18 days in California Itinerary

18 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in California Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Fort Bragg
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive + Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: London

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Bodega Dunes and Bolinas Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Castello di Amorosa and V. Sattui Winery. Go for a jaunt from San Francisco to Mill Valley to see Muir Woods National Monument about 46 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Twin Peaks, and make a trip to Nob Hill.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the San Francisco itinerary maker site .

London, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from London to San Francisco is minus 8 hours. Traveling from London in September, expect San Francisco to be a bit warmer, temps between 28°C and 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Castello di Amorosa, V. Sattui Winery, Bolinas Beach, Bodega Dunes, Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

3
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Noyo Headlands Park and Van Damme State Park. Discover out-of-the-way places like Seaside Beach and Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Fort Bragg: Philo (Handley Cellars Winery, Lula Cellars, & more). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Pudding Creek Beach, look for gifts at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books, and admire the majestic nature at Mendocino Headlands State Park.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Fort Bragg journey planning site .

You can drive from San Francisco to Fort Bragg in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in September, you will find days in Fort Bragg are a bit warmer (36°C), and nights are little chillier (13°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Philo, Mendocino
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens ©
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Van Damme State Park ©
Van Damme State Park
Seaside Beach ©
Seaside Beach

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 17th (Tue): explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr. On the next day, visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon road trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Fort Bragg to San Simeon takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and flight; or take a bus. In September in San Simeon, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

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. Visit Carmel River State Beach and China Cove and Gibson Beach for some beach relaxation. Explore hidden gems such as Monterey Bay and Del Mar Beach. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carmel: Big Sur (McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, & more). Spend the 20th (Fri) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's more to do: immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos and kick back and relax at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge.

For ratings, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Carmel tour planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from San Simeon in September: highs in Carmel hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey, Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tunnel View and Yosemite Falls. Escape the urban bustle at Glacier Point and Tioga Pass. There's still lots to do: hike along Tuolumne Meadows, walk around Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, and explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome.

For traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park holiday builder app .

You can drive from Carmel to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Carmel in September since evenings lows in Yosemite National Park dip to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

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