18 days in California Itinerary

18 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in California Itinerary

Start: Toronto
Fly:  8​h 30​min
1
San Diego
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Toronto

3
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.
USS Midway Museum and San Diego Model Railroad Museum will appeal to museum buffs. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at La Jolla Cove and Black's Beach. There's much more to do: take a tour of Maritime Museum of San Diego, enjoy the sand and surf at Mission Beach Park, admire nature's wide array of creatures at San Diego Zoo, and see the interesting displays at Visions Art Museum.

To find more things to do, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Diego road trip planning website .

Toronto, Canada to San Diego is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Toronto to San Diego. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Toronto in December, with highs in San Diego at 23°C and lows at 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Maritime Museum of San Diego ©
Maritime Museum of San Diego

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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore The Getty Center and Griffith Observatory. Visit La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and Hollywood Walk of Fame for their historical value. Change things up with a short trip to Disneyland Park in Anaheim (about 36 minutes away). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, immerse yourself in nature at Santa Monica State Beach, admire the masterpieces at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and see the interesting displays at Diorama-museum of Bhagavad-gita.

To see maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles tour website .

You can drive from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In December, daily temperatures in Los Angeles can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Theme Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Disneyland Park, Santa Monica State Beach
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

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.
On the 29th (Sun), spend an exhilarating day on the slopes at Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area. There's still lots to do: take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, trek along May Lake Trailhead, and hit the slopes at Curry Village Ice Rink.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our 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 and bus. In December, Yosemite National Park is much colder than Los Angeles - with highs of 9°C and lows of -11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome

2
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. On the 31st (Tue), enjoy the sand and surf at Del Mar Beach, immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, and then don't miss a visit to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, and finally explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel online holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Carmel takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, you will find days in Carmel are a bit warmer (19°C), and nights are much warmer (7°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Beaches Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Alcatraz Island and Grace Cathedral. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Exploratorium and Asian Art Museum. The adventure continues: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, explore the world behind art at Legion of Honor, enjoy the sand and surf at Fort Funston National Park, and see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco travel planner.

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in January, and nighttime lows around 9°C. On the 6th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium

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