19 days in California Itinerary

19 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in California Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  17​h 30​min
1
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
3
Fort Bragg
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  20​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

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.
Attractions like Disneyland Park and Griffith Observatory make great kid-friendly stops. Your inner history buff will appreciate Santa Monica Pier and Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Pack the 14th (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Los Angeles day trip website .

Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -18 hour difference. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from Melbourne in September, with highs in Los Angeles at 34°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

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

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Wed): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach. On the 17th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station, then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Simeon takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in San Simeon when traveling from Los Angeles in September, with lows around 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) so you can go by car to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

1
night
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Seaside Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Pudding Creek Beach, then admire the natural beauty at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, and finally stroll through Noyo Headlands Park. On your second day here, make a trip to Albion River Bridge, learn about winemaking at Husch Vineyards, then do a tasting at Roederer Estate, then do a tasting at Handley Cellars Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Lula Cellars.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Fort Bragg road trip planning website .

Getting from San Simeon to Fort Bragg by car takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in Fort Bragg can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Wineries Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Philo, Albion River Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Handley Cellars Winery ©
Handley Cellars Winery
Seaside Beach ©
Seaside Beach
Pudding Creek Beach ©
Pudding Creek Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Bring the kids along to Bodega Dunes and Exploratorium. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Castello di Amorosa and V. Sattui Winery. There's much more to do: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, get to know the fascinating history of Filbert Steps, and take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge.

For more things to do, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip planning tool .

You can drive from Fort Bragg to San Francisco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. When traveling from Fort Bragg in September, plan for little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in San Francisco: temperatures range from 28°C by day to 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

V. Sattui Winery, Castello di Amorosa, Bodega Dunes
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Bodega Dunes ©
Bodega Dunes

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 visit kid-friendly attractions like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Point Lobos. We've included these beaches for you: Carmel River State Beach and Del Mar Beach. Next up on the itinerary: explore the activities along Monterey Bay, kick back and relax at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, and look for all kinds of wild species at Breakwater.

To see maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Carmel road trip tool .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In September in Carmel, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Monterey, Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
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 Bodie State Historic Park and Glacier Point. Kids will appreciate attractions like Mono Lake County Park and Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. The adventure continues: get great views at Tunnel View, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tuolumne Meadows, take in the views from Pohono Bridge, and make a trip to Olmsted Point.

For reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park holiday planner.

Drive from Carmel to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Traveling from Carmel in September, plan for little chillier nights in Yosemite National Park, with lows around 3°C. You'll set off for home on the 30th (Wed).

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Lee Vining, Bodie State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve ©
Mono Lake County Park ©
Mono Lake County Park

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