9 days in California Itinerary

9 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation builder

Make it your trip
San Francisco
— 3 nights
San Diego
— 2 nights
Los Angeles
— 3 nights


San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for nature, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, take some stellar pictures from Twin Peaks, and step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the San Francisco online tour planner.

Des Moines to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Des Moines to San Francisco, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Des Moines in January; daily highs in San Francisco reach 59°F and lows reach 46°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can travel to San Diego.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums

San Diego

— 2 nights

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.
On the 10th (Sun), see the interesting displays at Maritime Museum of San Diego and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at San Diego Zoo. Keep things going the next day: see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum and then let the kids burn off some steam at Balboa Park.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read San Diego road trip planning website.

You can fly from San Francisco to San Diego in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in January: highs in San Diego hover around 67°F, while lows dip to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Fun & Games

Los Angeles

— 3 nights

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.
When in Los Angeles, make a side trip to see Disneyland Park in Anaheim, approximately Anaheim away. Pack the 14th (Thu) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's still lots to do: examine the collection at The Getty Center, shop like a local with The Grove, take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, and admire the landmark architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

To see ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles online day trip planner.

Drive from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in January, and nighttime lows around 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks · Museums · Nightlife · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

California travel guide

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.