23 days in California Itinerary

23 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in California Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  8​h 30​min
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Malibu
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
4
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
6
Palm Springs
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + foot + shuttle:  6​h
7
Pacific Grove
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
8
Santa Monica
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Toronto

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
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 22nd (Sun): steep yourself in history at Marston House Museum and then pause for some photo ops at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove and then shop like a local with Gaslamp Quarter.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the San Diego trip builder site .

Toronto, Canada to San Diego is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to San Diego is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Toronto in December, things will get much warmer in San Diego: highs are around 23°C and lows about 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Malibu.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
San Diego Zoo ©
San Diego Zoo
Gaslamp Quarter ©
Gaslamp Quarter

2
nights
Malibu

Malibu ©
Malibu is a beach city in Los Angeles County, California, situated 30mi west of Downtown Los Angeles. On the 25th (Wed), stroll through El Matador State Beach, then stroll through Zuma Beach, and then make a trip to Malibu Pier. On your second day here, examine the collection at The Getty Villa, get some fabulous bargains at Camarillo Premium Outlets, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mission San Buenaventura.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Malibu trip planner .

You can drive from San Diego to Malibu in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Malibu are 22°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Malibu

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Camarillo Premium Outlets, Mission San Buenaventura
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Zuma Beach ©
Zuma Beach
The Getty Villa ©
The Getty Villa
El Matador State Beach ©
El Matador State Beach

3
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Visit Hollywood Walk of Fame and Venice Canals Walkway for their historical value. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Abbot Kinney Boulevard and The Grove. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Los Angeles: Anaheim (Disneyland Park & Disney California Adventure Park). And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, examine the collection at The Getty Center, and look for gifts at Hollywood & Highland.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Los Angeles trip planning site .

Getting from Malibu to Los Angeles by car takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of bus and tram; or take a bus. December in Los Angeles sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 11°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel to Carmel.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Anaheim
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure Park ©
Disney California Adventure Park
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk

1
night
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and then take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel.

For photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read Carmel travel planner.

You can fly from Los Angeles to Carmel in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. Traveling from Los Angeles in December, things will get little chillier in Carmel: highs are around 19°C and lows about 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Gallery by the Sea Carmel ©
Gallery by the Sea Carmel

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge. Visit Sonoma Coast State Beach and Baker Beach for some beach relaxation. There's much more to do: buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, wander the streets of Nob Hill, look for gifts at Exploratorium, and take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In December in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 17°C during the day and 8°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 3rd (Fri) before leaving for Palm Springs.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Sonoma Coast State Beach
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

3
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. Head to Brandini Toffee and El Paseo Shopping Districtfor some retail therapy. When in Palm Springs, make a side trip to see Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula, approximately 1h 05 min away. The adventure continues: explore the stunning scenery at Tahquitz Canyon, steep yourself in history at Indian Canyons, relax in the rural setting at Sam Cobb Farms, and don't miss a visit to Frey House II.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Palm Springs road trip site .

Fly from San Francisco to Palm Springs in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in January: highs in Palm Springs hover around 25°C, while lows dip to 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Pacific Grove.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trips

Wilson Creek Winery, Sam Cobb Farms, El Paseo Shopping District
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Tahquitz Canyon ©
Tahquitz Canyon
San Jacinto Mountain ©
San Jacinto Mountain

3
nights
Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove ©
Pacific Grove is a coastal city in Monterey County, California in the United States. Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, then don't miss a visit to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, then kick back and relax at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, and finally stop by AiX. On the 8th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: cruise along 17-Mile Drive, then identify plant and animal life at Monarch Grove Sanctuary, then enjoy the sand and surf at Lovers Point, and finally pick up some local products at Pacific Grove Certified Farmers' Market.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Pacific Grove sightseeing planner .

Getting from Palm Springs to Pacific Grove by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 6 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. While traveling from Palm Springs, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Pacific Grove, ranging from highs of 19°C to lows of 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Pacific Grove

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

AiX, 17-Mile Drive
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

3
nights
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles.
On the 10th (Fri), shop like a local with Third Street Promenade, then immerse yourself in nature at Santa Monica State Beach, then make a trip to Santa Monica Pier, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Santa Monica Farmers Market. Here are some ideas for day two: get in on the family fun at Six Flags Magic Mountain and then take a stroll through Montana Avenue.

To see photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Monica online trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Pacific Grove to Santa Monica takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. Traveling from Pacific Grove in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Santa Monica, with lows of 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Shopping Theme Parks Parks

Side Trips

Beverly Hills, Six Flags Magic Mountain
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Third Street Promenade ©
Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach

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