11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
bus:  6​h 45​min
3
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Chicago

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Fri): steep yourself in history at Golden Gate Bridge, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island.

For more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco vacation maker site .

Chicago to San Francisco is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -2 hour difference. Traveling from Chicago in July, things will get little chillier in San Francisco: highs are around 73°F and lows about 57°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

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.
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias has been added to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 6th (Sat): walk around Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, tour the pleasant surroundings at Panorama Trail, then explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, and finally make a trip to Yosemite Village. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Sun): take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point, then don't miss a visit to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, then pause for some serene contemplation at Yosemite Valley Chapel, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park trip itinerary planner.

Getting from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: 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 July: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 83°F, while lows dip to 46°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can catcht the bus to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Panorama Trail ©
Panorama Trail

2
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've now added Crystal Cave to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 8th (Mon): Head underground at Crystal Cave, then explore the striking landscape at Moro Rock, then take a memorable drive along Generals Hwy, and finally trek along General Grant Tree Trail. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Museum of Western Film History and then explore the stunning scenery at Kings Canyon National Park.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park travel route builder app .

Traveling by bus from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park takes 7 hours. In July, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is somewhat warmer than Yosemite National Park - with highs of 98°F and lows of 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Museum of Western Film History
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
General Grant Tree Trail ©
General Grant Tree Trail

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Wed): wander the streets of State Street Underpass, then make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, then kick back and relax at Carpinteria State Beach, and finally explore the landscape on two wheels at Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Santa Barbara trip planner.

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Santa Barbara by car takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, shuttle, and bus. While traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, expect colder days and a bit cooler nights in Santa Barbara, ranging from highs of 75°F to lows of 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Carpinteria
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve ©

1
night
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Original Muscle Beach as well as Universal Studios Hollywood. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Thu): get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Hollywood, examine the collection at The Getty Center, then wander the streets of Abbot Kinney Boulevard, then enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, and finally take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier. Keep things going the next day: relax and rejuvenate at Original Muscle Beach, make a trip to Hollywood Walk of Fame, stroll the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, then look and learn at Griffith Observatory, and finally take a stroll through El Pueblo de Los Angeles.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Los Angeles trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In July, Los Angeles is a bit warmer than Santa Barbara - with highs of 83°F and lows of 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Hollywood ©
Universal Studios Hollywood
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
El Pueblo de Los Angeles ©
El Pueblo de Los Angeles

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
To find maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the San Diego travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or fly. When traveling from Los Angeles in July, plan for a bit cooler days in San Diego, with highs around 77°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 68°F. You'll have a few hours on the 14th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Diego

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Marston House Museum ©
Marston House Museum

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