16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip maker
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive
6
San Diego
— 6 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Carmel — 2 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. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Monterey Bay and Pfeiffer State Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Carmel River State Beach and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Go for a jaunt from Carmel to Big Sur to see Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park about 1h 5 min away. There's more to do: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

For ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Carmel visit planning tool.

London, UK to Carmel is an approximately 14-hour flight. Traveling from London to Carmel, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. August in Carmel sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 16°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can 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.
On the 8th (Mon), look for gifts at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, and then explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: have fun at Shamel Park, then stroll through Moonstone Beach, and then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read San Simeon driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from Carmel in August: highs in San Simeon hover around 40°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trip

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park — 2 nights

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.
On the 10th (Wed), cruise along Generals Hwy, take a peaceful walk through Giant Forest, and then explore the striking landscape at Moro Rock Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Kings Canyon National Park and then steep yourself in history at General Sherman Tree.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park day trip planner.

Drive from San Simeon to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Yosemite National Park.
Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Center at Happy Isles, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, then admire the sheer force of Bridalveil Fall, then take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View, and finally explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point. On your second day here, explore the striking landscape of Pioneer Yosemite History Center, then stroll through Mariposa Grove, and then explore and take pictures at Tioga Pass.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park driving holiday planning site.

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 5.5 hours. While traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, expect a bit cooler days and much colder nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel to Death Valley National Park.
Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Scenic Drive

Death Valley National Park — 1 night

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 14th (Sun), get great views at Father Crowley Vista Point, get great views at Dante's View, take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, then take in the dramatic natural features at Devil's Golf Course, then contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, and finally cruise along Artists Dr.

To find maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park tour planner.

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 4.5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, plan for a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Death Valley National Park: temperatures range from 43°C by day to 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) to allow time to drive to San Diego.
Nature · Parks · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

San Diego — 6 nights

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Coronado Island and Pacific Beach. Get outdoors at La Jolla Shores Park and Point Loma. Venture out of the city with trips to San Diego Zoo Safari Park (in Escondido) and South Carlsbad State Beach (in Carlsbad). The adventure continues: stroll through Coronado Beach, take in nature's colorful creations at Botanical Building and Lily Pond, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and appreciate the history behind Cabrillo National Monument.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read San Diego trip planner.

Traveling by car from Death Valley National Park to San Diego takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. When traveling from Death Valley National Park in August, plan for cooler days and about the same nights in San Diego: temperatures range from 30°C by day to 23°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to fly back home.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Side Trips

California travel guide

4.1
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.