26 days in California Itinerary

26 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

26 days in California Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Drive:  3​h 30​min
Fort Bragg
— 4 nights
Drive:  7​h
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
San Francisco
— 3 nights
End: San Francisco

4
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Explore hidden gems such as Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and Schooner Gulch State Beach. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Glass Beach, contemplate the waterfront views at Big River, examine the collection at Triangle Tattoo and Museum, and look for gifts at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books.

Before you visit Fort Bragg, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

San Francisco to Fort Bragg is an approximately 3.5-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. When traveling from San Francisco in May, plan for a bit warmer days and slightly colder nights in Fort Bragg: temperatures range from 77°F by day to 47°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Mendocino, Schooner Gulch State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens ©
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Schooner Gulch State Beach ©
Schooner Gulch State Beach
Big River ©
Big River

4
nights
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park ©
Massive granite mountains, towering waterfalls, groves of Giant Sequoia trees, and wilderness as far as the eye can see distinguish the landscape of Yosemite National Park.
Explore hidden gems such as June Lake Loop and Kirkwood Mountain Resort. When in Yosemite National Park, make a side trip to see Travertine Hot Spring in Bridgeport, approximately 58 minutes away. There's much more to do: make a trip to Valley View, explore the striking landscape at Lembert Dome, and trek along Wawona Meadow.

To see traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Fort Bragg to Yosemite National Park in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Fort Bragg in May, things will get a bit cooler in Yosemite National Park: highs are around 65°F and lows about 34°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Nature

Side Trips

Travertine Hot Spring, June Lake Loop, Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Highlights from your plan
Kirkwood Mountain Resort ©
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Lembert Dome ©
Lembert Dome
Travertine Hot Spring ©
Travertine Hot Spring

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Explore hidden gems such as Titus Canyon and Mosaic Canyon. Get out of town with these interesting Death Valley National Park side-trips: Death Valley Nut & Candy (in Beatty) and Death Valley Junction (Twenty Mule Team Canyon & Harmony Borax Works). And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Salt Creek Interpretive Trail, get engrossed in the history at The Ranch at Furnace Creek, and don't miss a visit to Stovepipe Wells Village.

Plan a Death Valley National Park trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can take a bus from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 5.5 hours. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in May: high temperatures in Death Valley National Park hover around 86°F and lows are around 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

#Nature, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Death Valley Nut & Candy
Highlights from your plan
Mosaic Canyon ©
Mosaic Canyon
Twenty Mule Team Canyon ©
Twenty Mule Team Canyon
Death Valley Nut & Candy ©
Death Valley Nut & Candy

3
nights
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park ©
With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Mount Whitney Trail and Zumwalt Meadow Trail. Change things up with a short trip to Trail of 100 Giants in Ponderosa (about 1h 20 min away). Next up on the itinerary: admire the sheer force of Roaring River Falls, trek along Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park, get to know the fascinating history of Cedar Grove Visitor Center, and stroll through Panoramic Point.

To find other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park tour itinerary planner .

Explore your travel options from Death Valley National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park with the Route module. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Death Valley National Park in May: high temperatures in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park hover around 81°F and lows are around 44°F. On the 15th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Trails

Side Trips

Trail of 100 Giants, Mount Whitney Trail
Highlights from your plan
Zumwalt Meadow Trail ©
Zumwalt Meadow Trail
Roaring River Falls ©
Roaring River Falls
Cedar Grove Visitor Center ©
Cedar Grove Visitor Center

4
nights
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Carpinteria State Beach and Wine Tours & Tastings. Venture out of the city with trips to La Purisima State Historical Park (in Lompoc) and Sunstone Vineyards & Winery (in Santa Ynez). There's still lots to do: admire the natural beauty at Lotusland, take in the awesome beauty at Cold Spring Tavern, and explore the world behind art at Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

For other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Santa Barbara itinerary planner.

You can drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Santa Barbara in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, shuttle, and bus. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in May, you will find days in Santa Barbara are a bit cooler (71°F), and nights are a bit warmer (52°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

#Parks, #Tours, #Nature

Side Trips

Santa Ynez, Lotusland, La Purisima State Historical Park, Carpinteria State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Lotusland ©
Lotusland
La Purisima State Historical Park ©
La Purisima State Historical Park
Cold Spring Tavern ©
Cold Spring Tavern

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sat): take a leisurely stroll along Cayucos Pier, stroll through William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, and then get great views at Ragged Point.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon road trip tool .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Santa Barbara, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in San Simeon, ranging from highs of 56°F to lows of 50°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks

Side Trips

Cayucos Pier, Ragged Point
Highlights from your plan
Ragged Point ©
Ragged Point
Cayucos Pier ©
Cayucos Pier

3
nights
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. Explore hidden gems such as Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Dennis the Menace Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Lovers Point, get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and hike along Scenic Road Walkway.

To find reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Carmel journey builder website .

Drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in May, expect nights in Carmel to be about the same, around 51°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Trails

Side Trips

Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Pebble Beach Golf Links
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park ©
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Dennis the Menace Park ©
Dennis the Menace Park
Pebble Beach Golf Links ©
Pebble Beach Golf Links

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Castello di Amorosa and Muir Woods National Monument. Take a break from San Francisco with a short trip to V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena, about 1h 25 min away. Dedicate the 25th (Fri) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along San Francisco Bay, take in the awesome beauty at Twin Peaks, admire all the interesting features of AT&T Park, and take in the local highlights with Walking tours.

To find reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco trip builder .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

#Tours, #Nature, #Parks

Side Trips

V. Sattui Winery, Muir Woods National Monument, Castello di Amorosa
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

Similar Plans

30 days in California BY A USER FROM INDIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 34 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 37 days in California, Grand Canyon National Park & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in California & Athens BY A USER FROM BRAZIL June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 25 days in California BY A USER FROM ALGERIA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in California, Oregon Coast & Washington State BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 29 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, teens, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, outdoors, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in California, Grand Canyon National Park & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM POLAND June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans