8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

8 days in California Itinerary

Start: Lafayette
Fly:  7​h 30​min
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h 15​min
End: Lafayette

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): head off the coast to Alcatraz Island.

To find photos, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip planning app .

Lafayette to San Francisco is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 2 hours. In May, San Francisco is slightly colder than Lafayette - with highs of 69°F and lows of 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Shopping Nature
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Union Square ©
Union Square

2
nights
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park ©
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 27th (Mon): take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View, then explore the striking landscape at Taft Point, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Tue): explore the world behind art at Yosemite Museum Gallery, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, then don't miss a visit to Valley View, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park day trip planning site .

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from San Francisco in May since evenings lows in Yosemite National Park dip to 34°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Nature Parks Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite, Tunnel View ©
Yosemite, Tunnel View
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

2
nights
Carmel

Carmel ©
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. On the 29th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then stop by The Cheese Shop. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Thu): take in the exciting artwork at Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery, view the masterpieces at Carmel Art Association, get a taste of the local shopping with Photography West Gallery, then stop by Trio Carmel, then take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, and finally pick up some local products at Pacific Grove Certified Farmers' Market.

To see ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Carmel road trip tool .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Carmel takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Carmel when traveling from Yosemite National Park in May, with lows around 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Carmel

Shopping Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Pacific Grove Certified Farmers' Market
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos

1
night
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Fri): cruise along State Street, steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, then stop by The Sacred Space, and finally stop by Italian Pottery Outlet.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Santa Barbara trip planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Santa Barbara takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. When traveling from Carmel in May, plan for a bit warmer days in Santa Barbara, with highs around 71°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 52°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trip

The Sacred Space
Highlights from your plan
The Sacred Space ©
The Sacred Space
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Italian Pottery Outlet ©
Italian Pottery Outlet

1
night
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sat): examine the collection at The Getty Center and then look for gifts at Amoeba Music.

To find more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Los Angeles road trip site .

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Los Angeles when traveling from Santa Barbara in May, with lows around 59°F. On the 1st (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Amoeba Music ©
Amoeba Music

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