12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly:  7​h
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
St. Helena
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 15​min
5
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Newark

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Get a sense of the local culture at Fisherman's Wharf and Twin Peaks. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape of Alcatraz Island, take a stroll through The Embarcadero, get a taste of the local shopping with Union Square, and see the interesting displays at de Young Museum.

For more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read San Francisco travel tool .

Newark to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 3 hours. May in San Francisco sees daily highs of 69°F and lows of 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to drive to St. Helena.

Things to do in San Francisco

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

2
nights
St. Helena

St. Helena ©
The city of St.
On the 18th (Sat), learn about winemaking at Inglenook, then learn about winemaking at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, then learn about winemaking at Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, and finally do a tasting at Modus Operandi Cellars. Here are some ideas for day two: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our St. Helena online vacation planner .

You can drive from San Francisco to St. Helena in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of subway and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in May, you will find days in St. Helena are somewhat warmer (76°F), and nights are slightly colder (48°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in St. Helena

Tours Wineries

Side Trips

Wine Tours & Tastings, Inglenook, B Cellars Vineyards and Winery
Highlights from your plan
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Wine Tours & Tastings
Inglenook ©
Inglenook

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. Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach.

For traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Carmel travel route planner.

Getting from St. Helena to Carmel by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of bus, subway, and flight. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from St. Helena in May: highs in Carmel hover around 65°F, while lows dip to 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, explore the striking landscape at Taft Point, then take some stellar pictures from Valley View, and finally take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park road trip planning tool .

You can drive from Carmel to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Carmel in May since evenings lows in Yosemite National Park dip to 34°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Taft Point ©
Taft Point
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area ©
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area
Valley View ©
Valley View

2
nights
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.
On the 23rd (Thu), see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, kick back and relax at Will Rogers State Beach, and then kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk. Here are some ideas for day two: discover the magic at Disneyland Park.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Los Angeles trip itinerary app .

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Los Angeles by combination of car and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in May, you will find days in Los Angeles are somewhat warmer (75°F), and nights are much hotter (59°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk

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.
On the 25th (Sat), kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove and then kick back and relax at Mission Beach Park. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at USS Midway Museum.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, use the San Diego attractions planning site .

Drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In May, daily temperatures in San Diego can reach 71°F, while at night they dip to 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Mission Beach Park ©
Mission Beach Park

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