16 days in California & Las Vegas Itinerary

16 days in California & Las Vegas Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States holiday planner

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Route & dates

16 days in California & Las Vegas Itinerary

Start: Barcelona
Fly:  15​h 30​min
1
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Montecito
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Las Vegas
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  7​h
5
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— Few hours
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
Santa Cruz
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
Big Sur
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h
8
Carmel
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h
9
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
10
Yosemite National Park
— Few hours
car:  3​h 30​min
11
South Lake Tahoe
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
12
San Francisco
— 1 night
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Barcelona

2
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
On the 15th (Sat), browse the exhibits of La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, and then explore the world behind art at Norton Simon Museum. On the 16th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Manhattan Beach, get to know the fascinating history of Venice Canals Walkway, and then identify plant and animal life at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

Discover how to plan a Los Angeles trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Barcelona, Spain to Los Angeles is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and tram. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 9 hours traveling from Barcelona to Los Angeles. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Barcelona in December; daily highs in Los Angeles reach 24°C and lows reach 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Montecito.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, Norton Simon Museum, Manhattan Beach
Highlights from your plan
Manhattan Beach ©
Manhattan Beach
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

1
night
Montecito

Montecito
Montecito is an unincorporated census-designated place in Santa Barbara County, California.As a census-designated place, Montecito had a population of 8,965 in 2010. For reviews and tourist information, read Montecito holiday website .

You can drive from Los Angeles to Montecito in 2 hours. Traveling from Los Angeles in December, expect slightly colder with lows of 5°C in Montecito. You'll set off for Las Vegas on the 17th (Mon).

Things to do in Montecito

Parks Outdoors Beaches

1
night
Las Vegas

Las Vegas ©
Nicknamed the "Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert in the southern section of Nevada.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): see the interesting displays at The Neon Museum, pause for some serene contemplation at Guardian Angel Cathedral, see the interesting displays at Madame Tussauds - Las Vegas, then stroll through Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat, and finally take an in-depth tour of Titanic. On the 18th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Spring Mountains National Recreational Area and then examine the collection at Pinball Hall of Fame.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Las Vegas vacation maker app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Montecito to Las Vegas. Traveling from Montecito in December, you will find days in Las Vegas are slightly colder (16°C), and nights are about the same (4°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Las Vegas

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Spring Mountains National Recreational Area
Highlights from your plan
Madame Tussauds -  Las Vegas ©
Madame Tussauds - Las Vegas
Titanic ©
Titanic
Pinball Hall of Fame ©
Pinball Hall of Fame

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
To find traveler tips, maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park trip planner .

You can drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley National Park in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Traveling from Las Vegas in December, plan for little chillier nights in Death Valley National Park, with lows around 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Harmony Borax Works ©
Harmony Borax Works
Eureka Mine ©
Eureka Mine
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes ©
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

few
hours
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
For more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park travel route builder site .

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 7 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park can reach 17°C, while at night they dip to 2°C. On the 20th (Thu), you'll travel to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

2
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Thu): take in the history at Mission San Juan Bautista, then look for all kinds of wild species at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and then appreciate the history behind To Honor Surfing Monument. Keep things going the next day: visit a coastal fixture at Pigeon Point Light Station, look for all kinds of wild species at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, and then admire all the interesting features of University of California Santa Cruz.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Santa Cruz online tour planner .

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Santa Cruz by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. December in Santa Cruz sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 5°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Pescadero, Mission San Juan Bautista, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Mission San Juan Bautista ©
Mission San Juan Bautista
Ano Nuevo State Reserve ©
Ano Nuevo State Reserve

few
hours
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach and then enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our Big Sur day trip planning tool .

You can drive from Santa Cruz to Big Sur in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Big Sur are 19°C, while nighttime lows are 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can catcht the bus to Carmel.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Point Sur State Historic Park ©
Point Sur State Historic Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

few
hours
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. To find where to stay and tourist information, go to the Carmel tour planner .

Carmel is just a short distance from Big Sur. In December in Carmel, expect temperatures between 19°C during the day and 7°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Carmel

Shopping
Highlights from your plan
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

3
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Capitola Beach, admire all the interesting features of Shark Fin Cove, and then get curious at Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Keep things going the next day: admire all the interesting features of San Juan Bautista State Historic Park, explore the different monuments and memorials at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, and then get some fabulous bargains at Gilroy Premium Outlets.

For other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Santa Cruz holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Carmel to Santa Cruz takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 25th (Tue) before leaving for Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Shark Fin Cove, San Juan Bautista State Historic Park, Gilroy Premium Outlets, San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, Capitola Beach
Highlights from your plan
Capitola Beach ©
Capitola Beach
San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery ©
San Juan Bautista State Historic Park ©

few
hours
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.
To see other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park road trip planning tool .

You can drive from Santa Cruz to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. When traveling from Santa Cruz in December, plan for a bit cooler days and colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 9°C by day to -11°C at night. On the 25th (Tue), you'll travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

2
nights
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe ©
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Wed): hit the slopes at Adventure Mountain and then admire the majestic nature at Van Sickle Bi-State Park.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our South Lake Tahoe tour planner .

You can do a combination of bus and taxi from Yosemite National Park to South Lake Tahoe in 3.5 hours. December in South Lake Tahoe sees daily highs of 8°C and lows of -8°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Adventure Mountain ©
Adventure Mountain
Van Sickle Bi-State Park ©
Van Sickle Bi-State Park

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 27th (Thu), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Grace Cathedral, take in the waterfront at The Embarcadero, then enjoy the sand and surf at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at San Francisco Botanical Garden.

For maps, photos, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip planner .

You can drive from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and subway; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe in December, expect nights in San Francisco to be warmer, around 8°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 17°C. On the 28th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve ©
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Grace Cathedral ©
Grace Cathedral
Baker Beach ©
Baker Beach

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