13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip builder
Make it your trip
— 4 nights
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Bus to Las Vegas, Fly to New York City


Monterey — 4 nights

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Explore hidden gems such as Carmel River State Beach and Pebble Beach Golf Links. Escape the urban bustle at Pfeiffer State Beach and McWay Falls. Get out of town with these interesting Monterey side-trips: Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park & Partington Cove) and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (in Santa Cruz). There's much more to do: immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay, and see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Monterey online travel route planner.

New York City to Monterey is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 3 hours. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from New York City in June, with highs in Monterey at 68°F and lows at 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.
Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Beaches
Side Trips

San Simeon — 3 nights

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.
Kids will enjoy Moonstone Beach and Leffingwell Landing. Explore hidden gems such as Piedras Blancas and Stepladder Ranch & Creamery. There's still lots to do: cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, look for gifts at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, and don't miss a visit to Nitt Witt Ridge.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read San Simeon holiday planning tool.

Traveling by car from Monterey to San Simeon takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Monterey in June, plan for warmer days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 93°F by day to 53°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Yosemite National Park.
Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Historic Sites
Side Trip

Yosemite National Park — 3 nights

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.
Bring the kids along to Yosemite Falls and Tioga Pass. Step off the beaten path and head to Mariposa Grove and Mirror Lake/Meadow Trail. The adventure continues: explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, contemplate the long history of Pioneer Yosemite History Center, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Center at Happy Isles.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park day trip planner.

Drive from San Simeon to Yosemite National Park in 5.5 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in June, things will get a bit cooler in Yosemite National Park: highs are around 79°F and lows about 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Death Valley National Park.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Death Valley National Park — 2 nights

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, explore the striking landscape at Devil's Golf Course, explore the activities along Badwater Basin, then take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, then take in breathtaking views at Golden Canyon, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park trip builder site.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park takes 4.5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in June, plan for a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Death Valley National Park: temperatures range from 98°F by day to 68°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.
Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive · Historic Sites

California travel guide

Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Theme Parks
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.