15 days in San Francisco & Santa Barbara Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel planner
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San Francisco
— 8 nights
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2
Santa Barbara
— 6 nights
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San Francisco — 8 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at California State Railroad Museum and Mumm Napa. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Walt Disney Family Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from San Francisco: Healdsburg (Dry Creek Vineyard & St. John the Baptist Catholic Church), Valley of the Moon Pottery & North Eagle Gallery (in Santa Rosa) and Lisa Kristine Gallery Sonoma (in Sonoma). The adventure continues: make a trip to Golden Gate Bridge, take in the pleasant sights at Fisherman's Wharf, steep yourself in history at Alcatraz Island, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Grace Cathedral.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco holiday planner.

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 changes from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. In December, San Francisco is somewhat warmer than Washington DC - with highs of 59°F and lows of 45°F. You'll set off for Santa Barbara on the 1st (Fri).
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Museums · Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 24 — Jan 1:

Santa Barbara — 6 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Wine Tours & Tastings and Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Get some cultural insight at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum and Old Mission Santa Barbara. Change things up with these side-trips from Santa Barbara: Conejo Valley Botanic Garden (in Thousand Oaks), Los Olivos (Labyrinth at St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, Stolpman Vineyards, &more) and Herzog Wine Cellars (in Oxnard). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Reagan Ranch Center, contemplate the long history of Casa del Herrero, stroll around Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, and take a leisurely stroll along Santa Barbara Harbor.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara route builder.

Traveling by flight from San Francisco to Santa Barbara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in January: highs in Santa Barbara hover around 66°F, while lows dip to 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can catch the flight back home.
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Wineries · Historic Sites · Tours · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 7: