7 days in San Francisco, Santa Cruz & Monterey Itinerary

7 days in San Francisco, Santa Cruz & Monterey Itinerary

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Route & dates

7 days in San Francisco, Santa Cruz & Monterey Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
3
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
End: San Francisco

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for nature, museums, parks, nightlife, and childrens museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the striking landscape of Alcatraz Island, snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, take a stroll through Fisherman's Wharf, and take in nature's colorful creations at Japanese Tea Garden.

Plan trip to San Francisco with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

If you are flying in from Australia, the closest major airports are San Francisco International Airport, Metropolitan Oakland International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. In September, daily temperatures in San Francisco can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

1
night
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Wed): admire all the interesting features of Mystery Spot, then take in the pleasant sights at West Cliff Drive, and then take a leisurely stroll along Santa Cruz Wharf.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Santa Cruz trip planner .

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. In September, daily temperatures in Santa Cruz can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Monterey.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Santa Cruz Wharf ©
Santa Cruz Wharf
Mystery Spot ©
Mystery Spot

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then trek along Point Lobos State Reserve, and then don't miss a visit to San Carlos Cathedral. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then cruise along 17-Mile Drive.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Monterey vacation site .

Drive from Santa Cruz to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Santa Cruz in September, plan for slightly colder days in Monterey, with highs around 24°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°C. You'll have a few hours on the 29th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Carmel, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium

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