19 days in California Itinerary

19 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California holiday planner

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Route & dates

19 days in California Itinerary

Start: Phoenix
Fly:  3​h 30​min
1
Palm Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
2
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  7​h 30​min
3
Philo
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Mount Shasta
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
Truckee
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
bus:  5​h
7
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
bus:  4​h
8
Paso Robles
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
Carmel
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
End: Phoenix

1
night
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): delve into the distant past at Indian Canyons, admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum, and then take in the local highlights with Walking tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, view the masterpieces at CODA Gallery, then browse the exhibits of Palm Springs Air Museum, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Tennis Club District.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Palm Springs online travel planner .

Phoenix to Palm Springs is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in December, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Palm Desert
Highlights from your plan
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens ©
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Tennis Club District ©
Tennis Club District
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Wildrose Peak Trail and Fall Canyon. Next up on the itinerary: get great views at Aguereberry Point, contemplate the long history of Eureka Mine, make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point.

For ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Death Valley National Park sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Palm Springs to Death Valley National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and car; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Palm Springs in December, things will get little chillier in Death Valley National Park: highs are around 56°F and lows about 33°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can travel to Philo.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Fall Canyon ©
Fall Canyon
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes ©
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

1
night
Philo

Philo ©
Philo is a census-designated place in Mendocino County, California. On the 27th (Thu), do a tasting at Handley Cellars Winery, learn about winemaking at Lula Cellars, then learn about winemaking at Husch Vineyards, then do a tasting at Phillips Hill Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Toulouse Vineyards. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Fri): admire the majestic nature at Gualala Point Regional Park, appreciate the history behind Sea Ranch Chapel, learn about winemaking at Nelson Family Vineyards, then experience rural life at Pennyroyal Farm, and finally learn about winemaking at Navarro Vineyards.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Philo itinerary maker site .

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Philo in 10 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. In December in Philo, expect temperatures between 58°F during the day and 35°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can travel to Mount Shasta.

Things to do in Philo

Wineries Parks Nature

Side Trips

Nelson Family Vineyards, Gualala Point Regional Park, Sea Ranch Chapel, Pennyroyal Farm
Highlights from your plan
Handley Cellars Winery ©
Handley Cellars Winery
Navarro Vineyards ©
Navarro Vineyards
Lula Cellars ©
Lula Cellars

2
nights
Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta ©
Mount Shasta is a city in Siskiyou County, California, at about 3600ft above sea level on the flanks of Mount Shasta, a prominent northern California landmark. On the 29th (Sat), ski along the peaceful trails at Mt. Shasta Nordic Center, hit the slopes at Mt Shasta Ski Park, and then pause for some photo ops at Living Memorial Sculpture. On the 30th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Castle Lake, then stop by The Weed Store, then explore the engaging exhibits at Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum, and finally identify plant and animal life at Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Mount Shasta driving holiday website .

Drive from Philo to Mount Shasta in 5 hours. In December, Mount Shasta is a bit cooler than Philo - with highs of 45°F and lows of 28°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) so you can travel to Truckee.

Things to do in Mount Shasta

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Weed
Highlights from your plan
Mt Shasta Ski Park ©
Mt Shasta Ski Park
Castle Lake ©
Castle Lake
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum ©
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum

2
nights
Truckee

Truckee ©
Truckee is an incorporated town in Nevada County, California, United States. On the 31st (Mon), ski along the peaceful trails at Tahoe Donner, glide through natural beauty at Tahoe Donner Cross Country, then explore and take pictures at Desert Studies Center, and finally snap pictures at Rainbow Bridge / Donner Summit Bridge. Here are some ideas for day two: glide through natural beauty at Eagle Ridge Snowmobile Outfitters, then glide through natural beauty at Tahoe Cross Country, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Truckee Bike Park.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Truckee holiday planner.

Drive from Mount Shasta to Truckee in 4.5 hours. Traveling from Mount Shasta in December, expect a bit cooler with lows of 15°F in Truckee. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Truckee

Outdoors Winter Sports Parks

Side Trips

Tahoe Cross Country, Desert Studies Center
Highlights from your plan
Truckee Bike Park ©
Truckee Bike Park
Rainbow Bridge / Donner Summit Bridge ©

2
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 2nd (Wed), take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, then get great views at Tunnel View, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu): hit the slopes at June Mountain, indulge your thirst for a good beer at June Lake Brewing, then explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, and finally make a trip to Olmsted Point.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park vacation planner .

Drive from Truckee to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. January in Yosemite National Park sees daily highs of 44°F and lows of 13°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

June Lake
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Olmsted Point ©
Olmsted Point
June Mountain ©
June Mountain

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.
On the 4th (Fri), contemplate the long history of General Sherman Tree, then delve into the lush surroundings at Giant Forest, and then stroll through Moro Rock. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Big Stump Basin, see the interesting displays at Eastern California Museum, and then trek along Horseshoe Meadow Trail.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip planner .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park takes 5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with highs around 58°F, while nights are much warmer with lows around 38°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Paso Robles.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trips

Horseshoe Meadow Trail, Eastern California Museum
Highlights from your plan
Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest
Big Stump Basin ©
Big Stump Basin
Eastern California Museum ©
Eastern California Museum

2
nights
Paso Robles

Paso Robles ©
A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel, then stroll through Moonstone Beach, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and finally do a tasting at McPrice Myers Winery. On the 7th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: experience rural life at Olea Farm Olive Oil & Tasting Room, take in the dramatic natural features at Morro Rock, then learn about winemaking at Anglim Winery, and finally tee off at Paso Robles Golf Club.

To find other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Paso Robles trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by car from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Paso Robles takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, shuttle, and bus. Expect a daytime high around 63°F in January, and nighttime lows around 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Outdoors Golf

Side Trips

Cambria, Friends of the Elephant Seal, Morro Rock, Olea Farm Olive Oil & Tasting Room
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Olea Farm Olive Oil & Tasting Room ©
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

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. Start off your visit on the 8th (Tue): admire all the interesting features of Seventeen Mile Drive, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then learn about winemaking at Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room, and finally learn about winemaking at Carmel Ridge Winery. Keep things going the next day: immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, then get a taste of the local shopping with Carmel Art Association, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with The Pilgrims Way Books and Secret Garden.

Plan my trip to Carmel with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Paso Robles to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Paso Robles in January, plan for a bit warmer nights in Carmel, with lows around 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel Ridge Winery ©
Carmel Ridge Winery
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

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