12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Detroit
Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
1
Santa Monica
— 1 night
+2
bus + Fly + Drive:  6​h 15​min
2
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
3
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Carmel
— 1 night
bus + Fly:  4​h 15​min
5
San Diego
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  8​h
End: Detroit

1
night
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles.
On the 10th (Mon), admire the masterpieces at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and then stop by Hollywood & Highland.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read Santa Monica travel route builder tool .

Detroit to Santa Monica is an approximately 9-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and tram. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Detroit to Santa Monica due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Detroit in September, Santa Monica is a bit warmer at night with lows of 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Santa Monica

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Los Angeles
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Will Rogers State Beach ©
Will Rogers State Beach

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Wed): admire the masterpieces at Yosemite Museum Gallery, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, then explore the striking landscape at Taft Point, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point. On the 13th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape at Lembert Dome and then trek along Tuolumne Meadows.

To find maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Santa Monica to Yosemite National Park in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. When traveling from Santa Monica in September, plan for a bit cooler days in Yosemite National Park, with highs around 74°F, while nights are cooler with lows around 38°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Taft Point ©
Taft Point
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Do your shopping at Union Square and City Lights Booksellers. Visiting China Beach and Marshall’s Beach will get you outdoors. There's lots more to do: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, wander the streets of SoMa, browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace, and explore and take pictures at Twin Peaks.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read San Francisco day trip app .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, flight, and subway. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 58°F in San Francisco. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

#Parks, #Neighborhoods, #Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Twin Peaks ©
Twin Peaks

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. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Tue): look for gifts at The Cheese Shop, immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Point Lobos.

To find maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Carmel trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in September, and nighttime lows around 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel to San Diego.

Things to do in Carmel

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Wed): examine the collection at USS Midway Museum and then tour the pleasant surroundings at La Jolla Cove. Here are some ideas for day two: hike along Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mission Beach Park.

For where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the San Diego trip itinerary app .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Carmel to San Diego in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, shuttle, and flight; or drive. Traveling from Carmel in September, things will get a bit warmer in San Diego: highs are around 79°F and lows about 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum

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