The Siberian American: California Road Trip: Seven-Day Itinerary from San Diego to San Francisco

Monday, April 13, 2015

California Road Trip: Seven-Day Itinerary from San Diego to San Francisco

Seven day road trip san diego to san francisco
Our week driving up the California coast was full of incredible moments. I was enchanted by the gorgeous coastline, rolling hills, and sprawling desert. We packed as much as we could into each day, but we enjoyed every minute. Before I start sharing individual posts, I wanted to write out an itinerary for those interested. My goal is to link up my individual posts to this itinerary as I do them.

Day One: San Diego 

Highlights: Old Town San Diego, Old Town Trolley Tour, Balboa Park, Coronado, La Jolla Cove, and San Diego Mission

Spent the night in: San Diego 

Day Two: San Diego to Temecula 

Highlights: Spent most of the day at the San Diego Zoo (and did a private tour), then drove 60 miles to Temecula (in the Southern California wine region).

Spent the night in: Temecula 

Day Three: Temecula to Morro Bay 

Highlights: Longest driving day of the week (almost 400 miles). Stopped at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, enjoyed a beautiful drive with a desert on one side and green hills and trees on the other side, stopped at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo for a delicious milkshake and cake, and explored the beautiful Morro Bay waterfront.

Spent the night in: Morro Bay

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Day Four: Morro Bay to Monterey 

Highlights: Visited Hearst Castle (did the Grand Rooms Tour and Upstairs Suites Tour), enjoyed incredible views driving up Highway 1 (and stopped at what I think is the most beautiful place in Big Sur), did the 17-mile drive in Carmel, and explored Monterey.

Spent the night in: Pacific Grove 

Big Sur photo

Day Five: Monterey to San Francisco 

Highlights: Got fresh strawberries at a farm stand on our way out of town, toured the Winchester House, drove to San Francisco and went to the Painted Ladies and down Lombard Street, went to Baker Beach for a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and hiked in Muir Woods.

Spent the night in: Novato

Baker Beach

Day Six: Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley 

Highlights: Wine tasting at Castello di Amorosa, tour at Beringer to see wine caves and learn about wine-making process, stopped by the Olive Press to taste different flavors of olive oil, and then drove back to San Francisco. Had dinner at Boudin in the Fisherman’s Wharf and really enjoyed the Boudin museum.

Spent the night in: San Francisco (Fisherman’s Wharf) 

Day Seven: San Francisco

Highlights: Rode a cable car to the Cable Car Museum, went to Chinatown and visited a fortune cookie factory, had an amazing banana split sundae at Ghirardelli at the Ghirardelli Square, and drove up to Coit Tower for one more amazing look of the city.

29 comments:

  1. Wow, you sure managed to pack a lot into each day! I'm glad you made it to the Winchester Mystery House, it's a pretty unique place that's great for those interested in history.

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

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  2. This is one amazing road trip! I would love to do this. So many highlights. That poppy reserve is breathtaking. As is most of California. This has got me totally itchy to go back!

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  3. ahhh love this!!! that poppy picture is gorgoeus. i don't know if we'll be able to spend this long around that area when we go but now i want to!

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  4. I am drooling over your photos! This gorgeous weather is bringing out my inner travel bug and you're always adding destinations to my list!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! So glad I can help you add places to your list! :)

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  5. California is really beautiful once you get away from LA. I sometimes miss it.

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com


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  6. Yup, want to head to Cali, like, right now. Someday, someday...

    Mandie ~ http://badbrewpack.blogspot.com/

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  7. OMG so jealous! This sounds like such an amazing road trip! And how can a wine cave tour not be fun?! Glad you had an amazing trip!

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  8. OMG. Speechless. What a fun trip and awesome pictures!!! Thanks for linking up again today.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  9. This post was perfect for me to find! I've been researching a possible road trip down the pacific coast highway this summer and just started pinpointing locations. This was a wonderful guide of a few places I need to research more! Sounds like you guys had a wonderful trip and packed a ton into just a few short days.

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  10. You find so much to do into each day, I love it! I'm really liking how you're setting this up for your blog. The idea of making it an itinerary linked back to the post to come makes it so much fun. It also makes me want to travel, right now! I can't wait to hear more, and see more of these photos. They are so beautiful and vivid!

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  11. What a fun itinerary up the CA coast. I can't wait to read more about your different adventures. My trip wasn't half as eventful and I'm already in love with CA.

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  12. I've been looking forward to this post! Sounds like an amazing and well-deserved adventure for you guys. The pics are fabulous!

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  13. This is a trip my husband and I have always talked about taking! Flying to San Diego, renting a sports car, and driving all the way North, maybe even a bit further than San Francisco. I've been along some of that drive before and it's so beautiful. To start out in San Diego and make it all the way would be sooo much fun!

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  14. What an amazing trip!! the pictures are just gorgeous! I'm sure going down Lombard street was a ton of fun!! I'm sure you'll mention this when you're done, but all together what was the mileage?! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  15. Oh my goodness- THESE PHOTOS ARE GORGEOUS! I love it- what editing software do you use?

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    1. Thank you so much, Shay! I go between Lightroom and Photoshop, but I used Photoshop for these. :)

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  16. This is my dream vacation! I think I would also like to stretch it up to Oregon, Seattle, and Vancouver. Beautiful pictures!

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  17. Great pictures!! I'm pinning this as we are talking about maybe driving to San Francisco instead of flying. I'm not as against driving to explore new places after our cross-country drive :) Sounds like a wonderful trip!!

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  18. Did you check out the mens' bathroom in the lobby at the Madonna Inn? It's been on all kinds of travel shows because it's so gorgeous. Weird, right?

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  19. Wow you did a lot! I love driving the CA coast. It is so gorgeous and such a great trip. I love that you did so much in 1 week! Can't wait to read the individual posts.

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  20. We were in San Fran this last weekend! We did Lombard street, Coit tower, Ghirardelli square, Pier 39, the Nickel arcade museum, the Zoo and Chinatown! The weather was perfect!

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    1. I had never been to California this time of year before, and I definitely want to go back because, like you said, the weather was perfect! I was amazed the Golden Gate bridge wasn't foggy when we were there because I have been to San Fran so many times, and I always remember it being foggy. :) Looks like you did so many fun things! San Fran is such a great city, isn't it? :)

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  21. What a great itinerary!! You did so much. Love that you packed so much in!

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  22. I'm from San Diego. I'm really glad you went to La Jolla Cove, which a lot of people don't know to go to! One of my fave spots :)

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  23. What time of year did you take this trip? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Jill! We did the trip in late May and early April. The weather was perfect! :)

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