16 days in California Itinerary

16 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in California Itinerary

Start: Charleston
Fly + Bus:  12​h 15​min
1
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
4
Fort Bragg
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Charleston

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Vernal Fall and El Capitan. Get in touch with nature at Sentinel Dome and Tunnel View. Spend the 4th (Fri) exploring nature at Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park. There's much more to do: admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls, see the interesting displays at Yosemite Museum Gallery, identify plant and animal life at Nature Center at Happy Isles, and snap pictures at Pohono Bridge.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip itinerary maker tool .

Charleston to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Charleston in June, things will get little chillier in Yosemite National Park: highs are around 79°F and lows about 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome

3
nights
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. Explore hidden gems such as Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Carmel River State Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Monterey Bay and Point Lobos. Step out of Carmel with an excursion to McWay Falls in Big Sur--about 56 minutes away. Spend the 7th (Mon) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's more to do: wander the streets of Ocean Avenue.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Carmel sightseeing planning site .

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 June, you will find days in Carmel are slightly colder (68°F), and nights are somewhat warmer (53°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

2
nights
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
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 9th (Wed), explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, shop like a local with artifacts gallery, then view the masterpieces at Ephraim Pottery West Gallery, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Thu): kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, stop by Red Moose Cookie Company, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon online route planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect much warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in June: highs in San Simeon hover around 93°F, while lows dip to 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can go by car to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

2
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Head to Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books and Highlight Galleryfor plenty of shopping. Get in touch with nature at Noyo Headlands Park and Seaside Beach. When in Fort Bragg, make a side trip to see Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA in Point Arena, approximately 1h 15 min away. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Pudding Creek Beach, take in the exciting artwork at Glass Fire Art Glass Gallery, take in nature's colorful creations at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, and immerse yourself in nature at Russian Gulch State Park.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Fort Bragg holiday planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to Fort Bragg in 8 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or take a bus. June in Fort Bragg sees daily highs of 89°F and lows of 54°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Mendocino, Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens ©
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Seaside Beach ©
Seaside Beach
Pudding Creek Beach ©
Pudding Creek Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Mon): buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, then take a stroll through Union Square, then stop by Williams-Sonoma, and finally explore the wealth of natural beauty at Alcatraz Island. Keep things going the next day: cast your line with a fishing tour, take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument, and then tee off at Lincoln Park.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip planning website .

Traveling by car from Fort Bragg to San Francisco takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. While traveling from Fort Bragg, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 55°F. You will have some time to spend on the 16th (Wed) before leaving for home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trip

Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Fishing Charters & Tours

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