17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Bus
1
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
+2
Bus to Fresno Santa Fe Passenger Depot, Train to Martinez Amtrak Station, Bus to Napa
2
Napa
— 2 nights
Drive
3
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
5
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
6
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive
8
San Diego
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
20
21
22
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24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
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2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

Yosemite National Park

— 1 night
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.
For where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park tour app.

Philadelphia to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 73-hour bus ride. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Traveling from Philadelphia to Yosemite National Park, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect colder evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Philadelphia in December, with lows around 14°F. On the 25th (Fri), you'll travel to Napa.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Napa

— 2 nights

America's Wine Country

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.
On the 26th (Sat), learn about winemaking at VGS Chateau Potelle, learn about winemaking at Prager Winery & Port Works, view the masterpieces at Mumm Napa, then do a tasting at St Clair Brown Winery & Brewery, and finally learn about winemaking at Trinitas Cellars. Here are some ideas for day two: sample the fine beverages at Napa Valley Distillery, do a tasting at Robert Biale Vineyards, then do a tasting at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, then do a tasting at Cosentino Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Girard Winery.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Napa online travel route planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Yosemite National Park to Napa takes 14 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, you will find days in Napa are somewhat warmer (59°F), and nights are much hotter (35°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Napa

Wineries · Museums · Shopping · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Mon): savor the flavors at Food & Drink. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Cowell Ranch State Beach, then admire all the interesting features of Mavericks, and then identify plant and animal life at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve.

To find ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the San Francisco trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Napa to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and subway; or take a bus. Traveling from Napa in December, San Francisco is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 45°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Wineries · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Carmel

— 2 nights
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. Start off your visit on the 30th (Wed): hike along Scenic Road Walkway, stroll through Carmel River State Beach, then take in the history at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, and finally learn about winemaking at Caraccioli Cellars. On the next day, explore and take pictures at Lovers Point, then stroll through Asilomar State Beach, then visit a coastal fixture at Point Pinos Lighthouse, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Carmel day trip planner.

You can drive from San Francisco to Carmel in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or fly; or take a bus. December in Carmel sees daily highs of 62°F and lows of 43°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trip

San Simeon

— 1 night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, then stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, and finally take some stellar pictures from Ragged Point.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our San Simeon trip planner.

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. Traveling from Carmel in January, San Simeon is little chillier at night with lows of 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Shopping · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Santa Barbara

— 2 nights

The American Riviera

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 2nd (Sat): take a stroll through State Street Underpass, get a new perspective on nature at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, then explore the world behind art at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and finally get to know the fascinating history of The Historic La Arcada Courtyard. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Thousand Steps Beach, then learn about all things military at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, then kick back and relax at Carpinteria State Beach, and finally stroll around Serra Cross Park.

Discover how to plan a Santa Barbara trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Santa Barbara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from San Simeon in January since evenings lows in Santa Barbara dip to 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Museums · Parks · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Los Angeles

— 2 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Mon): learn about all things military at Battleship USS Iowa Museum, watch a film at California Science Center, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, then take an in-depth tour of Skirball Cultural Center, then explore the world behind art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame.

To find ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles road trip planning tool.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in January, Los Angeles is a bit warmer at night with lows of 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums · Fun & Games

San Diego

— 1 night

America's Finest City

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): examine the collection at San Diego Model Railroad Museum, then enjoy the sand and surf at Coronado Beach, then take a stroll through Little Italy, and finally contemplate the long history of Mormon Battalion Historic Site.

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the San Diego trip maker.

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in San Diego are 67°F, while nighttime lows are 51°F. You'll have a few hours on the 7th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.