20 days in California Itinerary

20 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

20 days in California Itinerary

Start: London
Fly:  14​h 30​min
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
2
Arcata
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Mendocino
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
4
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Cambria
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
6
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Palm Springs
— 3 nights
Fly:  15​h
End: London

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Castello di Amorosa and Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Ferry Building Marketplace and City Lights Booksellers. Take a break from San Francisco with a short trip to Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery in Glen Ellen, about 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: shop like a local with Union Square, browse the eclectic array of goods at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, and take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the San Francisco route planner.

London, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from London to San Francisco, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. In May, San Francisco is somewhat warmer than London - with highs of 24°C and lows of 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Arcata.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Castello di Amorosa, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

2
nights
Arcata

Arcata ©
Arcata, originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): savor the flavors at Arcata Farmers' Market, then stroll through Trinidad State Beach, and then take in the exciting artwork at Trinidad Art Gallery. Keep things going the next day: do a tasting at Moonstone Crossing Winery Tasting Room, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Big Lagoon County Park, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Arcata road trip planning website .

The Route module can help you plan travel from San Francisco to Arcata. Traveling from San Francisco in May, expect nights in Arcata to be about the same, around 11°C, while days are slightly colder, around 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Mendocino.

Things to do in Arcata

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Trinidad
Highlights from your plan
Trinidad State Beach ©
Trinidad State Beach
Trinidad Art Gallery ©
Trinidad Art Gallery
Arcata Farmers' Market ©
Arcata Farmers' Market

2
nights
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): look for gifts at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books, take in the exciting artwork at Highlight Gallery, contemplate the long history of Ford House Museum, then do a tasting at Lula Cellars, and finally learn about winemaking at Handley Cellars Winery. Here are some ideas for day two: do a tasting at Navarro Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at Phillips Hill Winery, then learn about winemaking at Husch Vineyards, and finally take in the views from Albion River Bridge.

To see maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Mendocino trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Arcata to Mendocino takes 3.5 hours. When traveling from Arcata in May, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Mendocino: temperatures range from 30°C by day to 11°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Mendocino

Wineries Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Philo, Albion River Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Handley Cellars Winery ©
Handley Cellars Winery
Navarro Vineyards ©
Navarro Vineyards
Lula Cellars ©
Lula Cellars

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. Ocean Avenue and Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step off the beaten path and head to Point Lobos and Monterey Bay. Get out of town with these interesting Carmel side-trips: Big Sur (Coast Gallery Big Sur, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, & more). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, stop by The Cheese Shop, pick up some local products at Pacific Grove Certified Farmers' Market, and get a taste of the local shopping with Gallery by the Sea Carmel.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Carmel road trip planner .

You can drive from Mendocino to Carmel in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Mendocino in May: highs in Carmel hover around 21°C, while lows dip to 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Big Sur, Pacific Grove Certified Farmers' Market, Monterey Bay
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

3
nights
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Discover out-of-the-way places like Hearst Castle and artifacts gallery. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fiona Bleu Gallery and Ephraim Pottery West Gallery. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, learn more about the world around you at Greenspace Creekside Reserve, and do a tasting at Moonstone Cellars.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Cambria trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Carmel to Cambria in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus and car. While traveling from Carmel, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Cambria, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

San Simeon, Fiona Bleu Gallery
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

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.
On the 15th (Wed), buy something for everyone on your list at The Grove, take a stroll through Abbot Kinney Boulevard, then make a trip to Montana Avenue, and finally admire the masterpieces at Hammer Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: hunt for treasures at Flower Market, buy something for everyone on your list at Two Rodeo Drive, then view the masterpieces at Annenberg Space for Photography, then examine the collection at The Getty Center, and finally stop by Amoeba Music.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles itinerary builder site .

Getting from Cambria to Los Angeles by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a train. Traveling from Cambria in May, you will find days in Los Angeles are slightly colder (28°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (17°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Two Rodeo Drive, Montana Avenue
Highlights from your plan
Abbot Kinney Boulevard ©
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
The Grove ©
The Grove

3
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. For shopping fun, head to Borrego Art Institute or Gubler Orchids. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like El Paseo Shopping District and The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Palm Springs: 29 Palms Art Gallery (in Twentynine Palms) and Palm Desert (CODA Gallery & Heather James Fine Art). It doesn't end there: take in the exciting artwork at Antique Galleries of Palm Springs and explore the stunning scenery at Indian Canyons.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs online tour planner .

You can drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Los Angeles in May, things will get a bit warmer in Palm Springs: highs are around 39°C and lows about 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Shopping Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Palm Desert, Twentynine Palms, Gubler Orchids, Borrego Art Institute
Highlights from your plan
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Heather James Fine Art ©
Heather James Fine Art
29 Palms Art Gallery ©
29 Palms Art Gallery

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