9 days in California Itinerary

9 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in California Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
Fly:  7​h 30​min
1
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  30​min
2
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
End: Philadelphia

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.
Get some cultural insight at Getty Center The Publications and Venice Canals Walkway. You'll explore and learn at Griffith Observatory and La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. Pack the 27th (Sun) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, get to know the fascinating history of Hollywood Walk of Fame, and stroll the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

To see ratings, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles itinerary maker.

Philadelphia to Los Angeles is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. Traveling from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 84°F in August, and nighttime lows around 66°F. On the 29th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Hollywood ©
Universal Studios Hollywood
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

1
night
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
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 29th (Tue), kick back and relax at Santa Monica Beach.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Santa Monica vacation trip planner.

Santa Monica is just a short distance from Los Angeles. When traveling from Los Angeles in August, plan for a bit cooler days in Santa Monica, with highs around 76°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Zuma Beach
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach
Zuma Beach ©
Zuma Beach

2
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Friends of Hearst Castle as well as William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. Kick off your visit on the 31st (Thu): kick back and relax at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, then contemplate the long history of Friends of Hearst Castle, and then examine the collection at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary). On the 1st (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Piedras Blancas and then look for gifts at Sebastian General Store.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the San Simeon trip builder.

You can drive from Santa Monica to San Simeon in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In August, San Simeon is slightly colder than Santa Monica - with highs of 60°F and lows of 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach ©

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): stroll through Twin Peaks, examine the collection at de Young Museum, and then see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum.

To find reviews, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read San Francisco travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to San Francisco in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Simeon in September: highs in San Francisco hover around 74°F, while lows dip to 57°F. On the 3rd (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Cable Car Museum ©
Cable Car Museum
de Young Museum ©
de Young Museum
SS Jeremiah O'Brien ©
SS Jeremiah O'Brien

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