12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in California Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  7​h
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 45​min
2
Redwood National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
3
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  5​h
4
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
San Diego
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  7​h 30​min
End: Washington DC

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll explore and learn at Exploratorium and Musee Mecanique. Visit Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge for their historical value. There's lots more to do: take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, take some stellar pictures from Twin Peaks, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Baker Beach.

Plan trip to San Francisco with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Washington DC to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of subway, bus, and flight; or drive. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Washington DC to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Washington DC in June; daily highs in San Francisco reach 71°F and lows reach 55°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to travel to Redwood National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

2
nights
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 Redwood National Park. On the 11th (Tue), walk around Redwood National Park. On the next day, hike along Trillium Falls Hike and then hike along Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Redwood National Park trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from San Francisco to Redwood National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi; or drive. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from San Francisco in June: high temperatures in Redwood National Park hover around 63°F and lows are around 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Redwood National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Trillium Falls Hike ©
Trillium Falls Hike
Lady Bird Johnson Grove ©
Lady Bird Johnson Grove

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.
Visiting Glacier Point and Cathedral Beach Picnic Area will get you outdoors. There's lots more to do: stroll through Tuolumne Meadows, explore the striking landscape at El Capitan, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, and trek along Panorama Trail.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park trip itinerary website .

Getting from Redwood National Park to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 10 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight. When traveling from Redwood National Park in June, plan for somewhat warmer days in Yosemite National Park, with highs around 79°F, while nights are little chillier with lows around 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can travel to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows
Vernal Fall ©
Vernal Fall

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): get a taste of the local shopping with Third Street Promenade, then admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica State Beach, then take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, and finally hunt for treasures at Santa Monica Farmers Market.

For maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Santa Monica route website .

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Yosemite National Park to Santa Monica takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in June, you will find days in Santa Monica are little chillier (73°F), and nights are a bit warmer (61°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Nature Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier
Third Street Promenade ©
Third Street Promenade

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 17th (Mon), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum, and then shop like a local with Gaslamp Quarter.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read our San Diego sightseeing planning site .

Traveling by car from Santa Monica to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and flight. In June, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 64°F. On the 18th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Museums Shopping Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Gaslamp Quarter ©
Gaslamp Quarter
Fort Rosecrans Cemetery ©
Fort Rosecrans Cemetery

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