30 days in California Itinerary

30 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California sightseeing planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Francisco International Airport, Drive to Pacifica
1
Pacifica
— 1 night
Drive
2
Montara
— 1 night
Drive
3
Pescadero
— 1 night
Drive
4
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive
5
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive
7
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Morro Bay
— 1 day
Drive
9
Pismo Beach
— 1 night
Drive
10
Santa Maria
— 1 night
Drive
11
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
Fly
12
Sausalito
— 1 night
Drive
13
Sonoma
— 4 nights
Drive
14
Calistoga
— 5 nights
Drive
15
Petaluma
— 1 night
Drive
16
San Rafael
— 1 night
Drive to San Francisco International Airport, Fly to Ankara

S M T W T F S
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3

Pacifica

— 1 night
Pacifica is a city in San Mateo County, California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. Start off your visit on the 1st (Mon): explore the landscape on two wheels at Devil's Slide Trail and then stroll around Coyote Point Recreation Area.

For photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Pacifica trip maker.

Ankara, Turkey to Pacifica is an approximately 19-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Ankara to Pacifica is minus 11 hours. When traveling from Ankara in December, plan for much hotter days and somewhat warmer nights in Pacifica: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 8°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Montara.

Things to do in Pacifica

Parks · Trails · Outdoors

Side Trip

Montara

— 1 night
Montara is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Mateo County, California, United States. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve.

To find reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Montara online visit planner.

Montara is just a short distance from Pacifica. In January, daily temperatures in Montara can reach 17°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. On the 2nd (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Pescadero.

Things to do in Montara

Wildlife · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Pescadero

— 1 night
Pescadero is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Mateo County, California two miles (3 km) east of State Route 1 and Pescadero State Beach. On the 3rd (Wed), walk around Bean Hollow State Beach, Pebble Beach and then kick back and relax at Bean Hollow State Beach.

For reviews, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Pescadero trip website.

Traveling by car from Montara to Pescadero takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in January, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Pescadero

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Santa Cruz

— 1 night
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
On the 4th (Thu), kick back and relax at Natural Bridges State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and then explore the world behind art at Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read Santa Cruz visit planner.

Traveling by car from Pescadero to Santa Cruz takes an hour. January in Santa Cruz sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 5°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Monterey

— 3 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Do some cultural sightseeing at Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Doc Rickett's Pacific Biological Laboratories. Visit Asilomar State Beach and Carmel River State Beach for some beach relaxation. There's still lots to do: explore and take pictures at 17-Mile Drive, pause for some serene contemplation at San Carlos Cathedral, stop by The Cheese Shop, and immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos.

You can plan Monterey trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Drive from Santa Cruz to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Nature

Side Trips

Big Sur

— 1 night

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 8th (Mon): get a taste of the local shopping with Coast Gallery Big Sur, stroll through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Big Sur trip builder.

Drive from Monterey to Big Sur in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in January, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

San Simeon

— 2 nights
When you arrive in tiny San Simeon, which lies halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can see why William Randolph Hearst chose this coastal locale for his famous hilltop castle.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Tue): stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, stop by Sebastian General Store, then do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle.

To find maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the San Simeon driving holiday planner.

Getting from Big Sur to San Simeon by car takes about 2 hours. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Big Sur in January since evenings lows in San Simeon dip to 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Morro Bay.

Things to do in San Simeon

Shopping · Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites

Morro Bay

— 1 day
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): do a tasting at Turley Cellars, then learn about winemaking at Rotta Winery, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Morro Rock.

For reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Morro Bay tour planning tool.

Getting from San Simeon to Morro Bay by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in January, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Morro Bay, with lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can go by car to Pismo Beach.

Things to do in Morro Bay

Wineries · Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Pismo Beach

— 1 night
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. Start off your visit on the 11th (Thu): take in the history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, visit Bubblegum Alley, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monarch Butterfly Grove.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Pismo Beach road trip site.

Pismo Beach is just a short distance from Morro Bay. January in Pismo Beach sees daily highs of 23°C and lows of 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to drive to Santa Maria.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Wildlife · Parks · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Santa Maria

— 1 night
Santa Maria is a city near the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara County. Start off your visit on the 12th (Fri): do a tasting at Rancho Sisquoc Winery and then learn about winemaking at Foxen Vineyard & Winery.

To find ratings, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read Santa Maria journey planner.

Santa Maria is just a stone's throw from Pismo Beach. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Maria

Wineries

Santa Barbara

— 4 nights

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.
Old Mission Santa Barbara and The Getty Villa are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of Santa Barbara to go to Simi Valley and see Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: admire the landmark architecture of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, learn about winemaking at Jaffurs Wine Cellars, walk around Alameda Park, and take in the waterfront at Santa Barbara Harbor.

To plan Santa Barbara vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara in 1.5 hours. In January in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Tue) to allow time for the flight to Sausalito.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Sausalito

— 1 night
Sausalito is a city in Marin County, California. On the 17th (Wed), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Muir Woods National Monument and then enjoy the sand and surf at Rodeo Beach.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Sausalito trip builder site.

You can fly from Santa Barbara to Sausalito in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Santa Barbara in January: highs in Sausalito hover around 17°C, while lows dip to 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can go by car to Sonoma.

Things to do in Sausalito

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Sonoma

— 4 nights
Set in the heart of one of the United States' most esteemed wine-producing regions, just 45 minutes from San Francisco, Sonoma boasts colonial Mexican architecture, including a mission.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Wine Tours & Tastings and Sonoma Valley. Go for a jaunt from Sonoma to Napa to see The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum about 32 minutes away. There's much more to do: explore and take pictures at Jack London State Historic Park, do a tasting at Baldacci Family Vineyards, shop like a local with Darioush Winery, and take in the history at Mission San Francisco Solano.

For maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Sonoma trip planner.

You can drive from Sausalito to Sonoma in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Sonoma when traveling from Sausalito in January, with lows around 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can go by car to Calistoga.

Things to do in Sonoma

Wineries · Tours · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Calistoga

— 5 nights
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Mumm Napa and Gracianna Winery. Change things up with these side-trips from Calistoga: Fort Ross State Historic Park (in Jenner) and Healdsburg (Simi Winery, Ferrari-Carano Winery, &more). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Sharpsteen Museum, do a tasting at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, and indulge your taste buds at Castello di Amorosa.

To see ratings, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Calistoga trip itinerary planning website.

You can drive from Sonoma to Calistoga in an hour. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In January, daily temperatures in Calistoga can reach 18°C, while at night they dip to 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Petaluma.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries · Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping

Side Trips

Petaluma

— 1 night
Petaluma is a city in Sonoma County, California, United States, 32mi north of San Francisco. Start off your visit on the 27th (Sat): relax in the rural setting at Marin French Cheese Company, then immerse yourself in nature at Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, and then do a tasting at Sonoma Portworks.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Petaluma tour itinerary app.

You can drive from Calistoga to Petaluma in an hour. In January, daytime highs in Petaluma are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to travel to San Rafael.

Things to do in Petaluma

Nature · Parks · Wineries

San Rafael

— 1 night
Intended as a place of healing, San Rafael has its origins as a mission for the native people who resided in villages nearby.
On the 28th (Sun), admire the architecture and history at Mission San Rafael Arcangel and then enjoy the sand and surf at Stinson Beach.

To find where to stay, maps, and tourist information, you can read our San Rafael trip planner.

San Rafael is just a stone's throw from Petaluma. In January, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Rafael

Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trip

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.