12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Hermosillo
Fly:  12​h 30​min
1
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Fly:  15​h 15​min
End: Hermosillo

3
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Moonstone Beach and William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. Step off the beaten path and head to Elephant Seal Rookery and Piedras Blancas. Venture out of the city with trips to Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Partington Cove, & more). The adventure continues: enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station.

For more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon trip itinerary planning website .

Hermosillo, Mexico to San Simeon is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Hermosillo in July, you will find days in San Simeon are slightly colder (40°C), and nights are colder (15°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Get in touch with nature at Alcatraz Island and Bodega Dunes. Explore hidden gems such as Castello di Amorosa and V. Sattui Winery. There's much more to do: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, take a stroll through North Beach, and get curious at Exploratorium.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read San Francisco trip planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to San Francisco in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from San Simeon in July, you will find days in San Francisco are colder (26°C), and nights are about the same (16°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Bodega Dunes, Castello di Amorosa, V. Sattui Winery
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Twin Peaks ©
Twin Peaks
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Vernal Fall and El Capitan. Escape the urban bustle at Bridalveil Fall and Yosemite Falls. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, trek along Panorama Trail, make a trip to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, and stroll through Four Mile Trail.

To see maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park road trip planning website .

Drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. While traveling from San Francisco, expect somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Panorama Trail ©
Panorama Trail
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

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