15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 1 night
Drive
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive
4
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
6
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
7
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
8
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
23
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26
27
28
29
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31
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12

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

— 1 night

A Land of Giants

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.
On the 28th (Fri), trek along Moro Rock Trail, then take a peaceful walk through Giant Forest, and then stroll around Slick Rock Recreation Area. On your second day here, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Kings Canyon National Park, don't miss a visit to General Sherman Tree, then hike along General Grant Tree Trail, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Grizzly Falls.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park tour planner.

Boston to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Boston to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Boston in May, you will find days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are a bit warmer (84°F), and nights are about the same (55°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Side Trip

Yosemite National Park

— 2 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.
On the 30th (Sun), stroll around Mariposa Grove, get a dose of the wild on Crossroads Tours & Limo, and then explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point. On your second day here, browse the eclectic array of goods at El Portal Market, explore the striking landscape of Bridalveil Fall, take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View, then see the interesting displays at Yosemite Museum Gallery, then take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, and finally admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall.

For where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park journey planning website.

Traveling by car from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park takes 5.5 hours. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in May, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are little chillier (65°F), and nights are cooler (34°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

Death Valley National Park

— 1 night

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): take in breathtaking views at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, explore the striking landscape at Devil's Golf Course, then take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, and finally get great views at Dante's View.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park day trip planning site.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 4.5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in May, plan for somewhat warmer days and warmer nights in Death Valley National Park: temperatures range from 83°F by day to 55°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can go by car to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

Palm Springs

— 2 nights
On the 2nd (Wed), contemplate the long history of Indian Canyons, explore the world behind art at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, then wander the streets of El Paseo Shopping District, and finally see Off-Road Tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at San Jacinto Mountain, see the interesting displays at Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, see the interesting displays at Palm Springs Air Museum, then view the masterpieces at Motif, and finally admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs day trip site.

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Palm Springs in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or take a bus. In June, Palm Springs is a bit warmer than Death Valley National Park - with highs of 106°F and lows of 75°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Museums · Parks · Nature · Shopping

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 2 nights

The American Riviera

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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Fri): admire the striking features of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, then contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, and finally wander the streets of State Street Underpass. On the 5th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the waterfront at Stearns Wharf, then relax in the rural setting at McGrath Family Farm, then revel in the low prices at Camarillo Premium Outlets, and finally walk around Camarillo Grove Park.

To plan Santa Barbara vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Drive from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. When traveling from Palm Springs in June, plan for much colder days and slightly colder nights in Santa Barbara: temperatures range from 72°F by day to 56°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours · Wineries · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trip

San Simeon

— 1 night
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 6th (Sun): kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, and finally get a new perspective on nature at Greenspace Creekside Reserve.

To find photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the San Simeon tour itinerary maker.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in June, plan for much hotter days in San Simeon, with highs around 93°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Wildlife · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trip

Carmel

— 2 nights
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. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Mon): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, explore the activities along Monterey Bay, then shop like a local with Wyland Gallery Carmel, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and finally kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Tue): take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, then take in the views from Bixby Bridge, and finally kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach.

For other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Carmel trip builder tool.

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in June, plan for much colder days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 68°F by day to 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 9th (Wed), do a tasting at V. Sattui Winery, explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa, then view the masterpieces at Mumm Napa, then do a tasting at Robert Mondavi Winery, and finally see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about winemaking at Dry Creek Vineyard, examine the collection at Charles M. Schulz Museum, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Safari West.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our San Francisco journey planning site.

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In June, daytime highs in San Francisco are 71°F, while nighttime lows are 55°F. On the 11th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Wineries · Parks · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trips

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.