10 days in California Itinerary

10 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

10 days in California Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
Los Angeles
— Few hours
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Mill Valley
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
5
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + bus:  11​h 15​min
End: New York City

few
hours
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
To find reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles travel itinerary planner .

New York City to Los Angeles is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. Traveling from New York City in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Los Angeles, with lows of 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

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 27th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery and then contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read our San Simeon online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Los Angeles to San Simeon by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Los Angeles in July, plan for somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 94°F by day to 56°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sat) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle

1
night
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. Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

To see photos, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Carmel trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. While traveling from San Simeon, expect colder days and about the same nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 69°F to lows of 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can drive to Mill Valley.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

1
night
Mill Valley

Mill Valley ©
Mill Valley is a city in Marin County, California, United States, located about 14mi north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): immerse yourself in nature at Marin Headlands, then enjoy the sand and surf at Stinson Beach, and then take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument.

To find where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Mill Valley driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Carmel to Mill Valley in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Carmel, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Mill Valley, ranging from highs of 84°F to lows of 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Mill Valley

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach
Highlights from your plan
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Marin Headlands ©
Marin Headlands
Stinson Beach ©
Stinson Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Presidio of San Francisco and Walt Disney Family Museum. Explore hidden gems such as Lands End and Twin Peaks. There's much more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Alcatraz Island, contemplate the long history of Golden Gate Bridge, and take in the pleasant sights at Fisherman's Wharf.

To see where to stay and tourist information, read our San Francisco online visit planner .

Drive from Mill Valley to San Francisco in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. While traveling from Mill Valley, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 73°F to lows of 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Presidio of San Francisco ©
Presidio of San Francisco

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View, then explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, and finally make a trip to Olmsted Point. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat): take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point, explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, then admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, and finally hike along Panorama Trail.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Yosemite National Park attractions planner .

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in August: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 81°F, while lows dip to 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome

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