11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in California Itinerary

Start: Pittsburgh
Fly:  7​h 30​min
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 1 night
bus:  6​h 45​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
bus + Drive:  8​h
6
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  11​h 15​min
End: Pittsburgh

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Golden Gate Park and Oracle Park. Next up on the itinerary: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, examine the collection at de Young Museum, get to know the fascinating history of Filbert Steps, and get curious at California Academy of Sciences.

For more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our San Francisco trip itinerary website .

Pittsburgh to San Francisco is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Pittsburgh to San Francisco is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Pittsburgh in June, expect San Francisco to be a bit cooler, temps between 71°F and 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Park ©
Golden Gate Park

1
night
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 5th (Wed), tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

To see reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Carmel travel route planning website .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In June, daytime highs in Carmel are 68°F, while nighttime lows are 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Bixby Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Bixby Bridge ©
Bixby Bridge

1
night
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
When you arriveĀ 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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery and then explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle.

To find ratings, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the San Simeon travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Carmel in June, plan for much hotter days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 93°F by day to 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

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

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Fri): explore the striking landscape at Moro Rock, make a trip to General Sherman Tree, and then hike along Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip builder tool .

Getting from San Simeon to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from San Simeon in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with lows of 62°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can catcht the bus to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Trails Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park ©

1
night
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 8th (Sat): don't miss a visit to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View, make a trip to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, then take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, and finally don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point. On the 9th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, make a trip to Yosemite Village, then take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point, then admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan.

To see maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip website .

Traveling by bus from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park takes 7 hours. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in June, things will get slightly colder in Yosemite National Park: highs are around 79°F and lows about 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite, Tunnel View ©
Yosemite, Tunnel View
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Mon): explore the activities along Badwater Basin and then cruise along Artists Dr. On the next day, explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, then take some stellar pictures from Dante's View, and then make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park trip itinerary maker site .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in June: highs in Death Valley National Park hover around 98°F, while lows dip to 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Dante's View ©
Dante's View
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

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