37 days in California Itinerary

37 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Diego
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Los Angeles
— 7 nights
Drive
3
Santa Barbara
— 5 nights
Drive
4
San Luis Obispo
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Carmel
— 6 nights
Drive
6
San Francisco
— 7 nights
Fly

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San Diego

— 6 nights

America's Finest City

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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and Fort Rosecrans Cemetery. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at La Jolla Shores Park and Coronado Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from San Diego: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (in Borrego Springs) and Lions, Tigers & Bears (in Alpine). There's lots more to do: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, shop like a local with Liberty Public Market, explore the striking landscape at Point Loma, and immerse yourself in nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

To find where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the San Diego trip site.

Dallas to San Diego is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Dallas to San Diego due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Dallas in January, expect San Diego to be somewhat warmer, temps between 67°F and 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Los Angeles

— 7 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Do your shopping at LA Farmers' Market and Citadel Outlets. Visit The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens and Hollywood Walk of Fame for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (in Simi Valley), Crystal Cove (in Laguna Beach) and Mission San Juan Capistrano (in San Juan Capistrano). And it doesn't end there: admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum, get a taste of the local shopping with The Grove, examine the collection at The Getty Center, and take a stroll through Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles trip planner.

Drive from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In January, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping · Museums · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 5 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.
Head to Camarillo Premium Outlets and Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurantsfor plenty of shopping. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Wine Tours & Tastings and Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Explore Santa Barbara's surroundings by going to Ostrich Land (in Buellton), Wildling Museum of Art and Nature (in Solvang) and Human Arts Gallery (in Ojai). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, relax and rejuvenate at Salt Cave, take in the pleasant sights at Santa Barbara Harbor, and wander the streets of State Street Underpass.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara day trip website.

Drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Los Angeles in January since evenings lows in Santa Barbara dip to 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) to allow time to drive to San Luis Obispo.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping · Tours · Wineries · Parks

Side Trips

San Luis Obispo

— 5 nights
San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. state of California, located roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Central Coast. Visit Hearst Castle and Rotta Winery for their historical value. Do your shopping at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop and Harmony Pottery Works. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Luis Obispo: Piedras Blancas (in San Simeon), Jack Creek Celllars (in Templeton) and Cambria (Ephraim Pottery West Gallery, Greenspace Creekside Reserve, &more). There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Monarch Butterfly Grove, take in the exciting artwork at Fiona Bleu Gallery, explore the striking landscape at Morro Rock, and learn about winemaking at Tobin James Cellars.

To see ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our San Luis Obispo trip itinerary planning site.

Drive from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 68°F in January, and nighttime lows around 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Parks · Shopping · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trips

Carmel

— 6 nights
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. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Pfeiffer State Beach and Carmel River State Beach. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery and Gallery by the Sea Carmel. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carmel: Big Sur (McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, &more), Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Moss Landing) and Santa Cruz (West Cliff Drive & Natural Bridges State Beach). Next up on the itinerary: immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, enjoy the sand and surf at Asilomar State Beach, get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and do a tasting at De Tierra Vineyards Tasting Room.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Carmel online trip maker.

Traveling by car from San Luis Obispo to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from San Luis Obispo in February, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 63°F by day to 45°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 7 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Get outdoors at Alcatraz Island and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve. Get some cultural insight at Golden Gate Bridge and California State Railroad Museum. Explore San Francisco's surroundings by going to Crocker Art Museum (in Sacramento), Mumm Napa (in Rutherford) and Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga). The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at Walt Disney Family Museum, identify plant and animal life at Marin Headlands, walk around Presidio of San Francisco, and contemplate the long history of City Lights Booksellers.

To see photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the San Francisco itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 62°F, and evening lows to 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trips

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.