13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

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Route & dates

13 days in California Itinerary

Start: Dubuque
Fly:  7​h 30​min
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
End: Dubuque

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): examine the collection at Mingei International Museum. On the next day, see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum and then kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read San Diego vacation builder website .

Dubuque to San Diego is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Dubuque to San Diego due to the time zone difference. In December, San Diego is warmer than Dubuque - with highs of 68°F and lows of 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Museums Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©

3
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
You'll explore and learn at The Getty Center and Diorama-museum of Bhagavad-gita. Next up on the itinerary: see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory, learn more about the world around you at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, and take an in-depth tour of Autry Museum of the American West.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles vacation maker app .

Traveling by car from San Diego to Los Angeles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In December, daytime highs in Los Angeles are 69°F, while nighttime lows are 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Childrens Museums Beaches

Side Trip

Norton Simon Museum
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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.
Parsons Memorial and Yosemite Museum Gallery will appeal to museum buffs. Visiting Cathedral Beach Picnic Area and Badger Pass Ski Area will get you outdoors. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, tour the pleasant surroundings at Curry Village Ice Rink, don't miss a visit to Washburn Point, and trek along Mariposa Grove.

To find traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park online day trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and car from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Los Angeles in December, things will get cooler in Yosemite National Park: highs are around 46°F and lows about 14°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area ©
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove

1
night
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 11th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Point Lobos, then enjoy the sand and surf at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, then enjoy the sand and surf at Asilomar State Beach, and finally admire the masterpieces at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To see more things to do, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Carmel travel route planner.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, plan for somewhat warmer days in Carmel, with highs around 62°F, while nights are much hotter with lows around 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Beaches Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, then get curious at Exploratorium, and then see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Fri): explore the world behind art at Asian Art Museum, learn about all things military at USS Pampanito, then see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique, and finally snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In December in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 59°F during the day and 45°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Historic Sites Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium
Musee Mecanique ©
Musee Mecanique

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