20 days in California Itinerary

20 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California Trip Planner

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Route & dates

20 days in California Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
San Diego
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 45​min
8
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Escape the urban bustle at Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods National Monument. Shop till you drop at Union Square and Ferry Building Marketplace. The adventure continues: get curious at Exploratorium, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco online itinerary creator.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to San Francisco. Expect a daytime high around 73°F in October, and nighttime lows around 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

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

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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan, make a trip to Valley View, and then hunt for treasures at El Portal Market. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Sat): trek along May Lake Trailhead.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park vacation planner.

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from San Francisco in October, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around 29°F, while days are slightly colder, around 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

El Portal Market
Highlights from your plan
El Capitan ©
El Capitan
May Lake Trailhead ©
May Lake Trailhead
Valley View ©
Valley View

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. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links and then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos State Reserve. On the 23rd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stop by The Cheese Shop, then kick back and relax at Lovers Point, and then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Carmel travel planner.

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in October, plan for warmer nights in Carmel, with lows around 52°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach Golf Links
Highlights from your plan
Pebble Beach Golf Links ©
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

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 24th (Tue): do a tasting at Turley Wine Cellars, then learn about winemaking at Peachy Canyon Winery Tasting Room, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Piedras Blancas. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the long history of Friends of Hearst Castle, take in the exciting artwork at Harmony Glassworks, and then stop by Brown Butter Cookie Co.

To find photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary builder.

Drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Carmel in October, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 60°F by day to 53°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Wineries Beaches

Side Trips

Templeton, Brown Butter Cookie Company, Harmony Glassworks
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Turley Cellars ©
Turley Cellars

2
nights
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
On the 26th (Thu), kick back and relax at Carpinteria State Beach, then wander the streets of State Street, and then explore the world behind art at Santa Barbara Museum Of Art.

To see ratings and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Santa Barbara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from San Simeon in October: highs in Santa Barbara hover around 72°F, while lows dip to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Carpinteria State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Santa Barbara Museum of Art ©
Santa Barbara Museum of Art

4
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.
Visit Santa Monica Pier and Hollywood Walk of Fame for their historical value. Get a sense of the local culture at Getty Center The Publications and Griffith Observatory. Get out of town with these interesting Los Angeles side-trips: Anaheim (Disneyland Park & Disney California Adventure Park). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, shop like a local with Abbot Kinney Boulevard, stop by The Original Farmers Market, and browse the different shops at Third Street Promenade.

To see photos, ratings, maps, and tourist information, use the Los Angeles itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Santa Barbara in October, with highs in Los Angeles at 81°F and lows at 62°F. On the 31st (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Shopping Museums

Side Trips

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

3
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Tue): appreciate the history behind Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. On the next day, examine the collection at USS Midway Museum and then take in the waterfront at Seaport Village.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the San Diego trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In October in San Diego, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 64°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Calistoga.

Things to do in San Diego

Historic Sites Shopping Parks
Highlights from your plan
Fort Rosecrans Cemetery ©
Fort Rosecrans Cemetery
Point Loma ©
Point Loma

1
night
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): do a tasting at Robert Mondavi Winery, do a tasting at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, then view the masterpieces at Mumm Napa, and finally savor the flavors at Castello di Amorosa.

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Calistoga vacation builder.

Do a combination of flight and taxi from San Diego to Calistoga in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Diego in November, expect Calistoga to be a bit cooler, temps between 65°F and 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Museums Shopping

Side Trips

Oakville, Paraduxx Winery, Mumm Napa
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Robert Mondavi Winery ©
Robert Mondavi Winery
Mumm Napa ©
Mumm Napa

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