13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in California Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly:  7​h
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Monterey
— 2 nights
bus:  45​min
3
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
5
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive + bus:  8​h
6
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Fly:  10​h 30​min
End: Newark

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Muir Woods National Monument and Phoenix Lake. And it doesn't end there: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, explore the engaging exhibits at Exploratorium, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco trip maker tool .

Newark to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Newark to San Francisco. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Newark in August: high temperatures in San Francisco hover around 73°F and lows are around 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Phoenix Lake
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then make a trip to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Dennis the Menace Park, then enjoy the sea views from Point Pinos Lighthouse, and then tee off at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

To find reviews, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read Monterey day trip tool .

You can drive from San Francisco to Monterey in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of train and bus. In August, daytime highs in Monterey are 70°F, while nighttime lows are 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can catcht the bus to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Point Lobos
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Dennis the Menace Park ©
Dennis the Menace Park
Pebble Beach Golf Links ©
Pebble Beach Golf Links

2
nights
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
On the 6th (Tue), admire the majestic nature at Limekiln State Park and then admire the majestic nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. On your second day here, admire the majestic nature at Andrew Molera State Park, kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, and then trek along Partington Cove.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Big Sur online trip planner .

Getting from Monterey to Big Sur by bus takes about an hour. Other options: drive. In August, daytime highs in Big Sur are 70°F, while nighttime lows are 57°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Limekiln State Park ©
Limekiln State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Thu): cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our San Simeon day trip planning tool .

Getting from Big Sur to San Simeon by car takes about 4 hours. Traveling from Big Sur in August, expect nights in San Simeon to be about the same, around 55°F, while days are warmer, around 94°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, take in breathtaking views at Mosaic Canyon, and then don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Ashford Mill Ruins, take in breathtaking views at Titus Canyon, then explore the activities along Salt Creek Interpretive Trail, and finally get engrossed in the history at The Ranch at Furnace Creek.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park online trip builder .

Drive from San Simeon to Death Valley National Park in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and car; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Death Valley National Park, with lows of 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Titus Canyon ©
Titus Canyon
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail ©
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, and then hike along Four Mile Trail. Here are some ideas for day two: don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Panorama Trail, then take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, and finally admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls.

To see reviews and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park online trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Yosemite National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from Death Valley National Park in August, plan for slightly colder days and colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 81°F by day to 43°F at night. On the 13th (Tue), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

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