17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in California Itinerary

Start: Lisbon
Fly:  18​h
1
San Diego
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Santa Monica
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  17​h 45​min
End: Lisbon

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to La Jolla Cove and Black's Beach. Let the collections at USS Midway Museum and Maritime Museum of San Diego capture your imagination. There's lots more to do: meet the residents at San Diego Zoo, kick back and relax at Children's Pool, stroll through Mission Beach Park, and admire the natural beauty at Botanical Building and Lily Pond.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Diego trip planner.

Lisbon, Portugal to San Diego is an approximately 18-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. You'll gain 8 hours traveling from Lisbon to San Diego due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Lisbon in August, you will find days in San Diego are slightly colder (30°C), and nights are about the same (23°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in San Diego

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

2
nights
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles.
On the 7th (Tue), kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, get a taste of the local shopping with Abbot Kinney Boulevard, then examine the collection at The Getty Center, and finally look for gifts at Bergamot Station. On the 8th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica Beach, then look for gifts at Hollywood & Highland, and then see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Santa Monica vacation planner.

Traveling by car from San Diego to Santa Monica takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and tram; or do a combination of flight and bus. In August in Santa Monica, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Beaches Museums Parks

Side Trip

Los Angeles
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk

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 Taft Point and Glacier Point. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome, tour the pleasant surroundings at Panorama Trail, admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, and hike along Nevada Falls Loop.

To see reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park online trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Santa Monica to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect cooler evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Santa Monica in August, with lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows

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 13th (Mon), look for gifts at The Cheese Shop, immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, and then identify plant and animal life at Point Lobos State Reserve.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Carmel road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Carmel takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, plan for slightly colder days in Carmel, with highs around 24°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 16°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can 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
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

4
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 SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Do some cultural sightseeing at Union Square and Twin Peaks. There's still lots to do: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, stop by City Lights Booksellers, and hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip 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 August, daytime highs in San Francisco are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

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