15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
San Simeon
— 1 night
— 3 nights
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights


Los Angeles — 1 night

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): get to know the fascinating history of Venice Canals Walkway, stroll through Venice Beach and Boardwalk, then stroll through Santa Monica Bay, and finally explore the world behind art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Here are some ideas for day two: see a show at Walt Disney Concert Hall, make a trip to Hollywood Walk of Fame, get curious at California Science Center, then examine the collection at The Getty Center, then don't miss a visit to Santa Monica Pier, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Santa Monica State Beach.

To find photos, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Los Angeles itinerary planner.

London, UK to Los Angeles is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. Traveling from London to Los Angeles, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from London in May, expect Los Angeles to be a bit warmer, temps between 28°C and 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.
Beaches · Parks · Outdoors · Museums
Side Trip

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 18th (Thu): admire the landmark architecture of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, then make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, and finally admire the masterpieces at Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Fri): discover the deep blue sea with Calboat Diving - Spectre Dive Boat, do a tasting at Sunstone Winery, then get to know the resident critters at Santa Barbara Zoo, and finally take in the waterfront at Stearns Wharf.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara online trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Expect slightly colder evenings in Santa Barbara when traveling from Los Angeles in May, with lows around 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.
Tours · Wineries · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Side Trips

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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sat): kick back and relax at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, shop like a local with Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Vista Point, and finally steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon online visit planner.

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 May, plan for somewhat warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 32°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to drive to Carmel.
Parks · Wildlife · Beaches · Outdoors

Carmel — 3 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. Do some cultural sightseeing at Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Talbott Vineyards. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Carmel River State Beach and Pfeiffer State Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Natural Bridges State Beach (in Santa Cruz) and Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park & McWay Falls). There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach, explore the activities along Monterey Bay, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Carmel trip builder site.

Getting from San Simeon to Carmel by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from San Simeon in May: highs in Carmel hover around 21°C, while lows dip to 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Alcatraz Island and Wine Tours & Tastings. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Safari West and Castello di Amorosa. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Francisco: St. Helena (Benessere Vineyards & VGS Chateau Potelle). There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Golden Gate Bridge, wander the streets of Chinatown, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien.

To find where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In May in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Yosemite National Park.
Wineries · Tours · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Yosemite National Park — 3 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.
Get some historical perspective at Wawona Hotel, National Historic Landmark and Pioneer Yosemite History Center. Explore hidden gems such as Sentinel Dome and Yosemite Falls. The adventure continues: get great views at Yosemite, Tunnel View, tour the pleasant surroundings at North Dome, walk around Mariposa Grove, and admire the sheer force of Bridalveil Fall.

For reviews, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park road trip tool.

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Expect little chillier evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from San Francisco in May, with lows around 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can catch the flight back home.
Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Trails

California travel guide

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.