13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour builder

Make it your trip
Fly to Palm Springs International Airport, Drive to Joshua Tree National Park
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Joshua Tree National Park
— 1 night
Fly
2
Santa Monica
— 3 nights
Fly
3
South Lake Tahoe
— 3 nights
Fly
4
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly

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Joshua Tree National Park

— 1 night
Joshua Tree National Park takes its name from the Joshua tree, a twisted, spiky tree with bayonet-shaped leaves at the top that's one of the few plant species hardy enough to thrive in the extreme climate of the Mojave Desert.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): admire nature's extreme beauty at Cottonwood Spring Oasis and then identify plant and animal life at Barker Dam Trail.

To find reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Joshua Tree National Park trip planner.

Dublin, Ireland to Joshua Tree National Park is an approximately 17.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -8 hour difference. In August, Joshua Tree National Park is much hotter than Dublin - with highs of 45°C and lows of 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can fly to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks · Wildlife · Trails · Outdoors

Santa Monica

— 3 nights

Fortunate People in a Fortunate Land

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.
Do your shopping at Two Rodeo Drive and Montana Avenue. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Santa Monica Pier and Camera Obscura. Venture out of the city with trips to Manhattan Beach (in Manhattan Beach) and Malibu (Zuma Beach & Nicholas Canyon Beach). And it doesn't end there: immerse yourself in nature at Santa Monica State Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica Bay, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Carbon Beach.

For maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Monica itinerary maker app.

You can fly from Joshua Tree National Park to Santa Monica in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. Expect much colder weather when traveling from Joshua Tree National Park in August: highs in Santa Monica hover around 28°C, while lows dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to fly to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

South Lake Tahoe

— 3 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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Baldwin Beach and El Dorado Beach. Get in touch with nature at Kiva Beach and Pope Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Truckee (Rainbow Bridge / Donner Summit Bridge & West End Beach). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Meeks Bay Beach and tour the pleasant surroundings at Lakeside Beach.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our South Lake Tahoe online itinerary planner.

You can fly from Santa Monica to South Lake Tahoe in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect colder evenings in South Lake Tahoe when traveling from Santa Monica in August, with lows around 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to San Francisco.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 5 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Do your shopping at Union Square and Ferry Building Marketplace. Get outdoors at Alcatraz Island and Fort Funston National Park. There's lots more to do: visit Fisherman's Wharf, get curious at Exploratorium, see the interesting displays at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco sightseeing planning app.

Fly from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from South Lake Tahoe in August, plan for little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in San Francisco: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Outdoors · Parks · Museums · Wildlife

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
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.