15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner
Make it your trip
San Francisco
— 2 nights
— 3 nights
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Yosemite National Park
— 5 nights
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights


San Francisco — 2 nights

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Explore hidden gems such as Muir Woods National Monument and Lands End. Get outdoors at Alcatraz Island and Lincoln Park. There's still lots to do: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Grace Cathedral, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and examine the collection at de Young Museum.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco online route planner.

Ottawa, Canada to San Francisco is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, car, and subway. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Ottawa to San Francisco. Traveling from Ottawa in May, San Francisco is a bit warmer at night with lows of 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can go by car to Carmel.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trip

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. Escape the urban bustle at Point Lobos and Pfeiffer State Beach. Explore hidden gems such as Dolphin & Whale Watching and McWay Falls. Go for a jaunt from Carmel to Big Sur to see Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park about 1h 5 min away. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach, stroll through Carmel River State Beach, and contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay.

For reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Carmel trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Carmel takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Carmel can reach 21°C, while at night they dip to 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.
Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
Side Trips

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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, get a dose of the wild on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. When traveling from Carmel in May, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 10°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Yosemite National Park.
Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip

Yosemite National Park — 5 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls. Step out of the city life by going to Yosemite, Tunnel View and Vernal Fall. There's lots more to do: trek along Mariposa Grove, tour the pleasant surroundings at Pohono Trail, admire the sheer force of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome.

To find more things to do, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park online holiday planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 5.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from San Simeon in May, with highs in Yosemite National Park at 21°C and lows at 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Death Valley National Park.
Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Death Valley National Park — 2 nights

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): get great views at Dante's View, cruise along Artists Dr, explore the activities along Badwater Basin, take in the dramatic natural features at Devil's Golf Course, then take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, and finally take in breathtaking views at Golden Canyon.

You can plan Death Valley National Park trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 4.5 hours. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in Death Valley National Park, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 15°C. On the 28th (Sat), you're off to home.
Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

California travel guide

Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Theme Parks
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.