12 days in West Coast Itinerary

12 days in West Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock West Coast sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

12 days in West Coast Itinerary

Start: Dubai
Fly:  20​h 45​min
1
Portland
— 4 nights
Fly + shuttle:  6​h 45​min
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  19​h
End: Dubai

4
nights
Portland

Portland ©
A big city with a small-town feel, Portland is home to the country's biggest rose test garden, perched on a hill overlooking downtown.
Get outdoors at Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Ecola State Park. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Haystack Rock and Cannon Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Portland: Astoria (Astoria-Megler Bridge, Astoria Column, & more). There's more to do: stop by Powell's City of Books and take in nature's colorful creations at International Rose Test Garden.

To see ratings, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Portland attractions planner .

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Portland is an approximately 21-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Dubai to Portland, you'll gain 12 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Dubai in December, expect Portland to be colder, temps between 8°C and 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Carmel.

Things to do in Portland

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Cannon Beach, Astoria, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Highlights from your plan
Haystack Rock ©
Haystack Rock
Cannon Beach ©
Cannon Beach

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. On the 17th (Tue), tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Pfeiffer State Beach and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Carmel online attractions planner .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Portland to Carmel in 7 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Portland in December, things will get somewhat warmer in Carmel: highs are around 19°C and lows about 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Dolphin & Whale Watching, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, Pfeiffer State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then hike along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

To see maps, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Carmel in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in San Simeon, with lows of 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Historic Sites Trails

Side Trip

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Step out of the city life by going to Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods National Monument. Visit Golden Gate Bridge and SS Jeremiah O'Brien for their historical value. There's lots more to do: take in the pleasant sights at Fisherman's Wharf, see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique, wander the streets of Union Square, and engage your brain at Exploratorium.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the 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. Expect a bit warmer evenings in San Francisco when traveling from San Simeon in December, with lows around 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

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