16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly
2
South Lake Tahoe
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly

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San Francisco — 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Balloon Rides has been added to your itinerary. Take a break from the city and head to Alcatraz Island and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve. Get some historical perspective at Golden Gate Bridge and Grace Cathedral. Venture out of the city with trips to Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga) and Muir Woods National Monument (in Mill Valley). Next up on the itinerary: hike along Lands End and enjoy breathtaking views from Coit Tower.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip planner.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to San Francisco is an approximately 19-hour flight. You'll gain 12 hours traveling from Dubai to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. In July, San Francisco is cooler than Dubai - with highs of 26°C and lows of 16°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to catch the flight to South Lake Tahoe.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trips

South Lake Tahoe — 3 nights

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Rubicon Trail and Nevada Beach Campground. Family-friendly places like Round Hill Pines Beach and Marina and Lakeside Beach will thrill your kids. Go for a jaunt from South Lake Tahoe to Carson City to see Nevada State Museum about 46 minutes away. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at El Dorado Beach, hike along Echo Lakes Hiking Trail, relax in the rural setting at Tahoe Trout Farm, and cast your line with a fishing tour.

To find ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our South Lake Tahoe visit planning site.

You can fly from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in July, expect nights in South Lake Tahoe to be a bit cooler, around 9°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Trails
Side Trips

Yosemite National Park — 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Center at Happy Isles, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, then explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, then get great views at Valley View, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls.

To see more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park trip planner.

You can drive from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park in 3 hours. In July in Yosemite National Park, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 9°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Big Sur.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Big Sur — 2 nights

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
On the 10th (Sun), enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Limekiln State Park, then kick back and relax at Sand Dollar Beach, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, trek along Partington Cove, and then immerse yourself in nature at Andrew Molera State Park.

To find reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Big Sur trip planner.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Big Sur takes 5.5 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in July: highs in Big Sur hover around 24°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Los Angeles.
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trip

Los Angeles — 4 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Santa Monica State Beach and Walt Disney Concert Hall. It doesn't end there: make a trip to Santa Monica Pier.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Los Angeles trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Big Sur to Los Angeles by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and train. Traveling from Big Sur in July, expect Los Angeles to be a bit warmer, temps between 33°C and 22°C. You will leave for home on the 15th (Fri).
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Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trip

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.
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Lake Tahoe (California) travel guide

4.2
Ski Areas · Zipline · State Parks
Lake of the Sky
Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe draws visitors from both states and beyond to its shores. With an average of 300 sunny days annually, it's no surprise that the lake is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. The blue-green waters beckon travelers for swimming, boating, windsurfing, or kayaking. The lake also has a number of walking trails for those who don't want to get wet. In the colder months, skiers take to the surrounding mountains. The south shore is the most developed side of the lake, with more things to do, while the west and north shores are generally more tranquil.
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