21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in California Itinerary

Start: Tijuana
car:  14​h
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Malibu
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
6
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
bus:  7​h
7
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
8
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Tijuana

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): kick back and relax at Coronado Beach, then identify plant and animal life at Lions, Tigers & Bears, and then steep yourself in history at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. Keep things going the next day: appreciate the history behind The Unconditional Surrender and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To plan San Diego vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Tijuana, Mexico to San Diego is an approximately 14-hour flight. In September, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Lions, Tigers & Bears, Coronado Beach
Highlights from your plan
Lions, Tigers & Bears ©
Lions, Tigers & Bears
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Coronado Beach ©
Coronado Beach

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.
Keep things going the next day: browse the collection at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens and then examine the collection at The Nethercutt Collection.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Los Angeles road trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Diego to Los Angeles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Diego in September: highs in Los Angeles hover around 34°C, while lows dip to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Malibu.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, Newport Beach
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Malibu

Malibu ©
Malibu is a beach city in Los Angeles County, California, situated 30mi west of Downtown Los Angeles. On the 14th (Sat), walk around Legacy Park, then kick back and relax at Nicholas Canyon Beach, and then stroll through El Pescador State Beach.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read our Malibu online tour planner .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to Malibu takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of tram and bus; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Los Angeles in September: highs in Malibu hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 21°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Malibu

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Legacy Park ©
Legacy Park

1
night
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.
On the 15th (Sun), explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, then stop by Sebastian General Store, and finally learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip planner .

Getting from Malibu to San Simeon by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Malibu in September, expect nights in San Simeon to be little chillier, around 13°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 38°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

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 16th (Mon): stroll through Carmel River State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach. On the 17th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the architecture and history at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Carmel Mission, then don't miss a visit to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and finally admire the majestic nature at Asilomar State Beach.

For more things to do, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Carmel tour planner.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. While traveling from San Simeon, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can go by car to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Pfeiffer State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

3
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at General Sherman Tree and Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery. Escape the urban bustle at Moro Rock and Kings Canyon National Park. Explore Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park's surroundings by going to Project Survival's Cat Haven (in Dunlap) and Three Rivers (Tokopah Falls & The Senate). Next up on the itinerary: admire the sheer force of Roaring River Falls, explore and take pictures at Generals Hwy, and hike along Big Trees Trail.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park online trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of flight, bus, and car. While traveling from Carmel, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, ranging from highs of 38°C to lows of 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can catcht the bus to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Three Rivers, Project Survival's Cat Haven, Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery ©
Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery

3
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls. Discover out-of-the-way places like Yosemite, Tunnel View and Cathedral Beach Picnic Area. There's much more to do: admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, stroll through Wawona Meadow, take some stellar pictures from Valley View, and make a trip to Ansel Adams Gallery.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip app .

You can take a bus from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park in 7 hours. When traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in September, plan for slightly colder days in Yosemite National Park, with highs around 27°C, while nights are colder with lows around 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
El Capitan ©
El Capitan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visiting Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods National Monument will get you outdoors. Step off the beaten path and head to Marin Headlands and Twin Peaks. There's much more to do: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, contemplate the waterfront views at San Francisco Bay, appreciate the extensive heritage of Filbert Steps, and take in panoramic vistas at Coit Tower.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco day trip site .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, plan for somewhat warmer nights in San Francisco, with lows around 17°C. On the 28th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Marin Headlands, Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Marin Headlands ©
Marin Headlands

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