatures range from 81°F by day to 59°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) so you can go by car to Lafayette.
Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trip

Lafayette — 1 night

Lafayette is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. On the 10th (Fri), stroll around John Muir National Historic Site, view the masterpieces at Moraga Art Gallery, and then hike along Lafayette Reservoir.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Lafayette trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Lafayette in an hour. In September, daily temperatures in Lafayette can reach 86°F, while at night they dip to 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.
Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Wildlife
Side Trips

San Francisco — 4 nights

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for sightseeing, nature, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, and walk around Crissy Field.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read San Francisco day trip planning site.

You can drive from Lafayette to San Francisco in an hour. Traveling from Lafayette in September, you will find days in San Francisco are slightly colder (76°F), and nights are about the same (58°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can go by car to San Rafael.
Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums
Side Trip

San Rafael — 2 nights

Intended as a place of healing, San Rafael has its origins as a mission for the native people who resided in villages nearby.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): immerse yourself in nature at China Camp State Park and then get a taste of the local shopping with Marin County Farmers' Market--San Rafael. On the next day, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Tamalpais State Park and then take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument.

To find reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read San Rafael trip itinerary planning tool.

Getting from San Francisco to San Rafael by car takes about an hour. While traveling from San Francisco, expect somewhat warmer days and slightly colder nights in San Rafael, ranging from highs of 83°F to lows of 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Napa.
Nature · Parks · Shopping
Side Trip

Napa — 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Napa online sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from San Rafael to Napa takes an hour. In September, daytime highs in Napa are 81°F, while nighttime lows are 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Salem.
Tours · Wineries
Side Trip
Highlights from your trip

Salem — 1 night

Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. On the 18th (Sat), get in on the family fun at Enchanted Forest Theme Park and then make a trip to Salem's Riverfront Carousel. Keep things going the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at The Oregon Garden, then admire the majestic nature at Silver Falls State Park, and then do a tasting at Willamette Valley Vineyards.

For maps, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Salem attractions planner.

Traveling by flight from Napa to Salem takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September in Salem, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 52°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to McMinnville.
Parks · Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Nature
Side Trips

McMinnville — 3 nights

McMinnville is the county seat and largest city of Yamhill County, Oregon, United States. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): examine the collection at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and then awaken your taste buds at Cellar Door Wine Tours. Keep things going the next day: admire the verdant scenery at Sokol Blosser Winery, do a tasting at Elizabeth Chambers Cellar, and then learn about winemaking at R Stuart & Co..

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the McMinnville trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Salem to McMinnville in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 77°F in September, and nighttime lows around 50°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can catch the flight to Seattle.
Wineries · Tours · Museums · Nature
Side Trips

Seattle

Nicknamed the "Emerald City" because of its abundant evergreen trees, Seattle is the cultural and business center of the Pacific Northwest, as well as a popular holiday destination.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): view the masterpieces at Glasshouse Studio, explore the world behind art at Chihuly Garden and Glass, and then enjoy breathtaking views from Space Needle.

To see ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Seattle trip builder.

You can fly from McMinnville to Seattle in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from McMinnville in September, expect nights in Seattle to be a bit warmer, around 56°F, while days are little chillier, around 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.
Museums · Shopping

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Theme Parks
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.