21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in California Itinerary

Start: Brussels
train + Fly:  14​h 45​min
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h 30​min
4
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
5
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Lompoc
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
7
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Fly + train:  15​h
End: Brussels

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Alcatraz Island and Fort Point will appeal to history buffs. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Muir Woods National Monument and Rockaway Beach. The adventure continues: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, explore the engaging exhibits at Exploratorium, get great views at Twin Peaks, and stroll through Lincoln Park.

To find ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco visit planner .

Brussels, Belgium to San Francisco is an approximately 15-hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and subway; or fly. The time zone difference when traveling from Brussels to San Francisco is minus 9 hours. Traveling from Brussels in September, things will get somewhat warmer in San Francisco: highs are around 28°C and lows about 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Rockaway Beach, 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

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.
Visiting Bodie State Historic Park and Lembert Dome will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Glacier Point and Mono Lake County Park. And it doesn't end there: trek along Tuolumne Meadows, stroll through Four Mile Trail, and explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome.

For maps, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park tour planner.

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from San Francisco in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be much colder in Yosemite National Park, with lows of 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake County Park
Highlights from your plan
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

3
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. Visiting Point Lobos and Lovers Point will get you outdoors. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Del Mar Beach, enjoy the sea views from Point Pinos Lighthouse, play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Carmel Mission.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Carmel trip planner .

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Carmel when traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, with lows around 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail
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
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
On the 19th (Wed), contemplate the long history of Harmony Borax Works, steep yourself in history at Cerro Gordo Mines, and then examine the collection at Museum of Western Film History. On the next day, tee off at Furnace Creek Golf Course and then explore the stunning scenery at Twenty Mule Team Canyon.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Death Valley National Park online trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to Death Valley National Park in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, flight, and taxi. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Carmel in September; daily highs in Death Valley National Park reach 38°C and lows reach 20°C. On the 21st (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Museum of Western Film History, Cerro Gordo Mines
Highlights from your plan
Twenty Mule Team Canyon ©
Twenty Mule Team Canyon
Cerro Gordo Mines ©
Cerro Gordo Mines
Harmony Borax Works ©
Harmony Borax Works

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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): learn about winemaking at Epoch Estate Wines, then indulge your taste buds at Rotta Winery, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun): learn about winemaking at Jack Creek Celllars, learn about winemaking at AronHill Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at Villa San Juliette Winery, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon trip itinerary builder app .

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in September, San Simeon is slightly colder at night with lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Lompoc.

Things to do in San Simeon

Wildlife Parks Wineries

Side Trips

Templeton, Villa San Juliette Winery
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Epoch Estate Wines ©
Epoch Estate Wines

1
night
Lompoc

Lompoc ©
Lompoc is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, on the west coast of the United States. Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): kick back and relax at Surf Beach, then experience rural life at Ostrich Land, then do a tasting at Stolpman Vineyards, and finally do a tasting at Epiphany Cellars. Here are some ideas for day two: do a tasting at Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines, then admire the architecture and history at La Purisima State Historical Park, and then stroll through Jalama Beach.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Lompoc day trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Lompoc takes 2 hours. While traveling from San Simeon, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Lompoc, ranging from highs of 28°C to lows of 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Lompoc

Parks Wineries Beaches

Side Trips

Los Olivos, Ostrich Land
Highlights from your plan
Surf Beach ©
Surf Beach
La Purisima State Historical Park ©
La Purisima State Historical Park
Stolpman Vineyards ©
Stolpman Vineyards

3
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Wed): learn more about the world around you at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and then get a taste of life in the country at Running Horse Ranch. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get to know the fascinating history of Santa Monica Pier and then take in the awesome beauty at Santa Monica Mountains.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles online vacation planner .

Getting from Lompoc to Los Angeles by car takes about 2.5 hours. Traveling from Lompoc in September, things will get somewhat warmer in Los Angeles: highs are around 34°C and lows about 22°C. On the 28th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Running Horse Ranch
Highlights from your plan
Running Horse Ranch ©
Running Horse Ranch
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

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