9 days in United States Itinerary

9 days in United States Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner

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Route & dates

9 days in United States Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Drive:  1​h 45​min
1
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Big Sur
— 2 nights
bus:  45​min
3
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
4
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
5
San Jose
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
End: Los Angeles

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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, then take an in-depth tour of Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and finally wander the streets of State Street Underpass. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach, then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, and then do a tasting at Margerum Wine Company.

To see traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara tour planner .

Los Angeles to Santa Barbara is an approximately 2-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Los Angeles in August, things will get a bit cooler in Santa Barbara: highs are around 76°F and lows about 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trip

Carpinteria State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Historical Museum ©
Santa Barbara Historical Museum
Santa Barbara Museum of Art ©
Santa Barbara Museum of Art

2
nights
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Tue): immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, and then take in the views from Bixby Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the views from Big Creek Bridge, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at New Camaldoli Hermitage, and then enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park.

Plan my Big Sur trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Big Sur in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or fly. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Santa Barbara in August: highs in Big Sur hover around 70°F, while lows dip to 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Monterey.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
New Camaldoli Hermitage ©
New Camaldoli Hermitage

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 15th (Thu), hike along Point Lobos, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium, and then explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To see traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Monterey planner .

You can take a bus from Big Sur to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In August, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) so you can go by car to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Point Lobos
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe ©
Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe

1
night
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
On the 16th (Fri), see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, go for a walk through Shark Fin Cove, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Natural Bridges State Beach.

Before you visit Santa Cruz, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Monterey to Santa Cruz in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. August in Santa Cruz sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 57°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Dolphin & Whale Watching, Shark Fin Cove
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Shark Fin Cove ©
Shark Fin Cove

2
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
The metropolitan center of Silicon Valley, San Jose considers itself a global city.
Get some historical perspective at Filoli and Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. Children's Discovery Museum and The Tech Museum of Innovation will appeal to museum buffs. Go for a jaunt from San Jose to Half Moon Bay to see Half Moon Bay State Beach about 54 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take an unorthodox tour of Winchester Mystery House, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, look for gifts at Apple Infinite Loop, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip maker tool .

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to San Jose takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Santa Cruz in August, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in San Jose: temperatures range from 80°F by day to 60°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Apple Infinite Loop, Half Moon Bay State Beach, Filoli
Highlights from your plan
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum ©
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
Half Moon Bay State Beach ©
Half Moon Bay State Beach
Children's Discovery Museum
Children's Discovery Museum

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