19 days in California Itinerary

19 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in California Itinerary

Start: Milan
Fly:  22​h
1
Yosemite National Park
— 6 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
End: Milan

6
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.
Do your shopping at Ansel Adams Gallery and Yosemite Museum Gallery. Get some historical perspective at Pioneer Yosemite History Center and Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark. Venture out of the city with trips to Stanislaus National Forest (in Hathaway Pines) and Parker Lake Trail (in June Lake). And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape of Bridalveil Fall, take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan, trek along Mariposa Grove, and admire all the interesting features of Tioga Pass.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park online road trip planner .

Milan, Italy to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of flight, subway, and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 9 hours. Traveling from Milan in September, plan for slightly colder nights in Yosemite National Park, with lows around 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Parker Lake Trail, Stanislaus National Forest
Highlights from your plan
Half Dome ©
Half Dome
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Pioneer Yosemite History Center ©
Pioneer Yosemite History Center

4
nights
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 enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Point Lobos and Pfeiffer State Beach. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Cannery Row Antique Mall. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carmel: Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Coast Gallery Big Sur, & more), Capitola Beach (in Capitola) and Moss Landing (Dolphin & Whale Watching & Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve). There's lots more to do: stroll through Asilomar State Beach, explore the landscape on two wheels at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links, and enjoy the sand and surf at Marina State Beach.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Carmel route maker tool .

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. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Yosemite National Park in September since evenings lows in Carmel dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Big Sur, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Moss Landing, Mission San Juan Bautista
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Here are some ideas for day two: step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, enjoy the sand and surf at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, examine the collection at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, then look for gifts at Sebastian General Store, and finally identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To find where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon planner .

Getting from Carmel to San Simeon by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Carmel in September, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 38°C by day to 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Cambria, Big Sur, Harmony Cellars, Sand Dollar Beach
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Relax by the water at Bodega Dunes and Rockaway Beach. Alcatraz Island and Exploratorium are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get out of town with these interesting San Francisco side-trips: Wine Tours & Tastings (in Healdsburg), Goat Rock Beach (in Jenner) and Francis Ford Coppola Winery (in Geyserville). There's still lots to do: learn about winemaking at VJB Cellars, see the interesting displays at California State Railroad Museum, get a taste of the local shopping with Mumm Napa, and soar above the sights with a balloon tour.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the San Francisco day trip planning app .

Getting from San Simeon to San Francisco by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of bus and flight. While traveling from San Simeon, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 28°C to lows of 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Sacramento, Guerneville, Pacifica, Muir Woods National Monument, Goat Rock Beach
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island

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