15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California visit planner

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Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

Start: Jackson
Fly:  7​h 45​min
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Bus:  6​h
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Carmel
— 4 nights
Fly:  10​h
End: Jackson

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Castello di Amorosa and San Francisco Bay. Get some cultural insight at Alcatraz Island and Twin Peaks. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Francisco: V. Sattui (in St. Helena) and Muir Woods National Monument (in Mill Valley). There's much more to do: get curious at Exploratorium, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique, and take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge.

To see ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco trip planner .

Jackson to San Francisco is an approximately 8-hour combination of taxi and flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Jackson to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Jackson in December, San Francisco is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

V. Sattui Winery, Castello di Amorosa, Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Bodie State Historic Park and El Capitan. Get in touch with nature at Glacier Point and Dodge Ridge. There's much more to do: take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View, mingle with the ghosts of the past at Bodie, and trek along Wawona Meadow.

Planning Yosemite National Park trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from San Francisco in December, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around 14°F, while days are slightly colder, around 44°F. On the 30th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Bodie State Historic Park, Dodge Ridge
Highlights from your plan
El Capitan ©
El Capitan
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

2
nights
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 31st (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery and then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Mon): stroll through Moonstone Beach and then do a tasting at Stolo Family Winery & Vineyards.

For maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read San Simeon road trip planning app .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to San Simeon in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, you will find days in San Simeon are a bit warmer (58°F), and nights are warmer (50°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Outdoors

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

4
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. Attractions like Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Asilomar State Beach make great kid-friendly stops. Discover out-of-the-way places like Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach and Point Lobos State Reserve. Change things up with these side-trips from Carmel: Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach, Partington Cove, & more). There's lots more to do: take a memorable drive along Seventeen Mile Drive, stop by The Cheese Shop, pause for some serene contemplation at San Carlos Cathedral, and take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

For reviews, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read Carmel trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 62°F in January, and nighttime lows around 44°F. You'll have a few hours on the 5th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Asilomar State Beach, San Carlos Cathedral
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

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