11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary maker

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Route & dates

11 days in California Itinerary

Start: Phoenix
Fly:  3​h 30​min
1
Palm Springs
— 1 day
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  8​h 15​min
3
Mount Shasta
— 1 day
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Philo
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
bus:  5​h
6
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
7
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
8
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
San Francisco
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 45​min
End: Phoenix

1
day
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum, then take in breathtaking views at Indian Canyons, then browse the exhibits of Palm Springs Air Museum, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Tennis Club District.

To find traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Palm Springs trip maker app .

Phoenix to Palm Springs is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in December, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Highlights from your plan
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Tennis Club District ©
Tennis Club District
Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 23rd (Sun), take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, explore the stunning scenery at Echo Canyon, and then take some stellar pictures from Dante's View. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, then explore the activities along Badwater Basin, and finally steep yourself in history at Eureka Mine.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Palm Springs to Death Valley National Park in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, train, and car; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Palm Springs in December, things will get a bit cooler in Death Valley National Park: highs are around 56°F and lows about 33°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to travel to Mount Shasta.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes ©
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr

1
day
Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta ©
Mount Shasta is a city in Siskiyou County, California, at about 3600ft above sea level on the flanks of Mount Shasta, a prominent northern California landmark. Start off your visit on the 25th (Tue): ski along the peaceful trails at Mt. Shasta Nordic Center, then browse the exhibits of Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum, then look for gifts at The Weed Store, and finally admire all the interesting features of Living Memorial Sculpture.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Mount Shasta trip simple and quick.

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Mount Shasta in 10 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in December, things will get slightly colder in Mount Shasta: highs are around 45°F and lows about 28°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Philo.

Things to do in Mount Shasta

Winter Sports Outdoors Museums

Side Trip

Weed
Highlights from your plan
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum ©
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum
Living Memorial Sculpture ©
Living Memorial Sculpture
The Weed Store ©
The Weed Store

1
night
Philo

Philo ©
Philo is a census-designated place in Mendocino County, California. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): learn about winemaking at Phillips Hill Winery, learn about winemaking at Husch Vineyards, then do a tasting at Handley Cellars Winery, then learn about winemaking at Lula Cellars, and finally do a tasting at Toulouse Vineyards.

To see reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Philo trip itinerary app .

You can drive from Mount Shasta to Philo in 5 hours. Traveling from Mount Shasta in December, things will get a bit warmer in Philo: highs are around 58°F and lows about 35°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Philo

Wineries
Highlights from your plan
Handley Cellars Winery ©
Handley Cellars Winery
Lula Cellars ©
Lula Cellars

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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, fly down the slopes at June Mountain, and then make a trip to Olmsted Point. On the 28th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, then take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View, then don't miss a visit to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point.

For photos, maps, and tourist information, read Yosemite National Park online holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Philo to Yosemite National Park takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. When traveling from Philo in December, plan for little chillier days in Yosemite National Park, with highs around 46°F, while nights are much colder with lows around 14°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can go by car to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

June Mountain
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Olmsted Point ©
Olmsted Point
June Mountain ©
June Mountain

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 29th (Sat): contemplate the long history of General Sherman Tree, delve into the lush surroundings at Giant Forest, and then hike along Moro Rock.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park online visit planner .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5 hours. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, you will find days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are a bit warmer (58°F), and nights are much warmer (36°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock

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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Piedras Blancas, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, then see the interesting displays at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), and finally take a leisurely stroll along San Simeon Pier.

For ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the San Simeon road trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to San Simeon takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of car and bus. In December, daily temperatures in San Simeon can reach 63°F, while at night they dip to 33°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Beaches
Highlights from your plan

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. Kick off your visit on the 31st (Mon): shop like a local with Carmel Art Association, kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and finally look for gifts at The Cheese Shop.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Carmel visit planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Carmel, with lows of 43°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 1st (Tue), trek along Lands End and then explore the activities along San Francisco Bay.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip itinerary builder .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in San Francisco can reach 59°F, while at night they dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Trails Nature
Highlights from your plan
San Francisco Bay ©
San Francisco Bay
Lands End ©
Lands End

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