15 days in San Francisco & Santa Barbara Itinerary

15 days in San Francisco & Santa Barbara Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner
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San Francisco
— 9 nights
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2
Santa Barbara
— 5 nights
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San Francisco — 9 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
California State Railroad Museum and Golden Gate Bridge are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Discover out-of-the-way places like Wine Tours & Tastings and Walt Disney Family Museum. Explore San Francisco's surroundings by going to Santa Rosa (Valley of the Moon Pottery & North Eagle Gallery & Charles M. Schulz Museum), Stephen & Walker Winery (in Healdsburg) and Geyserville (Mercury Wine, Pech Merle Winery, &more). There's much more to do: view the masterpieces at Mumm Napa, steep yourself in history at Alcatraz Island, look for all kinds of wild species at Marin Headlands, and enjoy the sea views from Fort Point.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our San Francisco trip planning tool.

Washington DC to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of subway and train. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 3 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Washington DC in December, with highs in San Francisco at 59°F and lows at 45°F. On the 10th (Thu), you'll travel to Santa Barbara.
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Museums · Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 10:

Santa Barbara — 5 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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Wine Tours & Tastings and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Reagan Ranch Center. Change things up with these side-trips from Santa Barbara: Pismo Beach (Monarch Butterfly Grove & Pismo Pier), Camarillo Premium Outlets (in Camarillo) and Fillmore Historical Museum (in Fillmore). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, admire the natural beauty at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Santa Barbara Zoo, and do a tasting at Artiste Winery & Tasting Studio.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara tour planning tool.

Fly from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in December, expect nights in Santa Barbara to be about the same, around 41°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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Wineries · Tours · Museums · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 15: