13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in California Itinerary

Start: Seattle
Fly:  4​h 15​min
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
bus + Drive:  8​h
3
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Calistoga
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: Seattle

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visit Alcatraz Island and SS Jeremiah O'Brien for their historical value. Union Square and SoMa are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Ferry Building Marketplace, take in the exciting artwork at Eden Fine Art, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and shop like a local with City Lights Booksellers.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Francisco trip itinerary maker site .

Seattle to San Francisco is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Traveling from Seattle in November, expect San Francisco to be somewhat warmer, temps between 64°F and 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

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.
Let the collections at Bodie State Historic Park and Yosemite Museum Gallery capture your imagination. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Glacier Point and Tunnel View. Take a break from Yosemite National Park with a short trip to Mono Lake County Park in Lee Vining, about 48 minutes away. Spend the 15th (Sun) exploring nature at Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park. The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. When traveling from San Francisco in November, plan for little chillier days and cooler nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 54°F by day to 19°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake County Park
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite, Tunnel View ©
Yosemite, Tunnel View
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 16th (Mon), take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point and then trek along Gower Gulch Loop. On the next day, cruise along Artists Dr and then explore the activities along Badwater Basin.

For photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park by car takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Yosemite National Park in November; daily highs in Death Valley National Park reach 66°F and lows reach 39°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

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.
On the 18th (Wed), step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Thu): admire the natural beauty at Cambria Nursery & Florist, get a taste of the local shopping with Ephraim Pottery West Gallery, view the masterpieces at artifacts gallery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and finally steep yourself in history at The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read San Simeon trip itinerary maker app .

Drive from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In November in San Simeon, expect temperatures between 70°F during the day and 40°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone 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. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Point Lobos, enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, and then take a stroll through Ocean Avenue. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Carmel Art Association, take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, then look for gifts at The Cheese Shop, then explore the activities along Monterey Bay, and finally view the masterpieces at Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Carmel road trip website .

Drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. While traveling from San Simeon, expect a bit cooler days and a bit warmer nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 65°F to lows of 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Calistoga.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Monterey Bay
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay

1
night
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Safari West, take in the exciting artwork at Valley of the Moon Pottery & North Eagle Gallery, then learn about winemaking at V. Sattui Winery, and finally step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa.

Before you visit Calistoga, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Carmel to Calistoga takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight, subway, and bus. Expect slightly colder evenings in Calistoga when traveling from Carmel in November, with lows around 41°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Calistoga

Parks Wildlife Wineries

Side Trips

Santa Rosa, V. Sattui Winery
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Safari West ©
Safari West
V. Sattui Winery ©
V. Sattui Winery

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