9 days in California Itinerary

9 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour itinerary planner

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Route & dates

9 days in California Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Houston

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Appreciate the collections at Exploratorium and Cable Car Museum. Get some cultural insight at Alcatraz Island and Asian Art Museum. And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Union Square, see the interesting displays at de Young Museum, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip planner.

Houston to San Francisco is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and subway; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Houston to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Houston in March: high temperatures in San Francisco hover around 65°F and lows are around 50°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Cable Car Museum ©
Cable Car Museum

1
night
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. Start off your visit on the 11th (Mon): kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and then look for gifts at The Cheese Shop.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Carmel trip planning website .

Drive from San Francisco to Carmel in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Carmel can reach 64°F, while at night they dip to 47°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

1
night
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.
On the 12th (Tue), admire the natural beauty at Cambria Nursery & Florist, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To find photos, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary builder website .

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in March: highs in San Simeon hover around 72°F, while lows dip to 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Cambria Nursery and Florist ©
Cambria Nursery and Florist

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.
On the 13th (Wed), explore and take pictures at State Street, contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, then take in panoramic vistas at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and finally revel in the low prices at Italian Pottery Outlet.

You can plan Santa Barbara trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

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. Traveling from San Simeon in March, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Santa Barbara, with lows of 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Italian Pottery Outlet ©
Italian Pottery Outlet
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Courthouse ©
Santa Barbara County Courthouse

3
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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and Avila Adobe. Get a sense of the local culture at The Getty Center and Montana Avenue. There's much more to do: see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory, explore the world behind art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, get a new perspective on nature at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and shop like a local with Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Los Angeles trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in March, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Los Angeles, with lows of 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Childrens Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Montana Avenue
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Petersen Automotive Museum ©
Petersen Automotive Museum
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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