15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
Drive
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive
5
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Fly

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San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Exploratorium and Cable Car Museum will appeal to museum buffs. You'll discover tucked-away gems like de Young Museum and Ferry Building Marketplace. There's lots more to do: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, stop by City Lights Booksellers, wander the streets of Union Square, and hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

For photos and more tourist information, read our San Francisco day trip tool.

Edinburgh, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 16-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 8 hours. In January, San Francisco is a bit warmer than Edinburgh - with highs of 17°C and lows of 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping · Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods

Yosemite National Park

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Yosemite Museum Gallery, then identify plant and animal life at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, then take an in-depth tour of Parsons Memorial, and finally get great views at Yosemite, Tunnel View.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip app.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Traveling from San Francisco in January, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around -12°C, while days are little chillier, around 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to travel to San Simeon.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Museums · Shopping · Wildlife · Parks

San Simeon

— 2 nights
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 12th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, then cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, and then steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle. Here are some ideas for day two: visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, get advice or help at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then take in the exciting artwork at Ephraim Pottery West Gallery, and finally view the masterpieces at Amphora Gallery.

For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Simeon vacation planner.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to San Simeon in 5.5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in January, plan for a bit warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 20°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to fly to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Los Angeles

— 3 nights

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.
Do your shopping at The Disney Gallery and The Grove. Get some cultural insight at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Diorama-museum of Bhagavad-gita. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Los Angeles: Rodeo Drive (in Beverly Hills) and Annenberg Community Beach House (in Santa Monica). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, buy something for everyone on your list at Two Rodeo Drive, stop by Edelweiss Chocolate Factory, and look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

To see reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles trip itinerary planning website.

Getting from San Simeon to Los Angeles by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Simeon in January: high temperatures in Los Angeles hover around 24°C and lows are around 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums · Shopping · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

San Diego

— 2 nights

America's Finest City

Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
On the 17th (Mon), shop like a local with Gaslamp Quarter, see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum, and then examine the collection at Mingei International Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: take a tour of Maritime Museum of San Diego, then shop like a local with Spanish Village Art Center, and then take a leisurely stroll along Seaport Village.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our San Diego trip builder site.

Getting from Los Angeles to San Diego by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can go by car to Palm Springs.

Things to do in San Diego

Shopping · Museums

Palm Springs

— 2 nights
On the 19th (Wed), admire the masterpieces at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, wander the streets of El Paseo Shopping District, and then admire the masterpieces at Heather James Fine Art. On your second day here, delve into the distant past at Indian Canyons, then take an in-depth tour of Palm Springs Air Museum, then look for gifts at Wabi Sabi Japan Living, and finally admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Palm Springs online trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from San Diego to Palm Springs in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In January, daytime highs in Palm Springs are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Museums · Shopping · Parks · Historic Sites

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.