11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive
2
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive
3
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
5
Carmel
— 2 nights
Fly
6
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco

— 1 night

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sat): buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace and then snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: wander the streets of Chinatown, examine the collection at Cable Car Museum, then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, and finally take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

To see where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco trip planner.

Toronto, Canada to San Francisco is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, car, and subway. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to San Francisco is minus 3 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Toronto in October, with highs in San Francisco at 26°C and lows at 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can go by car to Calistoga.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Nature · Parks

Calistoga

— 1 night
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Mon): do a tasting at Castello di Amorosa, do a tasting at VGS Chateau Potelle, then learn about winemaking at V. Sattui Winery, then do a tasting at Robert Mondavi Winery, and finally stop by Woodhouse Chocolate.

To find where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Calistoga online route planner.

Getting from San Francisco to Calistoga by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Francisco in October, you will find days in Calistoga are a bit warmer (30°C), and nights are a bit cooler (9°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 3 nights
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.
Visiting Glacier Point and Half Dome will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Yosemite, Tunnel View and Sentinel Dome. There's much more to do: hike along Mariposa Grove, contemplate the waterfront views at Tenaya Lake, take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Bridalveil Fall.

To find maps, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip itinerary website.

Getting from Calistoga to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Calistoga in October: high temperatures in Yosemite National Park hover around 22°C and lows are around -2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) to allow time to travel to San Simeon.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

San Simeon

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, and then stroll through Moonstone Beach.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Simeon travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to San Simeon in 5.5 hours. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in October, expect San Simeon to be somewhat warmer, temps between 33°C and 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Historic Sites · Shopping · Wildlife

Side Trip

Carmel

— 2 nights
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 16th (Sat): contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Sun): kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Carmel trip planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in October, plan for little chillier days in Carmel, with highs around 24°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) to allow time to fly to San Diego.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

San Diego

— 2 nights

America's Finest City

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Mon): admire the masterpieces at San Diego Museum of Art, examine the collection at USS Midway Museum, and then examine the collection at Maritime Museum of San Diego.

For other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the San Diego vacation builder tool.

Getting from Carmel to San Diego by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Carmel in October, with highs in San Diego at 30°C and lows at 20°C. You will have some time to spend on the 19th (Tue) before leaving for home.

Things to do in San Diego

Museums

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.