12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner
Make it your trip
South Lake Tahoe
— 2 nights
Olympic Valley
— 1 night
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
— 4 nights
San Francisco
— 2 nights


South Lake Tahoe — 2 nights

High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near South Lake Tahoe: Nevada State Museum (in Carson City) and River Rafting & Tubing (in Lotus). And it doesn't end there: hike along Eagle Falls Trail, explore the activities along Emerald Bay State Park, step into the grandiose world of Vikingsholm, and kick back and relax at Pope Beach.

Plan my trip to South Lake Tahoe with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Philadelphia to South Lake Tahoe is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Philadelphia to South Lake Tahoe is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Philadelphia in July, you will find days in South Lake Tahoe are slightly colder (82°F), and nights are colder (46°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) early enough to drive to Olympic Valley.
Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Adventure
Side Trips

Olympic Valley — 1 night

Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): trek along Five Lakes Creek Trailhead and then cast your line with Matt Heron Fly Fishing.

To see traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Olympic Valley trip planner.

Drive from South Lake Tahoe to Olympic Valley in 1.5 hours. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from South Lake Tahoe in July since evenings lows in Olympic Valley dip to 40°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.
Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Trails

Yosemite National Park — 2 nights

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 16th (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Center at Happy Isles, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, then admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls, then take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Bridalveil Fall.

Find out how to plan Yosemite National Park trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Explore your travel options from Olympic Valley to Yosemite National Park with the Route module. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Olympic Valley in July, with lows around 46°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) early enough to travel to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Monterey — 4 nights

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Get out of town with these interesting Monterey side-trips: Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach, Partington Cove, &more). There's lots more to do: immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, explore the landscape on two wheels at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, and get to know the fascinating history of Cannery Row.

For more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Monterey trip builder.

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Monterey by car takes about 5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in July, plan for little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in Monterey: temperatures range from 69°F by day to 55°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.
Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Historic Sites
Side Trips

San Francisco — 2 nights

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 22nd (Fri), buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, and then take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Monterey to San Francisco by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. July in San Francisco sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 57°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Sat) to allow time for the flight back home.
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Nature · Parks

California travel guide

Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Theme Parks
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.