11 days in West Coast Itinerary

11 days in West Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock West Coast trip planner

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Route & dates

11 days in West Coast Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  3​h
1
Mammoth Lakes
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
End: San Francisco

2
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. Visiting Sentinel Dome and Lembert Dome will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tenaya Lake and Earthquake Fault. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Olmsted Point, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Mammoth Brewing Company, take in the dramatic natural features at Minaret Vista, and take some stellar pictures from Valley View.

For more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Mammoth Lakes journey planner .

San Francisco to Mammoth Lakes is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in May, Mammoth Lakes is a bit cooler at night with lows of 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Yosemite National Park
Highlights from your plan
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome
Tenaya Lake ©
Tenaya Lake
Olmsted Point ©
Olmsted Point

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 26th (Tue), explore the stunning scenery at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, contemplate the long history of Harmony Borax Works, then take an in-depth tour of The Ranch at Furnace Creek, and finally explore the activities along Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. Here are some ideas for day two: take in breathtaking views at Mosaic Canyon and then admire the sheer force of Darwin Falls.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park travel route planner .

You can drive from Mammoth Lakes to Death Valley National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Mammoth Lakes in May, plan for somewhat warmer days in Death Valley National Park, with highs around 33°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Twenty Mule Team Canyon ©
Twenty Mule Team Canyon
Harmony Borax Works ©
Harmony Borax Works
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail ©
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

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 28th (Thu), hike along Pacific Valley Bluff Trail, take in the dramatic natural features at Jade Cove, then do a tasting at Moonstone Cellars, then look for gifts at Sebastian General Store, and finally learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery. Keep things going the next day: take a leisurely stroll along San Simeon Pier, examine the collection at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), then learn about winemaking at Harmony Cellars, and finally stroll through William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in May, San Simeon is a bit cooler at night with lows of 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Moonstone Cellars, Harmony Cellars, Pacific Valley Bluff Trail
Highlights from your plan
Jade Cove ©
Jade Cove
Harmony Cellars ©
Harmony Cellars

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. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Pfeiffer State Beach. Get a sense of the local culture at Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Carmel Mission. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carmel: Big Sur (Partington Cove & McWay Falls). The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Lovers Point, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, and kick back and relax at Monastery Beach.

To see more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Carmel tour builder website .

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 May, expect nights in Carmel to be about the same, around 12°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Pacific Grove
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©

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