8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive
2
Pacifica
Drive
3
Half Moon Bay
Drive
4
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive
5
Monterey
Drive
6
Big Sur
Drive
7
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
8
Morro Bay
Drive
9
San Luis Obispo
Drive
10
Pismo Beach
— 1 night
Drive
11
Lompoc
Drive
12
Solvang
— 1 night
Drive
13
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
14
Ventura
Drive
15
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco — 1 night

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): steep yourself in history at Golden Gate Bridge and then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip maker app.

New York City to San Francisco is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and subway. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. In May, daytime highs in San Francisco are 69°F, while nighttime lows are 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Pacifica.
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Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Neighborhoods

Pacifica

Pacifica is a city in San Mateo County, California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): hike along Sweeney Ridge Trail.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Pacifica trip website.

Pacifica is just a stone's throw from San Francisco. In May, daytime highs in Pacifica are 69°F, while nighttime lows are 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can drive to Half Moon Bay.
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Outdoors · Trails · Parks

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, United States. To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Half Moon Bay vacation builder site.

Half Moon Bay is just a short distance from Pacifica. While traveling from Pacifica, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Half Moon Bay, ranging from highs of 59°F to lows of 49°F. On the 24th (Mon), you'll travel to Santa Cruz.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

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.
To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Santa Cruz trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz in an hour. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and shuttle; or do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. When traveling from Half Moon Bay in May, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Santa Cruz: temperatures range from 69°F by day to 49°F at night. You will leave for Monterey on the 25th (Tue).
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Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wineries

Monterey

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Start off your visit on the 25th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge.

For traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Monterey travel tool.

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Monterey takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Monterey are 65°F, while nighttime lows are 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Big Sur.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches
Side Trip

Big Sur

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
On the 25th (Tue), hike along Partington Cove.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Big Sur road trip site.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Big Sur takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May in Big Sur, expect temperatures between 65°F during the day and 51°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can drive to San Simeon.
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Outdoors · Trails · Parks
Highlights from your trip

San Simeon — 1 night

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 26th (Wed): get great views at Ragged Point Overlook.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, refer to the San Simeon online day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to San Simeon takes 2 hours. Traveling from Big Sur in May, expect nights in San Simeon to be about the same, around 48°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 82°F. On the 26th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Morro Bay.
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Highlights from your trip

Morro Bay

Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. On the 26th (Wed), take in the exciting artwork at Fiona Bleu Gallery and then look for gifts at The Shell Shop.

To see ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Morro Bay trip itinerary planner.

Drive from San Simeon to Morro Bay in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in May, expect nights in Morro Bay to be about the same, around 51°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 73°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Luis Obispo.
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Shopping · Museums

San Luis Obispo

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. To find more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our San Luis Obispo trip maker app.

San Luis Obispo is very close to Morro Bay. May in San Luis Obispo sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 51°F at night. On the 26th (Wed), you're off to Pismo Beach.
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Wineries · Outdoors · Parks · Tours

Pismo Beach — 1 night

Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. To see traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Pismo Beach trip planner.

Pismo Beach is just a short distance from San Luis Obispo. In May, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 51°F. On the 27th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Lompoc.
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Historic Sites

Lompoc

Lompoc is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, on the west coast of the United States. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): learn about winemaking at Dierberg Star Lane Vineyards.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Lompoc online trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Pismo Beach to Lompoc in an hour. While traveling from Pismo Beach, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Lompoc, ranging from highs of 68°F to lows of 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Solvang.
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Wineries
Highlights from your trip

Solvang — 1 night

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): learn about winemaking at Sunstone Winery.

For ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Solvang planning app.

Solvang is just a stone's throw from Lompoc. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Lompoc in May: highs in Solvang hover around 76°F, while lows dip to 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Santa Barbara.
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Wineries
Side Trips

Santa Barbara — 1 night

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.
To find reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Solvang to Santa Barbara takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. While traveling from Solvang, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Santa Barbara, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 52°F. You will leave for Ventura on the 29th (Sat).
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Outdoors · Parks · Wineries · Tours

Ventura

Ventura, officially the City of San Buenaventura, is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States. To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Ventura trip builder app.

Ventura is just a stone's throw from Santa Barbara. In May in Ventura, expect temperatures between 69°F during the day and 55°F at night. You will leave for Santa Monica on the 29th (Sat).
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Parks · Outdoors · Wineries · Tours

Santa Monica — 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sat): see the interesting displays at Paley Center for Media and then don't miss a visit to Two Rodeo Drive.

For photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Monica trip builder website.

Getting from Ventura to Santa Monica by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In May, daily temperatures in Santa Monica can reach 71°F, while at night they dip to 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Sun) to allow time for the flight back home.
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Museums · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Scenic Drive
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.
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