8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary builder

Make it your trip
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1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Half Moon Bay
Drive
3
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
5
Los Angeles
Drive
6
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Drive
7
Laguna Beach
— 1 night
Drive
8
San Diego
— 1 night
Fly

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San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Baker Beach, then take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island.

To find ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco travel planner.

Chicago to San Francisco is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and subway. The time zone difference when traveling from Chicago to San Francisco is minus 2 hours. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Chicago in March, with highs in San Francisco at 65°F and lows at 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to drive to Half Moon Bay.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, United States. On the 15th (Fri), kick back and relax at Half Moon Bay State Beach.

For maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Half Moon Bay day trip planning site.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay takes an hour. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from San Francisco in March, with highs in Half Moon Bay at 59°F and lows at 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to Monterey.

Things to do in Half Moon Bay

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches
Highlights from your trip

Monterey

— 1 night
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 15th (Fri): get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

For more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Monterey online driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Half Moon Bay to Monterey in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and train. March in Monterey sees daily highs of 64°F and lows of 47°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Old Mission Santa Barbara, learn about winemaking at Jaffurs Wine Cellars, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Santa Barbara Zoo, and finally admire all the interesting features of State Street Underpass.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara tour itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Monterey to Santa Barbara in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Santa Barbara can reach 69°F, while at night they dip to 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites · Wineries

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.
To find reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles online route planner.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in March, plan for a bit warmer nights in Los Angeles, with lows around 54°F. You'll set off for Santa Monica on the 17th (Sun).

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Nightlife

Santa Monica

— 1 night

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.
On the 18th (Mon), see the interesting displays at The Getty Villa, enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica State Beach, then take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, and finally make a trip to Santa Monica Yacht Harbor Sign.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Monica trip itinerary maker website.

Santa Monica is just a stone's throw from Los Angeles. Traveling from Los Angeles in March, expect nights in Santa Monica to be about the same, around 54°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Laguna Beach.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Laguna Beach

— 1 night
Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, in the United States. Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): kick back and relax at Crystal Cove.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Laguna Beach trip maker website.

You can drive from Santa Monica to Laguna Beach in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of tram, train, and taxi; or do a combination of tram and bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 71°F, and evening lows to 54°F. On the 19th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Laguna Beach

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Highlights from your trip

San Diego

— 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Children's Pool.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the San Diego trip itinerary maker site.

Getting from Laguna Beach to San Diego by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and train. In March, daily temperatures in San Diego can reach 69°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. On the 20th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Museums

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.