20 days in California Itinerary

20 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in California Itinerary

Start: Grenoble
Train + Fly:  18​h
1
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
2
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Bus + Drive:  5​h 45​min
7
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  23​h 30​min
End: Grenoble

3
nights
Los Angeles

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Museum-lovers will get to explore The Getty Center and La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. Change things up with a short trip to Disneyland Park in Anaheim (about 36 minutes away). There's still lots to do: see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory, take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, take an in-depth tour of Autry Museum of the American West, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles planning app .

Grenoble, France to Los Angeles is an approximately 18-hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly. The time zone changes from Central European Time (CET) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -9 hour difference. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Los Angeles when traveling from Grenoble in July, with lows around 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Theme Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Santa Monica Pier, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): take a memorable drive along Generals Hwy, contemplate the long history of General Sherman Tree, then explore the striking landscape at Moro Rock, and finally admire the sheer force of Grizzly Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through General Grant Tree Trail and then explore the striking landscape of Kings Canyon National Park.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip planner .

Drive from Los Angeles to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and car. When traveling from Los Angeles in August, plan for a bit warmer days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with highs around 41°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
General Grant Tree Trail ©
General Grant Tree Trail

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 5th (Mon): steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach. Keep things going the next day: visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then stroll through Piedras Blancas.

To see where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the San Simeon sightseeing planner .

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to San Simeon by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in August, plan for little chillier nights in San Simeon, with lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

1
night
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. On the 7th (Wed), appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Carmel trip builder website .

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in August, plan for much colder days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Musee Mecanique and SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Popular historic sites such as Golden Gate Bridge and Twin Peaks are in your itinerary. Go for a jaunt from San Francisco to Mill Valley to see Muir Woods National Monument about 48 minutes away. There's still lots to do: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, examine the collection at de Young Museum, get curious at Exploratorium, and learn about all things military at USS Pampanito.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, use the San Francisco trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. In August in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

4
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 Panorama Trail and Sentinel Dome. Get outdoors at Tuolumne Meadows and Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, and take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View.

To find traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Yosemite National Park tour planner.

Getting from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. When traveling from San Francisco in August, plan for a bit warmer days in Yosemite National Park, with highs around 32°C, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Get outdoors at Zabriskie Point and Artists Palette. Step off the beaten path and head to Badwater Basin and Dante's View. There's more to do: take a memorable drive along Artists Dr and explore the striking landscape at Devil's Golf Course.

For where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Death Valley National Park trip itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of bus and car from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 6 hours. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, expect nights in Death Valley National Park to be much hotter, around 24°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 43°C. On the 17th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr

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