15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary planner

Make it your trip
San Diego
— 4 nights
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
— 1 day
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz
— 1 day
San Francisco
— 5 nights


San Diego

— 4 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.
San Diego is known for zoos & aquariums, museums, and beaches. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: laugh and play at SeaWorld San Diego, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, and let the kids burn off some steam at Balboa Park.

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

New York City to San Diego is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 3 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from New York City in July: highs in San Diego hover around 77°F, while lows dip to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Theme Parks · Outdoors

Los Angeles

— 4 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.
Explore Los Angeles' surroundings by going to Mulholland Drive (in Beverly Hills) and Disneyland Park (in Anaheim). Pack the 19th (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's much more to do: take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, get to know the fascinating history of Hollywood Walk of Fame, look and learn at Griffith Observatory, and explore the world behind art at Diorama-museum of Bhagavad-gita.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Los Angeles trip maker website.

Getting from San Diego to Los Angeles by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. While traveling from San Diego, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Los Angeles, ranging from highs of 83°F to lows of 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Malibu.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trips


— 1 day
Malibu is a beach city in Los Angeles County, California, situated 30mi west of Downtown Los Angeles. On the 21st (Wed), tour the pleasant surroundings at El Matador State Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Zuma Beach.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Malibu tour itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to Malibu takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of tram and bus. When traveling from Los Angeles in July, plan for little chillier days in Malibu, with highs around 76°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Malibu

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches

Santa Barbara

The American Riviera

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.
For photos, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Malibu to Santa Barbara takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train. Traveling from Malibu in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Santa Barbara, with lows of 60°F. On the 21st (Wed), you're off to Monterey.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks · Outdoors · Wineries · Tours


Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Monterey vacation planning tool.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Monterey in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in July, things will get a bit cooler in Monterey: highs are around 69°F and lows about 55°F. On the 22nd (Thu), you'll travel to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wineries

Santa Cruz

— 1 day
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): take in the waterfront at Santa Cruz Wharf, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then get in on the family fun at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

To find maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Santa Cruz trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Monterey to Santa Cruz in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. July in Santa Cruz sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 55°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Wildlife · Outdoors · Theme Parks · Tours

San Francisco

— 5 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: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, examine the collection at Exploratorium, shop like a local with Ferry Building Marketplace, and admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden.

To see where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco trip builder.

You can drive from Santa Cruz to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 73°F in July, and nighttime lows around 57°F. You'll have a few hours on the 27th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

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.