9 days in California Itinerary

9 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive
3
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
4
Anaheim
— 2 nights
Drive
5
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 13th (Fri), enjoy the sea views from Fort Point, make a trip to Golden Gate Bridge, and then stroll around Golden Gate Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sat): buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, then head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, and then take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco trip planner.

Charlotte to San Francisco is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Charlotte to San Francisco is minus 3 hours. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Charlotte in August: high temperatures in San Francisco hover around 73°F and lows are around 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Nature

Santa Cruz

— 1 night
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
On the 15th (Sun), look for gifts at Bookshop Santa Cruz, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then find something for the whole family at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Cruz journey planner.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Santa Cruz takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In August, daytime highs in Santa Cruz are 74°F, while nighttime lows are 57°F. On the 16th (Mon), you'll travel to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Theme Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trip

Santa Barbara

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Mon): take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

Plan my day in Santa Barbara using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can fly from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. August in Santa Barbara sees daily highs of 76°F and lows of 60°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Anaheim.
Highlights from your trip

Anaheim

— 2 nights

Heart of Orange County

Anaheim's major attractions are its world-famous Disney entertainment complex, sports teams, and convention center.
On the 17th (Tue), make an unforgettable trip to Downtown Disney District and then make an unforgettable trip to Disney California Adventure Park. Keep things going the next day: discover the magic at Disneyland Park.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Anaheim online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Anaheim takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in August, things will get somewhat warmer in Anaheim: highs are around 87°F and lows about 68°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Anaheim

Theme Parks

San Diego

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): stroll around Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at San Diego Zoo. Keep things going the next day: observe the fascinating underwater world at SeaWorld San Diego and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To find where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the San Diego travel planner.

You can drive from Anaheim to San Diego in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Anaheim in August, you will find days in San Diego are slightly colder (78°F), and nights are about the same (68°F). On the 21st (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Theme Parks · Historic Sites

California travel guide

4.1
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.

Orange County travel guide

4.5
Disney Parks & Activities · Beaches · Dolphin & Whale Watching
Embodying southern California's ambience of laid-back sophistication, Orange County is one of the state's most popular vacation destinations, offering year-round sunshine, beautiful golden beaches, and high-end shopping and dining, spread throughout several picturesque beach communities. Spend your holiday indulging at the region's oceanfront spas, designer boutiques, and five-star restaurants, or opt for a trip to the Disneyland Resort and Knott's Berry Farm. While known mostly for its luxurious amenities, the region is also a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts, home to several national parks and active marinas.