17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

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17 days in California Itinerary

Start: Brussels
+2
train + Fly + Drive:  20​h 45​min
1
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + bus:  5​h 30​min
2
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly + train:  14​h 45​min
End: Brussels

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Tuolumne Meadows and Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Discover out-of-the-way places like Vernal Fall and Yosemite Falls. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, trek along Lembert Dome, take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View, and enjoy the sand and surf at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park itinerary app .

Brussels, Belgium to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 21-hour combination of train, flight, and car. You can also do a combination of train, flight, subway, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of train, flight, bus, and taxi. You'll gain 9 hours traveling from Brussels to Yosemite National Park due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Brussels in August, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are a bit warmer (32°C), and nights are slightly colder (7°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome

1
night
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
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 11th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Piedras Blancas and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery. Keep things going the next day: trek along Point Buchon Trail, learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, and then kick back and relax at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read San Simeon trip planner .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to San Simeon in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, expect San Simeon to be somewhat warmer, temps between 40°C and 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Point Buchon Trail
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
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. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Point Lobos. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Carmel River State Beach and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Get out of town with these interesting Carmel side-trips: Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach, McWay Falls, & more) and Monterey Bay (in Monterey). There's still lots to do: cruise along Seventeen Mile Drive, look for all kinds of wild species at Bird Rock Vista Point, take in the views from Bixby Bridge, and enjoy the sand and surf at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Carmel vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Getting from San Simeon to Carmel by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus. While traveling from San Simeon, expect cooler days and about the same nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 24°C to lows of 16°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Bird Rock Vista Point
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Muir Woods National Monument and Goat Rock Beach. Kids will appreciate attractions like Bodega Dunes and Exploratorium. Venture out of the city with trips to Bean Hollow State Beach, Pebble Beach (in Pescadero), Bodega Head (in Bodega Bay) and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve (in Guerneville). There's much more to do: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, tee off at Lincoln Park, and explore the activities along San Francisco Bay.

For photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco vacation planner .

Drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in August, and nighttime lows around 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Bodega Head, Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, Goat Rock Beach, Bean Hollow State Beach, Pebble Beach, Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island

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