17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in California Itinerary

Start: Mexico City
Fly + Drive:  10​h
1
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
2
Philo
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Trinidad
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  6​h 15​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
Paso Robles
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Carmel
— 4 nights
Fly:  9​h
End: Mexico City

2
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.
On the next day, admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls, identify plant and animal life at Nature Center at Happy Isles, and then explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point.

To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park travel planner .

Mexico City, Mexico to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Mexico City to Yosemite National Park due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Mexico City in December, expect Yosemite National Park to be colder, temps between 9°C and -11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) so you can travel to Philo.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Bodie State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Olmsted Point ©
Olmsted Point

1
night
Philo

Philo ©
Philo is a census-designated place in Mendocino County, California. On the 23rd (Sun), do a tasting at Husch Vineyards, then do a tasting at Handley Cellars Winery, then steep yourself in history at Ford House Museum, and finally look for gifts at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: experience rural life at Pennyroyal Farm, do a tasting at Toulouse Vineyards, learn about winemaking at Navarro Vineyards, then do a tasting at Lula Cellars, and finally learn about winemaking at Barra of Mendocino Winery.

For more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Philo visit planner.

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Philo by car takes about 6 hours. Other options: fly. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in December: highs in Philo hover around 17°C, while lows dip to 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can travel to Trinidad.

Things to do in Philo

Wineries Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Mendocino, Barra of Mendocino Winery, Pennyroyal Farm
Highlights from your plan
Navarro Vineyards ©
Navarro Vineyards
Handley Cellars Winery ©
Handley Cellars Winery
Husch Vineyards ©
Husch Vineyards

3
nights
Trinidad

Trinidad ©
Trinidad is a seaside city in Humboldt County, located on the Pacific Ocean 8mi north of the Arcata-Eureka Airport and 15mi north of the college town of Arcata. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Trinidad Art Gallery and Chapman's Gem & Mineral Shop & Museum. Visit Trinidad State Beach and Big Lagoon County Park for some beach relaxation. Get out of town with these interesting Trinidad side-trips: Ferndale (The Blacksmith Shop & Golden Gait Mercantile) and Yurok Country Visitor Center (in Klamath). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, make a trip to Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, learn about winemaking at Moonstone Crossing Winery Tasting Room, and take an in-depth tour of Clarke Historical Museum.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Trinidad trip maker app .

Traveling by car from Philo to Trinidad takes 4 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Trinidad can reach 15°C, while at night they dip to 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Trinidad

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Ferndale, Clarke Historical Museum, Yurok Country Visitor Center, Holly Yashi Store and Design Studio, Chapman's Gem & Mineral Shop & Museum
Highlights from your plan
Trinidad State Beach ©
Trinidad State Beach
Yurok Country Visitor Center ©
Yurok Country Visitor Center
Chapman's Gem & Mineral Shop & Museum ©

1
night
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, then wander the streets of State Street, then look for gifts at Global Gardens, and finally learn about winemaking at Carhartt Vineyard. Keep things going the next day: do a tasting at Koehler Winery, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Solvang Antiques, then stop by The Sacred Space, then learn about winemaking at Grassini Family Vineyards, and finally do a tasting at Margerum Wine Company.

To see where to stay and more tourist information, read our Santa Barbara trip website .

Explore your travel options from Trinidad to Santa Barbara with the Route module. Traveling from Trinidad in December, expect nights in Santa Barbara to be about the same, around 5°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Paso Robles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Wineries Historic Sites

Side Trips

Los Olivos, Solvang Antiques, The Sacred Space
Highlights from your plan
The Sacred Space ©
The Sacred Space
Carhartt Vineyard ©
Carhartt Vineyard
Koehler Winery ©
Koehler Winery

3
nights
Paso Robles

Paso Robles ©
A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Piedras Blancas and Moonstone Beach. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fratelli Perata Winery and Caliza Winery. Venture out of the city with trips to Cambria Nursery & Florist (in Cambria) and Elephant Seal Rookery (in San Simeon). The adventure continues: learn about winemaking at Derby Wine Estates.

Before you visit Paso Robles, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Paso Robles, with lows of 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Wineries Outdoors

Side Trips

Cambria, San Simeon, Templeton
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

4
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. Do some cultural sightseeing at Carmel Art Association and Gallery by the Sea Carmel. Step out of the city life by going to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Carmel River State Beach. Explore Carmel's surroundings by going to Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach & McWay Falls). There's still lots to do: stop by The Cheese Shop, explore and take pictures at Seventeen Mile Drive, do a tasting at Dawn's Dream Winery, and take in the exciting artwork at Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery.

To see maps, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Carmel trip itinerary website .

Traveling by car from Paso Robles to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Paso Robles in January, Carmel is a bit warmer at night with lows of 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

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