15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

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15 days in California Itinerary

Auckland Central
Travel:  17​h 30​min
Calistoga
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
Lone Pine
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Fly:  22​h
Auckland Central

3
days
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Get outdoors at Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours and Safari West. Get some cultural insight at Saracina Vineyards and Brassfield Estate Winery. Go for a jaunt from Calistoga to Lakeport to see Historic Courthouse Museum about 1h 10 min away. There's more to do: do a tasting at Storybook Mountain Vineyards and step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa.

For photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Calistoga vacation planner.

Auckland, New Zealand to Calistoga is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -20 hour difference. Expect cooler evenings in Calistoga when traveling from Auckland in March, with lows around 6°C. On the 4th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Brassfield Estate Winery, Safari West, V. Sattui, Historic Courthouse Museum, Saracina Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Safari West ©
Safari West
Saracina Vineyards ©
Saracina Vineyards

2
days
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply referred to as Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. On the 5th (Mon), take in the architecture and atmosphere at San Carlos Cathedral, stroll through Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Point Lobos State Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the majestic nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, and then do a tasting at Holman Ranch Vineyards & Winery.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Carmel trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Calistoga to Carmel takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, subway, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and subway. In March in Carmel, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 9°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, San Carlos Cathedral, Holman Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos State Reserve ©
Point Lobos State Reserve
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach ©

3
days
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
When you arrive in tiny San Simeon, which lies halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you can see why William Randolph Hearst chose this coastal locale for his famous hilltop castle.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Piedras Blancas and Moonstone Beach. Explore hidden gems such as Adelaida Cellars and Parrish Family Vineyard. Change things up with these side-trips from San Simeon: Paso Robles (Proulx Wines & Ecluse Wines) and Venteux Vineyards (in Templeton). And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, step into the grandiose world of Friends of Hearst Castle, and do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read San Simeon travel itinerary creator.

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Carmel in March: highs in San Simeon hover around 16°C, while lows dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Lone Pine.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Wineries

Side Trips

Paso Robles, Moonstone Beach, Venteux Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas
Piedras Blancas
Venteux Vineyards
Venteux Vineyards

2
days
Lone Pine

Lone Pine ©
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. On the 10th (Sat), examine the collection at Eastern California Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Manzanar National Historic Site.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Lone Pine trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Lone Pine takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in March, expect nights in Lone Pine to be little chillier, around 0°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Lone Pine

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Independence
Highlights from your plan
Eastern California Museum ©
Eastern California Museum
Lone Pine Film History Museums
Lone Pine Film History Museums

2
days
Palm Springs

Palm Springs
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): deepen your understanding at Palm Springs Air Museum, then take in breathtaking views at Indian Canyons, and then explore the world behind art at Palm Springs Art Museum. On the next day, admire the natural beauty at Sunnylands and then stroll through Living Desert Zoo & Gardens.

For photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Palm Springs vacation trip planner.

Getting from Lone Pine to Palm Springs by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: fly. While traveling from Lone Pine, expect a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Palm Springs, ranging from highs of 31°C to lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Sunnylands, Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Sunnylands
Sunnylands
Palm Springs Air Museum ©
Palm Springs Air Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum

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