14 days in California Itinerary

14 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

14 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Carmel
— Few hours
Drive:  15​min
4
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
7
Laguna Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
8
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h
End: Chicago

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 9th (Sun): take a leisurely stroll along The Embarcadero, get curious at Exploratorium, and then head off the coast to Alcatraz Island. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Fort Funston National Park, then snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, then take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and finally examine the collection at Cable Car Museum.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco holiday planner.

Chicago to San Francisco is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and subway; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Chicago to San Francisco. Traveling from Chicago in June, things will get a bit cooler in San Francisco: highs are around 71°F and lows about 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

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.
On the 11th (Tue), hike along Lower Yosemite Fall Trail, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, and then explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls, then get great views at Valley View, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Panorama Trail, and finally make a trip to Olmsted Point.

To find maps, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip builder .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. While traveling from San Francisco, expect a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 79°F to lows of 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Panorama Trail ©
Panorama Trail

few
hours
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. For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Carmel day trip tool .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and bus; or do a combination of car, flight, shuttle, and bus. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in June, plan for slightly colder days in Carmel, with highs around 68°F, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 53°F. You will have some time to spend on the 13th (Thu) before leaving for Monterey.

Things to do in Carmel

Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Bird Rock Vista Point
Highlights from your plan
Bird Rock Vista Point ©
Bird Rock Vista Point

1
night
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 13th (Thu): get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, visit a coastal fixture at Point Pinos Lighthouse, and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Monterey road trip site .

Monterey is just a stone's throw from Carmel. In June, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 68°F, while at night they dip to 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Pacific Grove
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Point Pinos Lighthouse ©
Point Pinos Lighthouse

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 14th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, then take in the exciting artwork at artifacts gallery, and finally kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas and then stop by Sebastian General Store.

To see more things to do, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our San Simeon trip itinerary app .

You can drive from Monterey to San Simeon in 3 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 much hotter days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 93°F by day to 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

2
nights
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
On the 16th (Sun), explore the landscape on two wheels at Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, then identify plant and animal life at Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery, and then immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara attractions planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Santa Barbara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from San Simeon in June, plan for colder days in Santa Barbara, with highs around 72°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Laguna Beach.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Carpinteria
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve ©
Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve

1
night
Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, in the United States. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): stroll through Newport Beach, see the interesting displays at Mission San Juan Capistrano, and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Laguna Beach trip itinerary tool .

Getting from Santa Barbara to Laguna Beach by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Laguna Beach, with lows of 63°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Laguna Beach

Outdoors Beaches Museums

Side Trips

Mission San Juan Capistrano, Newport Beach, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Newport Beach ©
Newport Beach
Mission San Juan Capistrano ©
Mission San Juan Capistrano

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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Griffith Observatory and The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Bring the kids along to Santa Monica Pier and El Matador State Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Charmlee Wilderness Park (in Malibu), Tehachapi Mountain Park (in Tehachapi) and Fillmore Fish Hatchery (in Fillmore). There's more to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles trip planning tool .

Drive from Laguna Beach to Los Angeles in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. In June in Los Angeles, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 62°F at night. You will have some time to spend on the 21st (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Malibu, Tehachapi Mountain Park, The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, Santa Monica Pier, Fillmore Fish Hatchery
Highlights from your plan
Tehachapi Mountain Park ©
Tehachapi Mountain Park
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

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