11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in California Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  10​h 45​min
1
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
Bridgeport
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
6
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Bus + Fly:  12​h
End: Toronto

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.
For where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Santa Barbara travel route planner .

Toronto, Canada to Santa Barbara is an approximately 11-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Toronto in October, things will get a bit warmer in Santa Barbara: highs are around 29°C and lows about 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

The Sacred Space
Highlights from your plan
The Sacred Space ©
The Sacred Space
Santa Barbara County Courthouse ©
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara

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.
On the 4th (Thu), take in nature's colorful creations at Cambria Nursery & Florist, identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the dramatic natural features at Morro Rock, then get a taste of the local shopping with Fiona Bleu Gallery, and then stroll through Moonstone Beach.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the San Simeon online itinerary planner .

Getting from Santa Barbara to San Simeon by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in October, expect nights in San Simeon to be slightly colder, around 9°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 33°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Morro Bay, Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Cambria Nursery and Florist ©
Cambria Nursery and Florist
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

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. Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sat): kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then identify plant and animal life at Point Lobos, and then look for gifts at The Cheese Shop. Keep things going the next day: cruise along Seventeen Mile Drive, then take in the exciting artwork at Carmel Art Association, then kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Carmel road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in October, plan for slightly colder days in Carmel, with highs around 24°C, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Calistoga.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Big Sur
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

1
night
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Mon): learn about winemaking at Vincent Arroyo Winery, learn about winemaking at V. Sattui Winery, then learn about winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery, then stop by Dean & DeLuca, and finally explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read Calistoga vacation planner.

Getting from Carmel to Calistoga by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, shuttle, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. Traveling from Carmel in October, expect nights in Calistoga to be little chillier, around 9°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 30°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can travel to Bridgeport.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

St. Helena, Robert Mondavi Winery
Highlights from your plan
Vincent Arroyo Winery ©
Vincent Arroyo Winery
Dean & DeLuca ©
Dean & DeLuca
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa

2
nights
Bridgeport

Bridgeport ©
Bridgeport is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Mono County, California, United States. Kick off your visit on the 9th (Tue): mingle with the ghosts of the past at Bodie State Historic Park and then see a world frozen in time at Bodie. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Mono Lake County Park.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Bridgeport day trip site .

Traveling by car from Calistoga to Bridgeport takes 5 hours. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Calistoga in October: high temperatures in Bridgeport hover around 22°C and lows are around -1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Bridgeport

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Lee Vining, Tioga Pass
Highlights from your plan
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve ©
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Mono Lake County Park ©
Mono Lake County Park

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 11th (Thu), explore the activities along Badwater Basin, steep yourself in history at Eureka Mine, and then explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point.

To find more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Death Valley National Park trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Bridgeport to Death Valley National Park takes 4.5 hours. When traveling from Bridgeport in October, plan for somewhat warmer days in Death Valley National Park, with highs around 30°C, while nights are much hotter with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Eureka Mine ©
Eureka Mine
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

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