20 days in California Itinerary

20 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Solvang
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Olympic Valley
— 3 nights
Drive
5
South Lake Tahoe
— 1 night
Drive
6
San Francisco
— 8 nights
Fly

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Los Angeles

— 3 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
You'll get in some beach time at El Matador State Beach and Zuma Beach. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and The Hollywood Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with a short trip to Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine (about 58 minutes away). The adventure continues: admire the masterpieces at Norton Simon Museum, get to know the fascinating history of Old Pasadena, and stroll through Greystone Mansion and Park.

For ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles trip planner.

Chicago to Los Angeles is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles. In December, Los Angeles is much warmer than Chicago - with highs of 69°F and lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Solvang.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping · Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

Solvang

— 2 nights
Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): learn about winemaking at Roblar Winery & Vineyards, learn about winemaking at Carhartt Vineyard, and then do a tasting at Sevtap Winery Tasting Room. Keep things going the next day: browse for treasures at Solvang Antiques, then do a tasting at Stolpman Vineyards, then do a tasting at Koehler Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Epiphany Cellars.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Solvang trip maker site.

Drive from Los Angeles to Solvang in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Los Angeles in December, Solvang is slightly colder at night with lows of 37°F. On the 26th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Solvang

Wineries · Shopping · Museums

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 2 nights
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 your second day here, look for all kinds of wild species at Rainbow Pool, see the interesting displays at Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum, and then brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Indigeny Reserve.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park trip itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from Solvang to Yosemite National Park takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Traveling from Solvang in December, things will get cooler in Yosemite National Park: highs are around 46°F and lows about 14°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Olympic Valley.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Trails

Side Trips

Olympic Valley

— 3 nights
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sat): kick back and relax at Burnt Cedar Beach, then let little ones run wild at Commons Beach Park, and then take an in-depth tour of Gatekeeper's Museum. Keep things going the next day: stop by Cabela's, steep yourself in history at Mackay Mansion, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Flume Trail.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Olympic Valley online trip maker.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Yosemite National Park to Olympic Valley. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Olympic Valley: temperatures range from 41°F by day to 15°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) early enough to drive to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Olympic Valley

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Fun & Games

Side Trips

South Lake Tahoe

— 1 night
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Mon): play a few rounds at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, then enjoy the sand and surf at Lakeside Beach, and then take in the exciting artwork at Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Nevada Beach Campground, then indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and then look for gifts at Grass Roots Natural Foods.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, use the South Lake Tahoe day trip site.

Drive from Olympic Valley to South Lake Tahoe in 1.5 hours. In December in South Lake Tahoe, expect temperatures between 45°F during the day and 19°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors · Golf · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 8 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Pride Mountain Vineyards. Head to Mumm Napa and Oxbow Public Marketfor plenty of shopping. Venture out of the city with trips to Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (in Moss Landing), Bodega Head (in Bodega Bay) and Dry Creek Vineyard (in Healdsburg). There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, kick back and relax at Natural Bridges State Beach, learn about winemaking at Schramsberg Vineyards, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Half Moon Bay State Beach.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco online route planner.

You can drive from South Lake Tahoe to San Francisco in 3.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. While traveling from South Lake Tahoe, expect a bit warmer days and warmer nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 59°F to lows of 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Wildlife · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.