17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in California Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly:  5​h 30​min
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
2
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Healdsburg
— 2 nights
+3
bus + foot + Fly + Drive:  5​h
5
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 15​min
6
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
End: Houston

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.
You'll get in some beach time at La Jolla Cove and Mission Beach Park. Get in touch with nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and Children's Pool. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at USS Midway Museum, enjoy the sand and surf at Black's Beach, and step aboard Maritime Museum of San Diego.

To find reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read San Diego holiday planner .

Houston to San Diego is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Houston to San Diego, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. In December, plan for daily highs up to 68°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to travel to Carmel.

Things to do in San Diego

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

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 25th (Tue): admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and finally do a tasting at Dawn's Dream Winery.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Carmel road trip planner.

Getting from San Diego to Carmel by combination of flight and bus takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus; or drive. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from San Diego in December, with highs in Carmel at 62°F and lows at 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Pacific Grove
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Let the collections at Exploratorium and SS Jeremiah O'Brien capture your imagination. Escape the urban bustle at Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Union Square, contemplate the long history of City Lights Booksellers, kick back and relax at Fort Funston National Park, and take a leisurely stroll along The Embarcadero.

To see photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco travel planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in San Francisco can reach 59°F, while at night they dip to 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Healdsburg.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Nature
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

2
nights
Healdsburg

Healdsburg ©
The quaint city of Healdsburg is one of northern California's wine capitals, serving as the meeting point for three of Sonoma's most important wine-producing regions.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): do a tasting at Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, do a tasting at Schramsberg Vineyards, and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Sonoma Coast State Beach, do a tasting at Pride Mountain Vineyards, then do a tasting at Bell Wine Cellars, and finally learn about winemaking at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery.

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

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Healdsburg takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in December, Healdsburg is a bit cooler at night with lows of 36°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Healdsburg

Wineries Tours Parks

Side Trips

St. Helena, Sonoma Coast State Beach, B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, Bell Wine Cellars, Schramsberg Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
Pride Mountain Vineyards ©
Pride Mountain Vineyards
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Sonoma Coast State Beach ©
Sonoma Coast State Beach

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.
Visiting Cathedral Beach Picnic Area and Taft Point will get you outdoors. On the 3rd (Thu), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at North Dome, take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, cruise along Tioga Pass, and don't miss a visit to Valley View.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park trip itinerary builder app .

You can drive from Healdsburg to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, train, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. When traveling from Healdsburg in December, plan for a bit cooler days and much colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 46°F by day to 14°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
North Dome ©
North Dome
Taft Point ©
Taft Point

4
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate El Pueblo de Los Angeles and Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Let the collections at The Getty Center and Griffith Observatory capture your imagination. Get out of town with these interesting Los Angeles side-trips: Santa Monica (Montana Avenue & Third Street Promenade). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica State Beach, get a new perspective on nature at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and see the interesting displays at The Grammy Museum.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles vacation planner.

You can do a combination of car and flight from Yosemite National Park to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight. In January, Los Angeles is much warmer than Yosemite National Park - with highs of 70°F and lows of 49°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Parks Beaches

Side Trip

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

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