11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in California Itinerary

Start: Boston
Fly + Drive:  11​h
1
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 45​min
4
Calistoga
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h 15​min
End: Boston

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 20th (Thu): make a trip to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. On the next day, take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, then take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Panorama Trail, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip planner .

Boston to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Boston to Yosemite National Park, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Boston in June, plan for slightly colder nights in Yosemite National Park, with lows around 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tunnel View ©
Tunnel View

3
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. Visiting Carmel River State Beach and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park will get you outdoors. Explore hidden gems such as Monterey Bay and Ocean Avenue. Step out of Carmel with an excursion to McWay Falls in Big Sur--about 56 minutes away. Spend the 24th (Mon) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's more to do: kick back and relax at Point Lobos.

For reviews and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel sightseeing planner .

You can 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. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 68°F to lows of 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Monterey, Big Sur
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): stroll through Moonstone Beach, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station.

To see other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from Carmel in June: highs in San Simeon hover around 93°F, while lows dip to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Calistoga.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

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

1
day
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Safari West, then learn about winemaking at Pride Mountain Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at V. Sattui Winery, and finally step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Calistoga road trip planner .

Drive from San Simeon to Calistoga in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and subway; or do a combination of car, bus, flight, and subway. When traveling from San Simeon in June, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Calistoga: temperatures range from 83°F by day to 51°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Calistoga

Parks Wildlife Wineries

Side Trips

St. Helena, Safari West
Highlights from your plan
Pride Mountain Vineyards ©
Pride Mountain Vineyards
Safari West ©
Safari West

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Fri): take a stroll through Union Square, then steep yourself in history at City Lights Booksellers, then admire all the interesting features of Alcatraz Island, and finally steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sat): get to know the fascinating history of Filbert Steps, don't miss a visit to Ferry Building Marketplace, hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, then go for a walk through Fisherman's Wharf, and finally snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco road trip planning tool .

Getting from Calistoga to San Francisco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a train. Traveling from Calistoga in June, you will find days in San Francisco are slightly colder (71°F), and nights are about the same (55°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Twin Peaks ©
Twin Peaks

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