16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Train to Amsterdam Schiphol, Fly to San Francisco
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Fort Bragg
— 2 nights
Drive
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
4
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Fly to Amsterdam Schiphol, Train to Brussels

S M T W T F S
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Wed): head off the coast to Alcatraz Island. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Thu): kick back and relax at Bodega Dunes and then take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco travel itinerary planner.

Brussels, Belgium to San Francisco is an approximately 15-hour combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time (CET) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -9 hour difference. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Brussels in September, with highs in San Francisco at 28°C and lows at 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Beaches · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Fort Bragg

— 2 nights
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): stroll through Seaside Beach, learn about winemaking at Pacific Star Winery, then stroll through Pudding Creek Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Noyo Headlands Park. On your second day here, take in the pleasant sights at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, admire the majestic nature at Mendocino Headlands State Park, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Van Damme State Park.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Fort Bragg trip planner.

Drive from San Francisco to Fort Bragg in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. While traveling from San Francisco, expect somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Fort Bragg, ranging from highs of 36°C to lows of 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

San Simeon

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Mon): explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, view the masterpieces at Artifacts Gallery, learn about winemaking at Moonstone Cellars, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and finally learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station, then look for all kinds of wild species at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas.

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our San Simeon vacation planning tool.

You can drive from Fort Bragg to San Simeon in 7.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, bus, subway, and flight; or do a combination of taxi, bus, subway, and train. In September, daytime highs in San Simeon are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

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. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Carmel River State Beach and Del Mar Beach. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Point Lobos and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carmel: Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park & McWay Falls). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel route planner.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in September, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 3 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Glacier Point and Yosemite, Tunnel View. Take a break from the city and head to Yosemite Falls and Tuolumne Meadows. There's much more to do: admire all the interesting features of Tioga Pass, identify plant and animal life at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, and admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall.

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park vacation builder site.

Drive from Carmel to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Traveling from Carmel in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Yosemite National Park, with lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Death Valley National Park

— 1 night

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 17th (Tue), take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, then take some stellar pictures from Dante's View, and then don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. On the next day, take a memorable drive along Artists Dr and then explore the activities along Badwater Basin.

Plan a Death Valley National Park trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 4.5 hours. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect somewhat warmer days and warmer nights in Death Valley National Park, ranging from highs of 38°C to lows of 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
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.