12 days in California & Oregon Itinerary

12 days in California & Oregon Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States tour planner

©
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Palm Springs
— 1 night
Drive
2
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive
3
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Cambria
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Carmel
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Cannon Beach
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1

Palm Springs

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): see Off-Road Tours and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. On the 21st (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire nature's extreme beauty at Coachella Valley Preserve and then delve into the distant past at Indian Canyons.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs trip site.

Seattle to Palm Springs is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect warmer weather when traveling from Seattle in December: highs in Palm Springs hover around 70°F, while lows dip to 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Death Valley National Park

— 1 night

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): take in breathtaking views at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, cruise along Artists Dr, contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, then explore the striking landscape at Devil's Golf Course, then explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, and finally steep yourself in history at Harmony Borax Works.

For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park visit planner.

Traveling by car from Palm Springs to Death Valley National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and car; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Palm Springs in December; daily highs in Death Valley National Park reach 56°F and lows reach 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Scenic Drive · Historic Sites

Santa Barbara

— 2 nights

The American Riviera

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara and then admire the landmark architecture of Santa Barbara County Courthouse. On the 24th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Santa Barbara trip maker site.

Getting from Death Valley National Park to Santa Barbara by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Death Valley National Park in December; daily highs in Santa Barbara reach 67°F and lows reach 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries · Tours · Historic Sites

Cambria

— 3 nights
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Visiting Moonstone Beach and Piedras Blancas will get you outdoors. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Moonstone Beach Dr and East Village. Step out of Cambria with an excursion to Hearst Castle in San Simeon--about 30 minutes away. There's more to do: stroll through Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop.

To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Cambria trip maker tool.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Cambria in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Cambria, with lows of 33°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Cambria

Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites · Beaches

Side Trip

Carmel

— 2 nights
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 28th (Tue): kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos. On the 29th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then take in the pleasant sights at West Cliff Drive.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Carmel trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by car from Cambria to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Carmel when traveling from Cambria in December, with lows around 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can catch the flight to Cannon Beach.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Cannon Beach

— 2 nights
Cannon Beach is a city in Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. On the 30th (Thu), stop by The Wine Shack and then admire the majestic nature at Ecola State Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Cannon Beach and then take in the dramatic natural features at Haystack Rock.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Cannon Beach travel planner.

Getting from Carmel to Cannon Beach by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Carmel in December, with highs in Cannon Beach at 49°F and lows at 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Cannon Beach

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

California travel guide

4
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.

Oregon travel guide

4.5
Gardens · State Parks · Specialty Museums
A land of many faces, Oregon is at once a state of rugged rocky coastlines and deep forests, as well as vibrant cities and small towns packed with award-winning restaurants and trendy shops. With nearly half of its land covered by dense fir, redwood, and pine forests, the state protects varied plant and animal life inside three national parks. In addition to pristine waterfalls, beaches, and lakes perfect for a holiday in nature, Oregon also offers numerous urban tourist attractions. Portland, the state's largest metropolis, notably includes more breweries than any other city in the world, and its central location makes it an ideal base for day trips to Oregon's emerging wine region and many parks.