11 days in California Itinerary

11 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in California Itinerary

Start: New York City
bus + Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + bus:  11​h 15​min
End: New York City

1
night
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 20th (Fri): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Twin Peaks.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip tool .

New York City to San Francisco is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from New York City to San Francisco. Expect little chillier evenings in San Francisco when traveling from New York City in September, with lows around 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in San Francisco

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

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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach. On the 23rd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

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

Traveling by car from San Francisco to San Simeon takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in September, expect nights in San Simeon to be little chillier, around 53°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 90°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Moonstone Beach
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
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. Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach and then stroll through Point Lobos. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To find more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Carmel online day trip planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in September, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 72°F by day to 56°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Dolphin & Whale Watching

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tunnel View and Yosemite Falls. Visiting Tuolumne Meadows and Vernal Fall will get you outdoors. Spend the 27th (Fri) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, get answers to all your questions at Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, make a trip to Olmsted Point, and trek along Panorama Trail.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park online day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Yosemite National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Expect little chillier evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Carmel in September, with lows around 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

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