52 days in California Itinerary

52 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California journey planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sacramento
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Napa
— 5 nights
Drive
3
San Francisco
— 7 nights
Drive
4
San Jose
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
Drive
7
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 1 night
Drive
8
Fresno
— 2 nights
Drive
9
San Luis Obispo
— 4 nights
Drive
10
Santa Barbara
— 3 nights
Drive
11
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive
12
Los Angeles
— 7 nights
Drive
13
Long Beach
— 2 nights
Drive
14
Santa Monica
— 4 nights
Drive
15
Anaheim
— 3 nights
Drive
16
Huntington Beach
— 3 nights
Fly

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Sacramento

— 2 nights

River City

The capital city of America's most economically significant state, Sacramento is an important stop for any politico.
On the 1st (Sat), make a trip to Tower Bridge, get to know the resident critters at Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, take an in-depth tour of Folsom Prison Museum, then get some jogging in at McKinley Park, then meet the residents at Sacramento Zoo, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Cosumnes River Preserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun): trek along Stevens Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at California State Capitol Museum, examine the collection at California Automobile Museum, admire the masterpieces at Crocker Art Museum, then examine the collection at California State Railroad Museum, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Capitol Park.

To see reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Sacramento holiday planning tool.

Manchester, UK to Sacramento is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 8 hours. When traveling from Manchester in January, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Sacramento: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 4°C at night. You'll have a few hours on the 3rd (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Napa.

Things to do in Sacramento

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Napa

— 5 nights

America's Wine Country

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Napa: St. Helena (Modus Operandi Cellars, Beringer Vineyards, &more), Healdsburg (Moni Claire Vineyards, Sapphire Hill Winery, &more) and Santa Rosa (Safari West & Railroad Square Historic District). Dedicate the 3rd (Mon) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Jack London State Historic Park, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, do a tasting at Robert Mondavi Winery, and admire the masterpieces at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.

To find reviews and other tourist information, use the Napa day trip site.

Drive from Sacramento to Napa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In January in Napa, expect temperatures between 17°C during the day and 3°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to San Francisco.

Things to do in Napa

Wineries · Tours · Parks · Outdoors

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.
Explore San Francisco's surroundings by going to Mill Valley (Steep Ravine Environmental Campground, Muir Woods National Monument, &more), Green Gulch Farm (in Muir Beach) and Point Reyes Safaris (in Point Reyes Station). And it doesn't end there: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden, stop by Fisherman's Wharf, and get curious at California Academy of Sciences.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip planning site.

You can drive from Napa to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and subway; or take a bus. Traveling from Napa in January, expect a bit warmer with lows of 9°C in San Francisco. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Tours · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

San Jose

— 2 nights

Capital of Silicon Valley

The metropolitan center of Silicon Valley, San Jose considers itself a global city.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sat): walk around Coyote Hills Regional Park, take a stroll through Stanford Shopping Center, get a taste of the local shopping with Pace Art and Technology, then relax and rejuvenate at Hanuman Yoga Retreat, and finally walk around Almaden Quicksilver County Park. On the 16th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the natural beauty at Municipal Rose Garden, delve into the mystery of Winchester Mystery House, get engrossed in the history at Computer History Museum, see the interesting displays at The Tech Interactive, then take an in-depth tour of Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and finally head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To see other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to San Jose takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a subway. In January, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Tours

Side Trips

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. Explore Monterey's surroundings by going to Capitola Beach (in Capitola), West Cliff Drive (in Santa Cruz) and Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Moss Landing). There's lots more to do: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, don't miss a visit to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, and take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Monterey online tour planner.

Traveling by car from San Jose to Monterey takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and 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 20th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors · Parks · Scenic Drive · Museums

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Fri): stroll through Badger Pass Ski Area.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park journey planning website.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Yosemite National Park takes 5 hours. When traveling from Monterey in January, plan for little chillier days and much colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 7°C by day to -12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Outdoors · Winter Sports · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

— 1 night

A Land of Giants

With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): hike along Big Stump Basin, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Kings Canyon National Park, explore and take pictures at Generals Hwy, then surround yourself with nature on Sequoia Sightseeing Tours, then take in the dramatic natural features at Moro Rock Trail, and finally delve into the lush surroundings at Giant Forest.

For other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip itinerary planning website.

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5.5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with highs around 17°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to drive to Fresno.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Fresno

— 2 nights
The only metropolitan hub nestled between three national parks, Fresno makes a surprisingly lively getaway.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): pause for some serene contemplation at St. Johns Cathedral of Fresno.

Make your Fresno itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Fresno in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, shuttle, and bus. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in January, and nighttime lows around 5°C. On the 24th (Mon), you'll travel to San Luis Obispo.

Things to do in Fresno

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

San Luis Obispo

— 4 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. Change things up with these side-trips from San Luis Obispo: Montana de Oro State Park (in Los Osos), San Simeon (Piedras Blancas, Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, &more) and Cambria (Nitt Witt Ridge, Moonstone Beach, &more). There's still lots to do: explore the landscape on two wheels at Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, sample some tasty brews at a beer tour and tasting, learn about all things military at Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum, and walk around Cuesta Canyon County Park.

To see reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read San Luis Obispo attractions planning tool.

Traveling by car from Fresno to San Luis Obispo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. When traveling from Fresno in January, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in San Luis Obispo: temperatures range from 23°C by day to 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wineries

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 3 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.
Explore Santa Barbara's surroundings by going to Santa Maria (Rancho Sisquoc Winery & Foxen Canyon Wine Trail), Spas (in Ojai) and Ventura (Ventura Pier and Promenade & Serra Cross Park). There's still lots to do: savor the flavors at Food & Drink, don't miss a visit to Old Mission Santa Barbara, take an in-depth tour of Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and immerse yourself in nature at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara online itinerary planner.

Drive from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries · Tours · Parks · Shopping

Side Trips

Death Valley National Park

— 1 night

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 1st (Tue), explore the striking landscape at The Devil's Speedway, take in the dramatic natural features at Devil's Golf Course, contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, cruise along Artists Dr, then take in breathtaking views at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, and finally explore the stunning scenery at Golden Canyon.

To see photos, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Death Valley National Park tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Santa Barbara to Death Valley National Park by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, bus, and car. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Santa Barbara in January, with highs in Death Valley National Park at 17°C and lows at 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Los Angeles: Arcadia (Santa Anita Race Park & Angeles National Forest). There's much more to do: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Hollywood, get a new perspective on nature at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, admire the striking features of Walt Disney Concert Hall, and examine the collection at The Getty Center.

For photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Los Angeles visit planner.

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Los Angeles in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in February, expect Los Angeles to be a bit warmer, temps between 25°C and 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can drive to Long Beach.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums · Parks · Theme Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Long Beach

— 2 nights

Aquatic Capital of America

Long Beach has long been overshadowed by its bigger and more famous neighbor known as the City of Angels.
On the 8th (Tue), take a tour of Californian, then examine the collection at The Queen Mary, and then don't miss a visit to Pine Avenue. Here are some ideas for day two: step off the mainland to explore Naple Canals, take a leisurely stroll along Seal Beach Pier, head outdoors with Alamitos Bay, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then pause for some photo ops at US Submarine Veterans WWII National Memorial West, and finally contemplate the long history of Rancho Los Alamitos.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Long Beach trip planner.

Long Beach is just a stone's throw from Los Angeles. In February in Long Beach, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 11°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Long Beach

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Tours

Side Trips

Santa Monica

— 4 nights

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Santa Monica side-trips: Manhattan Beach (Manhattan Beach Pier & Manhattan Beach), Malibu (Frederick Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu Wine Safaris, &more) and Hermosa Beach Pier (in Hermosa Beach). There's much more to do: take in breathtaking views at Coldwater Canyon Park, steep yourself in history at Greystone Mansion and Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, and admire all the interesting features of Mulholland Drive.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Monica trip itinerary builder site.

You can drive from Long Beach to Santa Monica in an hour. Alternatively, you can ride a tram; or take a bus. February in Santa Monica sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to drive to Anaheim.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Shopping

Side Trips

Anaheim

— 3 nights

Heart of Orange County

Anaheim's major attractions are its world-famous Disney entertainment complex, sports teams, and convention center.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Anaheim: Carlsbad (Carlsbad Village, Museum of Making Music, &more), Oceanside (Oceanside Pier & Oceanside Strand) and Old Town Temecula (in Temecula). The adventure continues: make an unforgettable trip to Disneyland Park, don't miss a visit to Anaheim Packing District, find something for the whole family at Disney California Adventure Park, and catch some excitement at It's a Small World.

For ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Anaheim travel planning tool.

You can drive from Santa Monica to Anaheim in an hour. Other options are to do a combination of tram and train; or do a combination of tram and bus. Traveling from Santa Monica in February, you will find days in Anaheim are a bit warmer (26°C), and nights are about the same (11°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) so you can drive to Huntington Beach.

Things to do in Anaheim

Theme Parks · Fun & Games · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Huntington Beach

— 3 nights
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. On the 17th (Thu), enjoy the sand and surf at Huntington Dog Beach, then take in the waterfront at Huntington Beach Pier, and then visit Downtown Huntington Beach. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Newport Beach, step off the mainland to explore Balboa Island, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, tour the pleasant surroundings at Pacific Marine Mammal Center, then look for gifts at Buy Hand, and finally stroll around Heisler Park.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Huntington Beach holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Anaheim to Huntington Beach takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In February in Huntington Beach, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly back home.

Things to do in Huntington Beach

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Beaches

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.