8 days in United States Itinerary

8 days in United States Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in United States Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Drive:  4​h 30​min
1
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Diego
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

3
nights
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Piedras Blancas and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Family-friendly places like Pfeiffer State Beach and Elephant Seal Rookery will thrill your kids. When in San Simeon, make a side trip to see McWay Falls in Big Sur, approximately 1h 15 min away. And it doesn't end there: stroll through William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, and stop by Sebastian General Store.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read San Simeon trip tool .

San Francisco to San Simeon is an approximately 4.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of train and taxi; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in July, you will find days in San Simeon are a bit cooler (59°F), and nights are about the same (53°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Big Sur
Highlights from your plan
William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach ©
Hearst Ranch Winery ©
Hearst Ranch Winery
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): learn about winemaking at Grassini Family Vineyards, then steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, and then take a stroll through State Street. Keep things going the next day: savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara trip itinerary tool .

You can drive from San Simeon to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from San Simeon in July, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Santa Barbara: temperatures range from 74°F by day to 58°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Grassini Family Vineyards ©
Grassini Family Vineyards
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): engage your brain at California Science Center, then get engrossed in the history at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Santa Monica Bay.

To see other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles trip planner .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Santa Barbara in July: high temperatures in Los Angeles hover around 83°F and lows are around 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Childrens Museums Beaches
Highlights from your plan
California Science Center ©
California Science Center
Santa Monica Bay ©
Santa Monica Bay
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

1
night
San Diego

San Diego ©
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.
On the 22nd (Sun), admire nature's wide array of creatures at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and then stroll through La Jolla Shores Park. On the 23rd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Carlsbad State Beach and then immerse yourself in nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our San Diego trip maker website .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Los Angeles in July, you will find days in San Diego are a bit cooler (77°F), and nights are about the same (68°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

South Carlsbad State Beach
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park
South Carlsbad State Beach ©
South Carlsbad State Beach
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©

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