15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

Start: Queens
Fly:  9​h 30​min
1
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
bus + Drive:  8​h
2
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  7​h 15​min
End: Queens

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 Vernal Fall. Discover out-of-the-way places like El Capitan and Lembert Dome. Spend the 8th (Thu) on the water with a fishing tour. Next up on the itinerary: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View, and look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Center at Happy Isles.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park holiday maker .

Queens to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Queens to Yosemite National Park due to the time zone difference. Expect much colder evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Queens in August, with lows around 43°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
El Capitan ©
El Capitan
Yosemite, Tunnel View ©
Yosemite, Tunnel View

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, then take some stellar pictures from Dante's View, and then don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Mon): cruise along Artists Dr and then contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin.

To find more things to do, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park day trip website .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 8 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, expect nights in Death Valley National Park to be much hotter, around 70°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 98°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

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

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Piedras Blancas. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, then admire all the interesting features of Moonstone Beach Dr, and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon visit website .

Drive from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a bit cooler evenings in San Simeon when traveling from Death Valley National Park in August, with lows around 55°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

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
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour. On the 16th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos.

To find maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Monterey online attractions planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to Monterey in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in August, plan for much colder days and about the same nights in Monterey: temperatures range from 70°F by day to 57°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Carmel, Big Sur, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Step out of the city life by going to Muir Woods National Monument and Alcatraz Island. Step off the beaten path and head to Cable Car Museum and California Academy of Sciences. There's lots more to do: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, get curious at Exploratorium, take a stroll through Union Square, and brush up on your military savvy at USS Pampanito.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip planning site .

Getting from Monterey to San Francisco by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 73°F in August, and nighttime lows around 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Shopping Childrens Museums

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

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