18 days in California Itinerary

18 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

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Route & dates

18 days in California Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
2
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
car:  11​h 30​min
4
St. Helena
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
End: New York City

2
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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: examine the collection at USS Midway Museum and then kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the San Diego holiday planner.

New York City to San Diego is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from New York City to San Diego is minus 3 hours. In December, San Diego is somewhat warmer than New York City - with highs of 68°F and lows of 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Historic Sites Beaches
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Gaslamp Quarter ©
Gaslamp Quarter

4
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at The Getty Center and Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Head to Montana Avenue and Amoeba Musicfor plenty of shopping. Take a break from Los Angeles with a short trip to Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, about 30 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, buy something for everyone on your list at The Grove, appreciate the extensive heritage of Venice Canals Walkway, and take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier.

Start your trip to Los Angeles by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

You can drive from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in December, and nighttime lows around 49°F. On the 25th (Tue), you're off toYosemite National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping Neighborhoods Beaches

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

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.
Get some cultural insight at Yosemite Museum Gallery and Bodie State Historic Park. Escape the urban bustle at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area and Olmsted Point. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, hike along Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, hit the slopes at Curry Village Ice Rink, and make a trip to Yosemite Village.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip builder .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi. Plan for colder temperatures traveling from Los Angeles in December, with highs in Yosemite National Park at 46°F and lows at 14°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sat) to allow time for travel to St. Helena.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Bodie State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area ©
Cathedral Beach Picnic Area

1
night
St. Helena

St. Helena ©
The city of St.
On the 30th (Sun), look for gifts at Oxbow Public Market, savor the flavors at Mumm Napa, then take in the natural beauty of Old Faithful Geyser of California, and finally step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read St. Helena online trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by combination of taxi and bus from Yosemite National Park to St. Helena takes 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and subway. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in December: highs in St. Helena hover around 60°F, while lows dip to 36°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in St. Helena

Wineries Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Calistoga, Mumm Napa, Oxbow Public Market
Highlights from your plan
Mumm Napa ©
Mumm Napa
Oxbow Public Market ©
Oxbow Public Market
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Union Square and Twin Peaks are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get some historical perspective at Alcatraz Island and SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Explore San Francisco's surroundings by going to Half Moon Bay (Pescadero State Beach & Pescadero State Beach) and San Gregorio State Beach (in San Gregorio). Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of Fisherman's Wharf, stroll through Fort Funston National Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Baker Beach, and browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from St. Helena to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of bus and subway. Traveling from St. Helena in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in San Francisco, with lows around 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Pescadero State Beach, San Gregorio State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

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