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
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
2
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Shuttle:  4 h 30 min
3
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h
4
Monterey
— 2 nights
Bus:  45 min
5
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
6
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
7
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Fly:  15 h
End: London

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Explore hidden gems such as Armstrong Redwood State Reserve and San Gregorio State Beach. Shop till you drop at Union Square and Ferry Building Marketplace. There's much more to do: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, take a stroll through Twin Peaks, snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, and buy something for everyone on your list at Ghirardelli Square.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read San Francisco online vacation maker .

London, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 8 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trips

Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, San Gregorio State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Tioga Pass and May Lake Trailhead. Get in touch with nature at Tuolumne Meadows and El Capitan. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Yosemite National Park: Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum (in Groveland) and Black Oak Casino Resort (in Sonora). There's more to do: hike along Lembert Dome and make a trip to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park online trip planner .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from San Francisco in July, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are somewhat warmer (32°C), and nights are slightly colder (8°C). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum, Black Oak Casino
Highlights from your plan
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows
El Capitan ©
El Capitan
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass

1
night
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Seacliff State Beach and then admire the majestic nature at Wilder Ranch State Park.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Santa Cruz trip planner .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Santa Cruz takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, you will find days in Santa Cruz are slightly colder (26°C), and nights are a bit warmer (14°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car to Monterey.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Seacliff State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Wilder Ranch State Park ©
Wilder Ranch State Park
Seacliff State Beach ©
Seacliff State Beach

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links, then enjoy the sea views from Point Pinos Lighthouse, and then make a trip to Lovers Point. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Point Lobos State Reserve, stop by The Cheese Shop, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read Monterey online visit planner .

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Monterey takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. August in Monterey sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Carmel, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach Golf Links
Highlights from your plan
Pebble Beach Golf Links ©
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail ©

2
nights
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then hike along Partington Cove, and finally view the masterpieces at Coast Gallery Big Sur.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Big Sur trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Monterey to Big Sur takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August in Big Sur, expect temperatures between 23°C during the day and 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
McWay Falls ©
McWay Falls

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 7th (Tue), kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, look for gifts at Sebastian General Store, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery. On the next day, stop by Brown Butter Cookie Co, look for all kinds of wild species at Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, and then do a tasting at Peachy Canyon Winery Tasting Room.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip planner.

Getting from Big Sur to San Simeon by car takes about 1.5 hours. While traveling from Big Sur, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in San Simeon, ranging from highs of 18°C to lows of 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Peachy Canyon Winery, Brown Butter Cookie Company, Sweet Springs Nature Preserve
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Peachy Canyon Winery ©
Peachy Canyon Winery

2
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.
Getty Center The Publications and Hollywood Walk of Fame are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Los Angeles: Camarillo Premium Outlets (in Camarillo), Santa Monica Mountains (in Santa Monica) and Disneyland Park (in Anaheim).

Take the guesswork out of planning a Los Angeles vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from San Simeon to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from San Simeon in August: highs in Los Angeles hover around 34°C, while lows dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Parks Nature

Side Trips

Santa Monica Mountains, Camarillo Premium Outlets, Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Camarillo Premium Outlets ©
Camarillo Premium Outlets
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

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