18 days in California Itinerary

18 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel planner

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Route & dates

18 days in California Itinerary

Start: Ljubljana
Fly + bus:  18​h 30​min
1
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
2
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  17​h
End: Ljubljana

2
nights
Santa Barbara

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Fri): look for gifts at Chocolate Maya, look for gifts at The Sacred Space, then steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, and finally wander the streets of State Street. Keep things going the next day: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Santa Barbara day trip planning tool .

Ljubljana, Slovenia to Santa Barbara is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. Traveling from Ljubljana to Santa Barbara, you'll gain 9 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Ljubljana in October, expect Santa Barbara to be somewhat warmer, temps between 29°C and 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

The Sacred Space
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
The Sacred Space ©
The Sacred Space

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 28th (Sun), take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, steep yourself in history at Eureka Mine, and then explore the activities along Badwater Basin. On your second day here, don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and then explore the stunning scenery at Fall Canyon.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park day trip website .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Death Valley National Park takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and car; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in October, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin
Fall Canyon ©
Fall Canyon

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 30th (Tue): stroll through Moonstone Beach, then look for gifts at Lucia Apothecary, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, then take in nature's colorful creations at Cambria Nursery & Florist, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Morro Rock.

To plan San Simeon vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Getting from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in October, San Simeon is little chillier at night with lows of 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Cambria, Morro Rock
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

3
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. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Point Lobos and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Take a break from the city and head to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and McWay Falls. Change things up with a short trip to Pfeiffer State Beach in Big Sur (about 54 minutes away). There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, look for gifts at The Cheese Shop, view the masterpieces at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, and explore and take pictures at Seventeen Mile Drive.

To see where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Carmel trip itinerary website .

Getting from San Simeon to Carmel by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in October, expect nights in Carmel to be somewhat warmer, around 13°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Bodie State Historic Park and Yosemite Falls. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Glacier Point and Olmsted Point. Step out of Yosemite National Park with an excursion to Mono Lake County Park in Lee Vining--about 48 minutes away. There's still lots to do: hike along Tuolumne Meadows and explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Yosemite National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, shuttle, flight, and car; or do a combination of bus and taxi. While traveling from Carmel, expect slightly colder days and cooler nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 14°C to lows of -8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Mono Lake County Park, Bodie State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

4
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 Filbert Steps. Discover out-of-the-way places like Muir Woods National Monument and Castello di Amorosa. There's much more to do: get a taste of the local shopping with Ferry Building Marketplace, steep yourself in history at City Lights Booksellers, step aboard SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and take a stroll through Union Square.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco online itinerary planner .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, flight, and subway. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in November, plan for a bit warmer days in San Francisco, with highs around 20°C, while nights are much hotter with lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Castello di Amorosa
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

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