40 days in United States Itinerary

40 days in United States Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Drive
2
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive
3
Monterey
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Big Sur
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Santa Barbara
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Santa Monica
— 5 nights
Drive
7
San Diego
— 7 nights
Drive
8
Los Angeles
— 7 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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31
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6
nights
San Francisco

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. Change things up with these side-trips from San Francisco: Oakland California Temple (in Oakland), Sonoma Barracks (in Sonoma) and Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides (in Yountville). Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Alcatraz Island, walk around Golden Gate Park, wander the streets of Union Square, and get curious at Exploratorium.

For more things to do, photos, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip itinerary builder.

Chicago to San Francisco is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and subway. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Chicago to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Chicago in December, you will find days in San Francisco are much hotter (59°F), and nights are a bit warmer (45°F). On the 30th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
Exploratorium ©
Science Museum
Exploratorium
4.6
Alcatraz Island ©
Must see
Alcatraz Island
4.7

1
night
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 30th (Wed), go for a walk through Shark Fin Cove, do a tasting at Beauregard Vineyard, and then take a memorable drive along West Cliff Drive.

To find other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Santa Cruz road trip planning tool.

You can drive from San Francisco to Santa Cruz in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect little chillier evenings in Santa Cruz when traveling from San Francisco in December, with lows around 40°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Theme Parks · Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Wineries

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
Shark Fin Cove ©
Scenic Walking Area
Shark Fin Cove
4.5
Boardwalk's Cocoanut Grove ©
Pier / Boardwalk
Boardwalk's Cocoanut Grove
4.1

5
nights
Monterey

Monterey is a city in the U.S. Bring the kids along to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Point Lobos. There's lots more to do: observe the fascinating underwater world at Monterey Bay Aquarium, cruise along 17-Mile Drive, play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Monterey trip website.

Drive from Santa Cruz to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 62°F, while at night they dip to 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Golf

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip

3
nights
Big Sur

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Bring the kids along to Pfeiffer State Beach and Limekiln State Park. There's still lots to do: take in the views from Bixby Bridge, take some stellar pictures from Rocky Creek Bridge, admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, and shop like a local with Coast Gallery Big Sur.

For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Big Sur visit planner.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Big Sur takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 62°F in January, and nighttime lows around 44°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
Highlights from your trip

5
nights
Santa Barbara

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.
Family-friendly places like Santa Barbara Zoo and Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail will thrill your kids. Explore Santa Barbara's surroundings by going to Solvang (Hans Christian Andersen Park & Hans Christian Andersen Museum) and The Luffa Farm (in Nipomo). There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, make a trip to Chaucer's Bookstore, admire the masterpieces at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara trip planner.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to Santa Barbara takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Santa Barbara can reach 66°F, while at night they dip to 43°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip

5
nights
Santa Monica

Fortunate People in a Fortunate Land

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.
Bring the kids along to Santa Monica Pier and Two Rodeo Drive. Change things up with a short trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita (about 42 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: cruise along Mulholland Drive, wander the streets of Rodeo Drive, walk around Coldwater Canyon Park, and take in the pleasant sights at 26-Mile Bike Path.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Monica trip maker website.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica in 2 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Santa Monica, with lows of 50°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Shopping

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
Santa Monica Pier ©
Pier / Boardwalk
Santa Monica Pier
4.1
The Getty Villa ©
Specialty Museum
The Getty Villa
4.7

7
nights
San Diego

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.
Kids will enjoy San Diego Zoo and USS Midway Museum. The adventure continues: try out the rides at SeaWorld San Diego, take an unforgettable tour with Corporate Helicopters, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and admire the natural beauty at Balboa Park.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read San Diego road trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Santa Monica to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of tram and train. Expect a daytime high around 67°F in January, and nighttime lows around 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors · Museums
Highlights from your trip

7
nights
Los Angeles

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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Disney California Adventure Park and The Getty Center. Change things up with these side-trips from Los Angeles: Anaheim (Soarin' Around The World, Radiator Springs Racers, &more). Next up on the itinerary: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Hollywood, look and learn at Griffith Observatory, admire the landmark architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall, and make a trip to Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Los Angeles online holiday builder.

You can drive from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. January in Los Angeles sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 49°F at night. On the 1st (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks · Museums · Fun & Games · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
Disney California Adventure Park ©
Disney Park / Activity
Disney California Adventure Park
4.5
Downtown Disney ©
Disney Park / Activity
Downtown Disney
4.3

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