16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel route maker

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Route & dates

16 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Chicago

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
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.
For shopping fun, head to Gaslamp Quarter or Liberty Public Market. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Fort Rosecrans Cemetery and Marston House Museum. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through La Jolla Cove, see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum, view the masterpieces at Spanish Village Art Center, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at San Diego Zoo.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read San Diego trip planner.

Chicago to San Diego is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Chicago to San Diego. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Chicago in May since evenings lows in San Diego dip to 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Gaslamp Quarter ©
Gaslamp Quarter

4
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.
Shop till you drop at Hammer Museum and Montana Avenue. Take a break from the city and head to Venice Beach and Boardwalk and Will Rogers State Beach. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at The Getty Center, take in the exciting artwork at Annenberg Space for Photography, explore the world behind art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Los Angeles route planner.

Traveling by car from San Diego to Los Angeles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In May, daily temperatures in Los Angeles can reach 75°F, while at night they dip to 59°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Montana Avenue
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Glacier Point and Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park. Let the collections at Ansel Adams Gallery and Yosemite Museum Gallery capture your imagination. Next up on the itinerary: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, don't miss a visit to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Yosemite Valley Chapel, and hike along Panorama Trail.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Yosemite National Park using our trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and car from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. While traveling from Los Angeles, expect a bit cooler days and colder nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 65°F to lows of 34°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Elizabeth Lake ©
Elizabeth Lake
Panorama Trail ©
Panorama Trail

1
night
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. Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): shop like a local with Carmel Art Association, then admire the majestic nature at Asilomar State Beach, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Carmel online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Carmel by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in May, expect a bit warmer with lows of 51°F in Carmel. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach
Carmel Art Association ©
Carmel Art Association

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Get in touch with nature at Alcatraz Island and Fort Funston National Park. Do some cultural sightseeing at Fisherman's Wharf and Twin Peaks. Change things up with a short trip to Sonoma Coast State Beach in Sonoma (about 1h 35 min away). The adventure continues: buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, stroll through Baker Beach, see the interesting displays at de Young Museum, and get curious at Exploratorium.

For more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco online trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In May, daytime highs in San Francisco are 69°F, while nighttime lows are 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Sonoma Coast State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Ferry Building Marketplace ©
Ferry Building Marketplace
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

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