15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation planner

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Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly + Drive:  9​h 45​min
1
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Cambria
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h
4
Death Valley National Park
— 4 nights
bus + Fly:  9​h 45​min
End: Houston

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Yosemite Falls and Vernal Fall. Step out of the city life by going to Mariposa Grove and El Capitan. When in Yosemite National Park, make a side trip to see Mono Lake Vista Point in Lee Vining, approximately 48 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Bridalveil Fall, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View, and cruise along Tioga Pass.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read Yosemite National Park trip planner.

Houston to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Houston to Yosemite National Park due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Houston in March, expect Yosemite National Park to be much colder, temps between 53°F and 23°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Mono Lake Vista Point, Shadow of the Giants Trail
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
El Capitan ©
El Capitan

3
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. Visiting Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Pfeiffer State Beach will get you outdoors. Visit Asilomar State Beach and Carmel River State Beach for some beach relaxation. Change things up with these side-trips from Carmel: Big Sur (McWay Falls & Coast Gallery Big Sur). There's lots more to do: take in the views from Bixby Bridge, enjoy the sand and surf at Point Lobos, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Carmel trip maker .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in March, plan for a bit warmer days in Carmel, with highs around 64°F, while nights are warmer with lows around 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey, Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

3
nights
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Morro Rock and Monarch Butterfly Grove. Visit Moonstone Beach and Piedras Blancas for some beach relaxation. Venture out of the city with trips to Pismo Pier (in Pismo Beach) and Hearst Castle (in San Simeon). There's lots more to do: cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, identify plant and animal life at Friends of the Elephant Seal, take a leisurely stroll along San Simeon Pier, and contemplate the long history of Nitt Witt Ridge.

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Cambria driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Carmel to Cambria in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus and car. While traveling from Carmel, expect a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Cambria, ranging from highs of 72°F to lows of 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

San Simeon, Pismo Beach, Morro Rock
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Morro Rock ©
Morro Rock

4
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Visiting Artists Dr and Zabriskie Point will get you outdoors. Explore hidden gems such as Dante's View and Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. Change things up with a short trip to Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad Museum in Death Valley Junction (about 1h 05 min away). There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape at Artists Palette, explore the activities along Badwater Basin, and make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

For where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park trip itinerary maker app .

Traveling by car from Cambria to Death Valley National Park takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and car. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in March, and nighttime lows around 43°F. On the 15th (Sun), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad Museum
Highlights from your plan
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Dante's View ©
Dante's View

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