15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h
5
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + bus:  5​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
End: San Francisco

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Get in touch with nature at Muir Woods National Monument and Twin Peaks. There's still lots to do: take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, get curious at Exploratorium, see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique, and stroll around Golden Gate Park.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the San Francisco vacation site .

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to San Francisco. In August in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 59°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

2
nights
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. Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge. On the 12th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach, then kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel travel itinerary planner .

Getting from San Francisco to Carmel by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. In August, daytime highs in Carmel are 70°F, while nighttime lows are 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River 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.
On the 13th (Tue), step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read San Simeon trip maker tool .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Carmel in August, plan for much warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 94°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle

3
nights
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park ©
With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
Get outdoors at General Grant Tree Trail and Roaring River Falls. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kings Canyon National Park and Giant Forest. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Moro Rock, steep yourself in history at General Sherman Tree, and take a memorable drive along Generals Hwy.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip itinerary maker site .

Drive from San Simeon to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park when traveling from San Simeon in August, with lows around 63°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
General Grant Tree Trail ©
General Grant Tree Trail
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Sat): make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, and then get great views at Dante's View. Keep things going the next day: admire all the interesting features of Artists Dr and then explore the activities along Badwater Basin.

To see traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park online trip planner .

Traveling by car from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Death Valley National Park takes 7 hours. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in August, Death Valley National Park is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

4
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.
Get outdoors at Tuolumne Meadows and El Capitan. Discover out-of-the-way places like Sentinel Dome and Tioga Pass. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, hike along Panorama Trail, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, and take in the dramatic natural features at Cloud's Rest.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park travel planner .

You can do a combination of car and bus from Death Valley National Park to Yosemite National Park in 6 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Death Valley National Park in August: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 81°F, while lows dip to 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

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