15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California visit planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  7​h
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Philo
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
4
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
7
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Bus + Fly:  11​h 30​min
End: Washington DC

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
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 Fisherman's Wharf. Visit Twin Peaks and SS Jeremiah O'Brien for their historical value. There's lots more to do: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, make a trip to Nob Hill, wander the streets of SoMa, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Filbert Steps.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco attractions planner .

Washington DC to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of subway, bus, and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. In October, daytime highs in San Francisco are 73°F, while nighttime lows are 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Calistoga.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

1
night
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Tue): learn about winemaking at Huge Bear at The Bank Tasting Room, explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa, learn about winemaking at Merryvale Vineyards, learn about winemaking at V. Sattui Winery, then learn about winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at T-Vine Winery.

Make your Calistoga itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Calistoga takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. While traveling from San Francisco, expect somewhat warmer days and slightly colder nights in Calistoga, ranging from highs of 79°F to lows of 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Philo.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Historic Sites

Side Trips

St. Helena, Robert Mondavi Winery
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Robert Mondavi Winery ©
Robert Mondavi Winery
V. Sattui Winery ©
V. Sattui Winery

2
nights
Philo

Philo ©
Philo is a census-designated place in Mendocino County, California. On the 16th (Wed), do a tasting at Navarro Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at Lula Cellars, then learn about winemaking at Handley Cellars Winery, and finally do a tasting at Phillips Hill Winery. On your second day here, savor the flavors at Pennyroyal Farm, then pause for some serene contemplation at Sea Ranch Chapel, then enjoy the sea views from Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum, and finally stroll through Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Philo sightseeing planning website .

Getting from Calistoga to Philo by car takes about 2 hours. October in Philo sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 46°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Philo

Wineries Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Point Arena, Pennyroyal Farm, Sea Ranch Chapel
Highlights from your plan
Handley Cellars Winery ©
Handley Cellars Winery
Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum ©
Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum
Navarro Vineyards ©
Navarro Vineyards

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Bodie State Historic Park and Tioga Rd. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark and Bodie. There's still lots to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass, and make a trip to Olmsted Point.

To see maps, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Yosemite National Park itinerary maker site .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Philo to Yosemite National Park. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Philo in October: high temperatures in Yosemite National Park hover around 66°F and lows are around 28°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Bodie State Historic Park, Tioga Rd
Highlights from your plan
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Tioga Rd
Tioga Rd

2
nights
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. Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire all the interesting features of Seventeen Mile Drive, then kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Pfeiffer State Beach.

To find reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Carmel tour itinerary maker .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. Plan for warmer nights when traveling from Yosemite National Park in October since evenings lows in Carmel dip to 52°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, Monterey Bay, Pfeiffer State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
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 23rd (Wed), explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for San Simeon using our trip planner.

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 October, plan for a bit warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 83°F, while nights are little chillier with lows around 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks

Side Trip

Piedras Blancas Light Station
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Piedras Blancas Light Station ©
Piedras Blancas Light Station

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 24th (Thu): contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, then take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, and then contemplate the long history of Eureka Mine. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, then get great views at Dante's View, and then make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park trip site .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Death Valley National Park takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and car; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Death Valley National Park when traveling from San Simeon in October, with lows around 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Dante's View ©
Dante's View
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

Similar Plans

17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM ISRAEL July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in Atlanta & California BY A USER FROM BRAZIL November, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in California BY A USER FROM LATVIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in California BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA June, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 18 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in California BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
View more plans