12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel planner

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Milwaukee
Fly:  6​h
1
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Sacramento
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
6
Eureka
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Redwood National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 30​min
8
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  7​h 45​min
End: Milwaukee

1
night
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Mon): get a new perspective on nature at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, then explore the world behind art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and then admire the masterpieces at Diorama-museum of Bhagavad-gita. On the next day, take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, then stroll the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and finally see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory.

For traveler tips and more tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles day trip planning website .

Milwaukee to Los Angeles is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Milwaukee in September, expect Los Angeles to be somewhat warmer, temps between 85°F and 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Childrens Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Santa Monica Pier
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station.

To find maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the San Simeon trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Simeon in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Los Angeles in September, San Simeon is slightly colder at night with lows of 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Piedras Blancas Light Station
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Piedras Blancas Light Station ©
Piedras Blancas Light Station

1
night
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 19th (Thu), admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then explore the activities along Monterey Bay.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Monterey tour builder .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Monterey takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. While traveling from San Simeon, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Monterey, ranging from highs of 72°F to lows of 56°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Monterey

Nature Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, Point Lobos
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay

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 20th (Fri): take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, then steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, then take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and finally head off the coast to Alcatraz Island. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at USS Pampanito, examine the collection at Musee Mecanique, then engage your brain at Exploratorium, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Filbert Steps.

To see other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by car from Monterey to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of bus and train. In September, daytime highs in San Francisco are 76°F, while nighttime lows are 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to drive to Sacramento.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Musee Mecanique ©
Musee Mecanique

1
night
Sacramento

Sacramento ©
The capital city of America's most economically significant state, Sacramento is an important stop for any politico.
On the 22nd (Sun), examine the collection at Old Sacramento, then examine the collection at California State Railroad Museum, then see the interesting displays at California State Capitol Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

To see photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Sacramento online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Sacramento takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. When traveling from San Francisco in September, plan for a bit warmer days in Sacramento, with highs around 88°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Eureka.

Things to do in Sacramento

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
California State Railroad Museum ©
California State Railroad Museum
California State Capitol Museum ©
California State Capitol Museum
Old Sacramento ©
Old Sacramento

1
day
Eureka

Eureka ©
Eureka is the principal city and county seat of Humboldt County in the Redwood Empire region of California. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): examine the collection at Chapman's Gem & Mineral Shop & Museum, then learn about winemaking at Clendenen's Cider Works, then stroll the grounds of Ferndale Historic Cemetery, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Samoa Dunes Recreation Area.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Eureka online itinerary planner .

You can drive from Sacramento to Eureka in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, subway, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Sacramento in September, expect nights in Eureka to be slightly colder, around 53°F, while days are cooler, around 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can go by car to Redwood National Park.

Things to do in Eureka

Wildlife Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Fortuna, Ferndale Historic Cemetery, Samoa Dunes Recreation Area
Highlights from your plan
Samoa Dunes Recreation Area ©
Samoa Dunes Recreation Area
Chapman's Gem & Mineral Shop & Museum ©
Ferndale Historic Cemetery ©
Ferndale Historic Cemetery

1
night
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park is home to a tremendous collection of the world's tallest type of tree.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): explore the striking landscape of Redwood National Park.

For traveler tips, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Redwood National Park tour site .

Drive from Eureka to Redwood National Park in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 66°F in September, and nighttime lows around 50°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Redwood National Park

Nature Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood 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 25th (Wed): mingle with the ghosts of the past at Bodie and then contemplate the long history of Bodie State Historic Park. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, then look for all kinds of wild species at Mono Lake County Park, and then cruise along Tioga Pass.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read Yosemite National Park travel itinerary planner.

Explore your travel options from Redwood National Park to Yosemite National Park with the Route module. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Redwood National Park in September: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 74°F, while lows dip to 38°F. On the 27th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Bodie, Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake County Park
Highlights from your plan
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Bodie ©
Bodie
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

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