10 days in California Itinerary

10 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

10 days in California Itinerary

Start: Charlotte
Fly + Drive:  9​h
1
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
4
Calistoga
— 2 nights
Fly:  9​h 30​min
End: Charlotte

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.
On the 22nd (Sun), don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point and then explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point. On the next day, admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls, then take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan, and then get great views at Tunnel View.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park holiday planner.

Charlotte to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 9-hour combination of flight and car. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Charlotte to Yosemite National Park due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Charlotte, expect a bit cooler days and colder nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 74°F to lows of 38°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Bodie State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Olmsted Point ©
Olmsted Point
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
El Capitan ©
El Capitan

2
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. On the 25th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

To find where to stay, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Carmel travel route planning site .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Yosemite National Park in September since evenings lows in Carmel dip to 56°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos

2
nights
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 (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, admire all the interesting features of Moonstone Beach Dr, and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

For where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our San Simeon online tour planner .

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in September: highs in San Simeon hover around 90°F, while lows dip to 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Calistoga.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas Light Station ©
Piedras Blancas Light Station
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

2
nights
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
On the 29th (Sun), explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa, then stroll through Bodega Dunes, then learn about winemaking at Gracianna Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Huge Bear at The Bank Tasting Room. Here are some ideas for day two: immerse yourself in nature at Gualala Point Regional Park and then admire the majestic nature at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Calistoga online trip planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Calistoga takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and subway; or do a combination of car, bus, flight, and subway. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from San Simeon in September: highs in Calistoga hover around 84°F, while lows dip to 51°F. You'll have a few hours on the 1st (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Calistoga

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

Gracianna Winery, Gualala Point Regional Park, Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, V. Sattui Winery, Bodega Dunes
Highlights from your plan
Gracianna Winery ©
Gracianna Winery
Bodega Dunes ©
Bodega Dunes
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve

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