56 days in California Itinerary

56 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sacramento
— 6 nights
Drive
2
San Francisco
— 8 nights
Fly
3
Crescent City
— 4 nights
Fly
4
Monterey
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Cambria
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Santa Barbara
— 8 nights
Fly
7
San Diego
— 9 nights
Drive
8
Palm Springs
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Death Valley National Park
— 4 nights
Bus to Las Vegas, Fly to Chicago

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Sacramento

— 6 nights

River City

The capital city of America's most economically significant state, Sacramento is an important stop for any politico.
Vikingsholm and Grand Island Shrine will appeal to history buffs. Let the collections at Crocker Art Museum and Griffith Quarry capture your imagination. Explore Sacramento's surroundings by going to Oroville (Mother Orange Tree & The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation), Jack Russell Brewery (in Camino) and Ellis lake (in Marysville). And it doesn't end there: take in nature's colorful creations at California State Capitol Museum, examine the collection at California State Railroad Museum, and explore the activities along Emerald Bay State Park.

To see other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Sacramento travel route planning app.

Chicago to Sacramento is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. Traveling from Chicago to Sacramento, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. In November, Sacramento is a bit warmer than Chicago - with highs of 65°F and lows of 44°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Thu) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Sacramento

Museums · Parks · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 19 — 25:

San Francisco

— 8 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Get a sense of the local culture at Asian Art Museum and Grace Cathedral. Charles M. Schulz Museum and Musee Mecanique will appeal to museum buffs. Venture out of the city with trips to Armstrong Redwood State Reserve (in Guerneville), Mumm Napa (in Rutherford) and Robert Mondavi Winery (in Oakville). Dedicate the 2nd (Thu) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's still lots to do: visit a coastal fixture at Point Reyes Lighthouse, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, admire the masterpieces at Legion of Honor, and trek along Lands End.

Plan a trip to San Francisco easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can drive from Sacramento to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Sacramento in November, San Francisco is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to fly to Crescent City.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Wineries · Museums · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 25 — Dec 3:

Crescent City

— 4 nights
Crescent City is the county seat and only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. Get some historical perspective at Battery Point Lighthouse and Brother Jonathan Cemetery. Appreciate the collections at Trees of Mystery and End of the Trail Museum. Step out of Crescent City with an excursion to Redwood National Park in Redwood National Park--about 1h 35 min away. There's lots more to do: hike along Stout Grove, enjoy the sand and surf at Enderts Beach, and immerse yourself in nature at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read Crescent City road trip planner.

Fly from San Francisco to Crescent City in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 55°F, and evening lows to 42°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to fly to Monterey.

Things to do in Crescent City

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 3 — 7:

Monterey

— 6 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. We've included these beaches for you: Asilomar State Beach and Pfeiffer State Beach. Discover out-of-the-way places like Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail. Change things up with these side-trips from Monterey: Big Sur (Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Bixby Bridge, &more) and Natural Bridges State Beach (in Santa Cruz). Next up on the itinerary: stroll around Dennis the Menace Park, stroll through Carmel River State Beach, take in the waterfront at Old Fisherman's Wharf, and immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Monterey trip itinerary builder.

Fly from Crescent City to Monterey in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Traveling from Crescent City in December, you will find days in Monterey are somewhat warmer (62°F), and nights are about the same (43°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 7 — 13:

Cambria

— 5 nights
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Visit William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach and Piedras Blancas for some beach relaxation. Popular historic sites such as Nitt Witt Ridge and Cambria Jailhouse are in your itinerary. Change things up with a short trip to Hearst Castle in San Simeon (about 30 minutes away). There's much more to do: surround yourself with nature on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, get your bearings at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, take an in-depth tour of Greenspace Creekside Reserve, and see the interesting displays at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary).

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Cambria online itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Cambria takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Traveling from Monterey in December, Cambria is a bit cooler at night with lows of 33°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 13 — 18:

Santa Barbara

— 8 nights

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.
Visit Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Old Mission Santa Barbara for their historical value. Westwood Museum and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Explore Santa Barbara's surroundings by going to Lompoc (Flying Goat Cellars & Surf Beach), Camarillo Premium Outlets (in Camarillo) and Calboat Diving - Spectre Dive Boat (in Ventura). Dedicate the 21st (Tue) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monarch Butterfly Grove, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Santa Barbara Zoo, take in the waterfront at Pismo Pier, and take in the pleasant sights at Santa Barbara Harbor.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara online sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Cambria to Santa Barbara in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Santa Barbara when traveling from Cambria in December, with lows around 41°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can fly to San Diego.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours · Wineries · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 26:

San Diego

— 9 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.
Visit Old Point Loma Lighthouse and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for their historical value. You'll get in some beach time at Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores Park. Explore San Diego's surroundings by going to Mission San Juan Capistrano (in San Juan Capistrano), Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Dana Point) and Lions, Tigers & Bears (in Alpine). There's lots more to do: stroll the grounds of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Point Loma, kick back and relax at Coronado Beach, and contemplate the long history of Mormon Battalion Historic Site.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the San Diego travel planner.

You can fly from Santa Barbara to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in December, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 51°F in San Diego. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can go by car to Palm Springs.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 26 — Jan 4:

Palm Springs

— 5 nights
Museum-lovers will get to explore Sunnylands Center & Gardens and Palm Springs Art Museum. Get some cultural insight at El Paseo Shopping District and Palm Springs Air Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Palm Springs side-trips: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (in Palm Desert) and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (in Borrego Springs).

To find maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs holiday planning app.

Getting from San Diego to Palm Springs by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In January, daytime highs in Palm Springs are 71°F, while nighttime lows are 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks · Nature · Museums · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 4 — 9:

Death Valley National Park

— 4 nights

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Golden Canyon and Devil's Golf Course. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Harmony Borax Works and Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad Museum. Change things up with a short trip to Shoshone Museum in Shoshone (about 1h 30 min away). There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, take some stellar pictures from Father Crowley Vista Point, explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, and contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park visit planner.

You can drive from Palm Springs to Death Valley National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and car; or take a bus. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Palm Springs in January: high temperatures in Death Valley National Park hover around 58°F and lows are around 35°F. On the 13th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 9 — 13:

California travel guide

4
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.