18 days in California Itinerary

18 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in California Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Drive:  4​h 30​min
1
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
2
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
4
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Lone Pine
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Mammoth Lakes
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
End: Los Angeles

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.
On the 13th (Wed), explore the different monuments and memorials at Cambria Cemetery and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Thu): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, then take in the spiritual surroundings of The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel, and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our San Simeon day trip app .

Los Angeles to San Simeon is an approximately 4.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect little chillier evenings in San Simeon when traveling from Los Angeles in March, with lows around 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can go by car to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): explore the activities along Monterey Bay, then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos. Keep things going the next day: immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, go to the Monterey travel route builder tool .

Drive from San Simeon to Monterey in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in March, plan for little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in Monterey: temperatures range from 64°F by day to 47°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Carmel, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visit Bodega Head and Naples Beach for some beach relaxation. Visiting Alcatraz Island and Big Basin Redwoods State Park will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Half Moon Bay (Cowell Ranch State Beach & Pomponio State Beach). There's still lots to do: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco trip planner.

You can drive from Monterey to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of bus and train. In March, plan for daily highs up to 65°F, and evening lows to 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Half Moon Bay, Bodega Head, Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Bodega Head ©
Bodega Head

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Glacier Point and Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Yosemite Falls and Vernal Fall. There's lots more to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark, hike along Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, don't miss a visit to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, and stroll through Panorama Trail.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park online visit planner .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from San Francisco in March: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 53°F, while lows dip to 23°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Lone Pine.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove

3
nights
Lone Pine

Lone Pine ©
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead and Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Eastern California Museum and Museum of Western Film History. Venture out of the city with trips to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (Big Stump Basin, Grizzly Falls, & more). The adventure continues: take a peaceful walk through Inyo National Forest and tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Whitney Trail.

To see photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Lone Pine tour itinerary maker app .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yosemite National Park to Lone Pine. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Yosemite National Park in March, with highs in Lone Pine at 70°F and lows at 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Lone Pine

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Independence, Inyo National Forest
Highlights from your plan
Mount Whitney Trail ©
Mount Whitney Trail
Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery ©
Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery
Mt. Whitney ©
Mt. Whitney

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Tue): discover the riches below the earth's surface at Eureka Mine, then explore the stunning scenery at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, and then take in breathtaking views at Mosaic Canyon. On the next day, don't miss a visit to Ashford Mill Ruins, then take in breathtaking views at Titus Canyon, then contemplate the long history of Harmony Borax Works, and finally take an in-depth tour of The Ranch at Furnace Creek.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Death Valley National Park trip planner .

You can drive from Lone Pine to Death Valley National Park in 2 hours. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Death Valley National Park when traveling from Lone Pine in March, with lows around 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can drive to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Titus Canyon ©
Titus Canyon
Harmony Borax Works ©
Harmony Borax Works
Twenty Mule Team Canyon ©
Twenty Mule Team Canyon

3
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. Kick off your visit on the 28th (Thu): hit the slopes at June Mountain and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Parker Lake Trail. On the next day, fly down the slopes at Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center, then trek along Crystal Lake trail, and then take an in-depth tour of Mammoth Museum at the Hayden Cabin.

For reviews, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Mammoth Lakes trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Mammoth Lakes in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from Death Valley National Park in March, plan for slightly colder days in Mammoth Lakes, with highs around 53°F, while nights are much colder with lows around 23°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

June Lake
Highlights from your plan
June Mountain ©
June Mountain
Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center ©
Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center
Gull Lake ©
Gull Lake

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