8 days in Napa Valley & Santa Cruz Itinerary

8 days in Napa Valley & Santa Cruz Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Napa Valley & Santa Cruz Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Drive:  9​h
1
Calistoga
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Santa Cruz
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
End: San Diego

3
nights
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Step out of the city life by going to Petrified Forest and Old Faithful Geyser of California. Family-friendly places like Safari West and Sonoma Coast State Beach will thrill your kids. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Calistoga: Oxbow Public Market (in Napa), Patrick Amiot (in Sebastopol) and Bodega Head (in Bodega Bay). There's much more to do: take in the exciting artwork at Mumm Napa, do a tasting at Huge Bear at The Bank Tasting Room, and savor the flavors at Castello di Amorosa.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Calistoga journey planner .

San Diego to Calistoga is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Calistoga when traveling from San Diego in August, with lows around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Calistoga

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Sonoma Coast State Beach, Patrick Amiot, Bodega Head, Mumm Napa, Oxbow Public Market
Highlights from your plan
Oxbow Public Market ©
Oxbow Public Market
Sonoma Coast State Beach ©
Sonoma Coast State Beach
Safari West ©
Safari West

4
nights
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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Point Lobos and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Get in touch with nature at 17-Mile Drive and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Get out of town with these interesting Santa Cruz side-trips: Carmel (Carmel River State Beach, Wyland Gallery Carmel, & more), AiX (in Sand City) and Pacific Grove (Pacific Grove Certified Farmers' Market & Asilomar State Beach). There's still lots to do: get in on the family fun at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and take in the pleasant sights at Shark Fin Cove.

For photos and more tourist information, read Santa Cruz online attractions planner .

You can drive from Calistoga to Santa Cruz in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or take a bus. While traveling from Calistoga, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Santa Cruz, ranging from highs of 74°F to lows of 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Shark Fin Cove, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive

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