17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in California Itinerary

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

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 Santa Monica Farmers Market. Visit El Pueblo de Los Angeles and Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park for their historical value. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Los Angeles: The Disney Gallery (in Anaheim) and Bergamot Station (in Santa Monica). There's much more to do: examine the collection at The Getty Center, admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica State Beach, take a stroll through Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Los Angeles using our trip planner.

Use the Route module to see travel options from your home to Los Angeles. In December, daily temperatures in Los Angeles can reach 69°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) to allow time to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Shopping Beaches

Side Trips

Santa Monica, The Disney Gallery
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

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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Thu): immerse yourself in nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and then shop like a local with Gaslamp Quarter. On your second day here, see the interesting displays at Maritime Museum of San Diego, take in the exciting artwork at Spanish Village Art Center, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at La Jolla Cove.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the San Diego road trip website .

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or fly. In December in San Diego, expect temperatures between 68°F during the day and 51°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) 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
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Maritime Museum of San Diego ©
Maritime Museum of San Diego

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. On the 22nd (Sat), immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then stroll through Asilomar State Beach, and then view the masterpieces at Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery.

For traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Carmel trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from San Diego to Carmel takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus; or drive. Traveling from San Diego in December, expect Carmel to be little chillier, temps between 62°F and 43°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Beaches Nature Parks

Side Trip

Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Exploratorium and Chinese Culture Center. Do your shopping at Union Square and Ghirardelli Square. The adventure continues: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace, contemplate the long history of SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the San Francisco online road trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In December in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 59°F during the day and 45°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to drive to Rutherford.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping Neighborhoods Museums
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

2
nights
Rutherford

Rutherford ©
Rutherford is a census-designated place (CDP) in Napa County, California, United States. On the 28th (Fri), learn about winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery, do a tasting at Far Niente Winery, then do a tasting at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Mumm Napa. Here are some ideas for day two: do a tasting at Kenwood Vineyards, learn about winemaking at Benziger Family Winery, learn about winemaking at Wellington Cellars, then learn about winemaking at Inglenook, and finally look for gifts at Oakville Grocery.

For other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Rutherford tour planner.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Rutherford takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of subway and bus; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Rutherford when traveling from San Francisco in December, with lows around 36°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Rutherford

Wineries Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Oakville, Glen Ellen, Kenwood Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
Mumm Napa ©
Mumm Napa
Inglenook ©
Inglenook
Robert Mondavi Winery ©
Robert Mondavi Winery

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area and North Dome. On the 31st (Mon), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area. There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Yosemite Museum Gallery, identify plant and animal life at Nature Center at Happy Isles, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Curry Village Ice Rink.

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip builder tool .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Rutherford to Yosemite National Park. When traveling from Rutherford in December, plan for little chillier days in Yosemite National Park, with highs around 46°F, while nights are colder with lows around 14°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

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

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