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
Drive
2
Santa Monica
— 3 nights
Fly
3
South Lake Tahoe
— 3 nights
Drive
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 drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Wildlife · Parks · Nature · 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 Malibu (Zuma Beach & Nicholas Canyon Beach) and Manhattan Beach (in Manhattan 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 drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Santa Monica in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; 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 travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks · 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 Meeks Bay Beach. Get in touch with nature at Kiva Beach and El Dorado 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 Pope 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 6 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 go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Beaches · Outdoors · Parks · 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 Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland. Get outdoors at Alcatraz Island and Fort Funston National Park. There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Exploratorium, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, shop like a local with Ferry Building Marketplace, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco trip itinerary builder site.

Getting from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe in August, you will find days in San Francisco are little chillier (26°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (17°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel 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.