9 days in Santa Cruz & Birmingham Itinerary

9 days in Santa Cruz & Birmingham Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Santa Cruz & Birmingham Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Drive:  1​h 30​min
1
Santa Cruz
— 5 nights
Fly:  9​h
2
Birmingham
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

5
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Lovers Point. Get a sense of the local culture at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission and Mission San Juan Bautista. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Cruz: San Carlos Cathedral (in Monterey), Carmel (Spas & Wellness & Point Lobos State Reserve) and Talbott Vineyards (in Carmel Valley). And it doesn't end there: tee off at Pebble Beach Golf Links, immerse yourself in nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, enjoy the sea views from Point Pinos Lighthouse, and take in the dramatic natural features at Natural Bridges State Beach.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read Santa Cruz online trip planner .

San Francisco to Santa Cruz is an approximately 1.5-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In May, daily temperatures in Santa Cruz can reach 69°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to travel to Birmingham.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Carmel, Talbott Vineyards, San Carlos Cathedral, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Highlights from your plan
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Mission San Juan Bautista ©
Mission San Juan Bautista

3
nights
Birmingham

Birmingham ©
Birmingham may be one of America's most controversial cities.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Ave Maria Grotto and Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Birmingham Museum of Art and Kelly Ingram Park are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from Birmingham with a short trip to Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, about 1 hour away. There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at 16th Street Baptist Church, look for gifts at Peanut Depot, and explore and take pictures at Regions Field.

For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Birmingham road trip tool .

Getting from Santa Cruz to Birmingham by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 9 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. In May, Birmingham is somewhat warmer than Santa Cruz - with highs of 81°F and lows of 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Birmingham

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Ave Maria Grotto
Highlights from your plan
Birmingham Museum of Art ©
Birmingham Museum of Art
Ave Maria Grotto ©
Ave Maria Grotto
16th Street Baptist Church ©
16th Street Baptist Church

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