11 days in West Coast & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

11 days in West Coast & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in West Coast & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

Start: Boston
Fly:  7​h 15​min
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Carmel
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
4
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  7​h 45​min
5
Grand Canyon National Park
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  12​h 15​min
End: Boston

2
nights
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 25th (Thu): kick back and relax at Baker Beach, then take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and then head off the coast to Alcatraz Island. Here are some ideas for day two: explore and take pictures at Twin Peaks, then kick back and relax at Fort Funston National Park, then take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and finally make a trip to Washington Square.

To see reviews, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our San Francisco journey planner.

Boston to San Francisco is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or drive. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Boston to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Boston in April; daily highs in San Francisco reach 67°F and lows reach 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf
Fort Funston National Park ©
Fort Funston National Park

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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at North Dome, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, and then stroll through Cathedral Beach Picnic Area. On the 28th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park.

To find photos, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park online attractions planner .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in April, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around 28°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Elizabeth Lake ©
Elizabeth Lake
North Dome ©
North Dome

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. On the 29th (Mon), immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach and then stroll through Point Lobos.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Carmel online travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Carmel takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in April, Carmel is a bit warmer at night with lows of 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) to allow time to travel to San Diego.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trip

Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at La Jolla Cove and then enjoy the sand and surf at Children's Pool. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Black's Beach and then admire the majestic nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

For maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Diego journey builder site .

You can fly from Carmel to San Diego in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Carmel in April, things will get somewhat warmer in San Diego: highs are around 71°F and lows about 58°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to travel to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Diego

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
Black's Beach ©
Black's Beach

1
night
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park ©
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
On the 2nd (Thu), hike along South Kaibab Trail, examine the collection at Kolb Studio, then explore the stunning scenery at Grand Canyon South Rim, and finally take in breathtaking views at Yavapai Point. Here are some ideas for day two: get great views at Mather Point and then trek along Rim Trail.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Grand Canyon National Park online trip itinerary planner .

Do a combination of flight and bus from San Diego to Grand Canyon National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is 1 hour. Traveling from San Diego in May, Grand Canyon National Park is much colder at night with lows of 33°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon South Rim ©
Grand Canyon South Rim
Rim Trail ©
Rim Trail
South Kaibab Trail ©
South Kaibab Trail

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