17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California planner

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Route & dates

17 days in California Itinerary

Start: Philadelphia
Fly:  7​h
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Napa
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  15​h 45​min
End: Philadelphia

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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate USS Midway Museum and Maritime Museum of San Diego. Escape the urban bustle at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and La Jolla Cove. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Children's Pool and learn more about the world around you at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the San Diego road trip planner.

Philadelphia to San Diego is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Philadelphia to San Diego due to the time zone difference. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Philadelphia in January, with highs in San Diego at 67°F and lows at 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Museums
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©

3
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.
For shopping fun, head to Montana Avenue or Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The Getty Center and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will appeal to museum buffs. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, see the interesting displays at Petersen Automotive Museum, appreciate the extensive heritage of El Pueblo de Los Angeles, and explore the world behind art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

To find out how to plan a trip to Los Angeles, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from San Diego to Los Angeles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In January in Los Angeles, expect temperatures between 70°F during the day and 49°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to travel to Carmel.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Neighborhoods Childrens Museums

Side Trip

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

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. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Fri): admire the majestic nature at Asilomar State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and then look for gifts at The Cheese Shop.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel trip builder site .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Los Angeles to Carmel takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus. In January, Carmel is a bit cooler than Los Angeles - with highs of 62°F and lows of 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Beaches Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

2
nights
Napa

Napa ©
Located just 80 km (50 mi) north of San Francisco, Napa sits at the southern end of the scenic Napa Valley, one of the world's major wine regions.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Safari West, then savor the flavors at Castello di Amorosa, and then do a tasting at Beringer Vineyards. On the 20th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: savor the flavors at The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum, do a tasting at Robert Mondavi Winery, do a tasting at V. Sattui Winery, then savor the flavors at Mumm Napa, and finally look for gifts at Oxbow Public Market.

For traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Napa online driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Carmel to Napa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and subway; or do a combination of bus and subway. Traveling from Carmel in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Napa, with lows of 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Napa

Wineries Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

St. Helena, Mumm Napa, Safari West, Robert Mondavi Winery, Castello di Amorosa
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum ©
Mumm Napa ©
Mumm Napa

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Relax by the water at Fort Funston National Park and Baker Beach. Do some cultural sightseeing at Union Square and Exploratorium. There's much more to do: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, and explore the world behind art at Asian Art Museum.

To find more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip builder .

Traveling by car from Napa to San Francisco takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and subway; or take a bus. Traveling from Napa in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in San Francisco, with lows of 46°F. On the 24th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point. On the 25th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the fascinating history of Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark and then stroll through Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

To see photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park online attractions planner .

Drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. When traveling from San Francisco in January, plan for little chillier days in Yosemite National Park, with highs around 44°F, while nights are cooler with lows around 13°F. You will have some time to spend on the 27th (Sun) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area ©
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove

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