California 2020

California 2020

Jason Harris

Make it your trip
Caesar is not coming with us!
He’s a bad kitty!
Drive
1
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
— 1 night
Drive
2
Las Cruces
— 1 night
Drive
3
Joshua Tree National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Bus
6
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Bus to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Bus to South Lake Tahoe
7
South Lake Tahoe
— 2 nights
Drive
8
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive
9
Monterey
Drive
10
Big Sur
— 1 day
Drive
11
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
12
Albuquerque
— 1 night
Drive

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1

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

— 1 night
The canyons, cacti, and thorny bushes of the southern New Mexico desert hide one of the U.S.'s great subterranean geological wonders, Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
You've now added Carlsbad Caverns Natural Entrance Tour to your itinerary.

For maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Carlsbad Caverns National Park trip planner.

Saint Louis to Carlsbad Caverns National Park is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. Traveling from Saint Louis to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Saint Louis in July: highs in Carlsbad Caverns National Park hover around 97°F, while lows dip to 71°F. You'll have a few hours on the 12th (Sun) to wrap things up before traveling to Las Cruces.

Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours

Las Cruces

— 1 night

White Sands National Park

Las Cruces, also known as "The City of the Crosses", is the seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 97,618, and in 2015 the estimated population was 101,643, making it the second largest city in the state, after Albuquerque. Las Cruces is the largest city in both Doña Ana County and southern New Mexico. The Las Cruces metropolitan area had an estimated population of 213,676 in 2014. It is the principal city of a metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Doña Ana County and is part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces combined statistical area.Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the Mesilla Valley, the agricultural region on the floodplain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch to the west side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is the home of New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico's only land-grant university. The city's major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. The Organ Mountains, 10mi to the east, are dominant in the city's landscape, along with the Doña Ana Mountains, Robledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak. Las Cruces lies south of Albuquerque, northwest of El Paso, Texas and north of the Mexican border at Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Las Cruces

Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Joshua Tree National Park

— 2 nights
Joshua Tree National Park takes its name from the Joshua tree, a twisted, spiky tree with bayonet-shaped leaves at the top that's one of the few plant species hardy enough to thrive in the extreme climate of the Mojave Desert.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): explore and take pictures at Arch Rock.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Joshua Tree National Park day trip planning website.

Getting from Las Cruces to Joshua Tree National Park by combination of bus and flight takes about 10 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Las Cruces to Joshua Tree National Park is minus 1 hour. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Las Cruces in July, with highs in Joshua Tree National Park at 103°F and lows at 78°F. You'll have a few hours on the 15th (Wed) to wrap things up before traveling to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Death Valley National Park

— 2 nights

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Eureka Dunes as well as Dante's View. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Telescope Peak trail, then take in the awesome beauty at Funeral Mountains, and then take some stellar pictures from Dante's View. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Thu): take in the dramatic natural features at Devil's Golf Course, explore the striking landscape at The Devil's Speedway, contemplate the long history of Geologist's Cabin, hike along Daylight Pass, then hike along Gower Gulch Loop, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park vacation site.

Getting from Joshua Tree National Park to Death Valley National Park by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Joshua Tree National Park in July, Death Valley National Park is a bit cooler at night with lows of 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

— 3 nights

A Land of Giants

With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Kings Canyon Scenic Byway as well as Grizzly Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sat): trek along Big Baldy, take a peaceful walk through Grant Grove, take a memorable drive along Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, then stroll through General Grant Tree Trail, then take in the dramatic scenery at Grizzly Falls, and finally explore the fascinating underground world of Boyden Cavern.

Plan my Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 7 hours. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with lows of 66°F. You will have some time to spend on the 20th (Mon) before leaving for Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Yosemite National Park

— 3 nights
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.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, Mariposa Grove, Half Dome, and other attractions. Bring the kids along to Glacier Point and Vernal Fall. Step out of the city life by going to Taft Point and Chilnualna Falls. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Panorama Trail, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, contemplate the waterfront views at Merced River, and take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point.

Plan a Yosemite National Park trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can take a bus from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in July, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around 46°F, while days are little chillier, around 83°F. You will have some time to spend on the 23rd (Thu) before leaving for South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

South Lake Tahoe

— 2 nights
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Sand Harbor as well as Emerald Bay State Park. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Sand Harbor, then take in the dramatic scenery at Glen Alpine Falls, then enjoy the sand and surf at Lakeside Beach, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Here are some ideas for day two: trek along Rubicon Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mt. Tallac Trail, steep yourself in history at Tallac Historic Site, then explore the activities along Emerald Bay State Park, then trek along Eagle Falls Trail, and finally kick back and relax at Baldwin Beach.

To find more things to do, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our South Lake Tahoe trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by bus from Yosemite National Park to South Lake Tahoe takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In July, daytime highs in South Lake Tahoe are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 46°F. You will have some time to spend on the 25th (Sat) before leaving for San Francisco.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 1 night

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 25th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Golden Gate Bridge, kick back and relax at China Beach, then take in nature's colorful creations at Japanese Tea Garden, then buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, and finally take a stroll through Union Square.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the San Francisco online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe in July, expect nights in San Francisco to be a bit warmer, around 57°F, while days are little chillier, around 73°F. On the 26th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Monterey.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Shopping · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Monterey

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Start off your visit on the 26th (Sun): immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos and then shop like a local with The Pilgrim's Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden.

For ratings, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Monterey trip planning website.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Monterey takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or fly. In July in Monterey, expect temperatures between 69°F during the day and 55°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

Nature · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Big Sur

— 1 day

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Bixby Bridge, McWay Falls and Pfeiffer State Beach. Start off your visit on the 26th (Sun): kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, view the masterpieces at Hawthorne Gallery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge, and finally don't miss a visit to Rocky Creek Bridge.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Big Sur trip planner.

Getting from Monterey to Big Sur by car takes about an hour. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

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.
To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon online day trip planner.

You can drive from Big Sur to San Simeon in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect much warmer weather when traveling from Big Sur in July: highs in San Simeon hover around 94°F, while lows dip to 56°F. You will have some time to spend on the 27th (Mon) before leaving for Albuquerque.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Outdoors · Shopping · Nature

Albuquerque

— 1 night

Duke City

Albuquerque remains one of the state's secret jewels, as its tourist attractions are often overshadowed by the more popular holiday destination of Santa Fe.
To find photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Albuquerque travel planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Albuquerque in 15.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Simeon to Albuquerque. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Albuquerque when traveling from San Simeon in July, with lows around 67°F. You'll have a few hours on the 28th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Albuquerque

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Museums

United States travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Beaches · Historic Sites
More than the country of car-packed streets seen in TV shows and movies, the United States of America is a complex and diverse home to over 300 million people living in a wide range of landscapes and climates. From its big-city skyscrapers to its sprawling natural parks, the country's ''melting pot'' combines many ethnic groups that share a strong sense of national identity despite their cultural differences. A country of road trips and big blue skies, the United States harbors orderly cities filled with restaurants, parks, museums, and innumerable sightseeing opportunities, as well as pristine natural areas perfect for a holiday in the great outdoors. To see as much as you can of this diverse land quickly, drive over some of the more than 6 million km (4 million mi) of highways leading through deserts, mountain peaks, fertile fields, and giant urban centers.