18 days in California Itinerary

18 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in California Itinerary

Start: Manchester
Fly + bus:  17​h 30​min
1
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + bus:  8​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
bus:  7​h
3
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
4
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Monterey
— 4 nights
+2
shuttle + foot + Fly:  15​h
End: Manchester

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Darwin Falls and Artists Dr. Get in touch with nature at Artists Palette and Gower Gulch Loop. There's still lots to do: go deep underground at Eureka Mine, contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, and take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Death Valley National Park trip itinerary planning app .

Manchester, UK to Death Valley National Park is an approximately 17.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight, train, bus, and car. Traveling from Manchester to Death Valley National Park, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect much warmer weather when traveling from Manchester in September: highs in Death Valley National Park hover around 38°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point

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 Olmsted Point and Tioga Pass. Change things up with a short trip to Mono Lake County Park in Lee Vining (about 50 minutes away). Spend the 21st (Sat) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls, take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan, and take some stellar pictures from Tunnel View.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park tour website .

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Yosemite National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from Death Valley National Park in September, plan for a bit cooler days and much colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 27°C by day to 3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can catcht the bus to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Mono Lake County Park
Highlights from your plan
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
El Capitan ©
El Capitan

2
nights
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park ©
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Congress Trail and Kings Canyon National Park. Step out of the city life by going to Zumwalt Meadow Trail and Giant Forest. Next up on the itinerary: take a memorable drive along Generals Hwy, steep yourself in history at General Sherman Tree, and explore the striking landscape at Moro Rock.

For ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park journey site .

You can take a bus from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 7 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, plan for a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park: temperatures range from 38°C by day to 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Congress Trail ©
Congress Trail
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest

2
nights
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 26th (Thu), look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery and then kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas. On the 27th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the San Simeon tour app .

Drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to San Simeon in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in September since evenings lows in San Simeon dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Wildlife

Side Trip

Moonstone Beach
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

4
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Explore hidden gems such as Del Mar Beach and Pfeiffer State Beach. Get in touch with nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and McWay Falls. Step out of Monterey with an excursion to Bixby Bridge in Big Sur--about 30 minutes away. Spend the 29th (Sun) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. And it doesn't end there: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, and contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Monterey trip itinerary planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Monterey by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in September, expect nights in Monterey to be about the same, around 15°C, while days are slightly colder, around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Carmel
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
McWay Falls ©
McWay Falls

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