12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly + Drive:  10​h
1
Redwood National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Mendocino
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Oakland
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
4
Carmel
— 2 nights
bus:  1​h
5
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
San Simeon
— Few hours
Drive:  8​h
7
Mammoth Lakes
— Few hours
bus:  2​h
8
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
9
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
End: Minneapolis

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse. On the 16th (Sat), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Redwood National Park. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the majestic nature at Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, stroll through California Coastal Trail, and then enjoy the sea views from Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read Redwood National Park trip itinerary builder .

Minneapolis to Redwood National Park is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also drive. Traveling from Minneapolis to Redwood National Park, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Minneapolis in June; daily highs in Redwood National Park reach 63°F and lows reach 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can travel to Mendocino.

Things to do in Redwood National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Trinidad Memorial and Memorial Lighthouse, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
California Coastal Trail ©
California Coastal Trail
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park ©

1
day
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. On the 18th (Mon), contemplate the waterfront views at Big River, then admire the majestic nature at Jug Handle State Reserve, and then stroll through Noyo Headlands Park.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Mendocino online journey planner .

Traveling by car from Redwood National Park to Mendocino takes 4.5 hours. When traveling from Redwood National Park in June, plan for much warmer days in Mendocino, with highs around 89°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can drive to Oakland.

Things to do in Mendocino

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Noyo Headlands Park
Highlights from your plan
Jug Handle State Reserve ©
Jug Handle State Reserve
Big River ©
Big River

1
night
Oakland

Oakland ©
Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Muir Woods National Monument as well as Oracle Arena. Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): delve into the lush surroundings at Muir Woods National Monument, have some family-friendly fun at iFLY, and then explore and take pictures at Oracle Arena.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Oakland vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Mendocino to Oakland takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus, flight, and subway. While traveling from Mendocino, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Oakland, ranging from highs of 73°F to lows of 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Oakland

Fun & Games Nature Parks

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, iFLY
Highlights from your plan
iFLY ©
iFLY
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Oracle Arena ©
Oracle Arena

2
nights
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 19th (Tue): make a trip to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. On the next day, immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, trek along Partington Cove, then immerse yourself in nature at Limekiln State Park, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Carmel day trip planning site .

Drive from Oakland to Carmel in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of subway, flight, and bus; or do a combination of subway, shuttle, and bus. When traveling from Oakland in June, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 68°F by day to 53°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Thu) to allow enough time to take a bus to Big Sur.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Big Sur, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
McWay Falls ©
McWay Falls

1
night
Big Sur

Big Sur
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Big Sur online tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Carmel to Big Sur in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In June in Big Sur, expect temperatures between 67°F during the day and 53°F at night. On the 22nd (Fri), you'll travel to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Nature

few
hours
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.
To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read San Simeon trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to San Simeon takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Big Sur in June, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 58°F by day to 52°F at night. You'll set off for Mammoth Lakes on the 22nd (Fri).

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Nature

few
hours
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. To see photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Mammoth Lakes trip planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to Mammoth Lakes in 8 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Traveling from San Simeon in June, you will find days in Mammoth Lakes are a bit warmer (76°F), and nights are about the same (53°F). You'll set off for Yosemite National Park on the 22nd (Fri).

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Outdoors Nature

3
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.
On the 23rd (Sat), cruise along Tioga Pass, take in the dramatic natural features at Lembert Dome, and then don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Sun): take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome, stroll through Merced Grove, then explore the striking landscape at El Capitan, and finally trek along Tuolumne Meadows.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park holiday planning site .

Take a bus from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite National Park in 2 hours. Expect little chillier evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Mammoth Lakes in June, with lows around 41°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome
El Capitan ©
El Capitan

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 25th (Mon): take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, then contemplate the long history of Alcatraz Island, and then contemplate the waterfront views at San Francisco Bay. Here are some ideas for day two: take some stellar pictures from Twin Peaks, see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum, and then immerse yourself in nature at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve.

To see other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Francisco trip planning site .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, flight, and subway. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in June, expect nights in San Francisco to be somewhat warmer, around 55°F, while days are slightly colder, around 71°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
San Francisco Bay ©
San Francisco Bay

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