21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in California Itinerary

Start: Lexington
Fly + shuttle:  11​h 45​min
1
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Paso Robles
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
4
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 45​min
5
South Lake Tahoe
— 1 night
+2
bus + foot + bus:  3​h 30​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
+4
Drive + Fly + bus + train + bus:  7​h
7
Fort Bragg
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
8
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  9​h 30​min
End: Lexington

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. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, look for gifts at Trio Carmel, and then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos.

To see more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel vacation planner .

Lexington to Carmel is an approximately 12-hour combination of flight, shuttle, and bus. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Lexington to Carmel, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Lexington in June; daily highs in Carmel reach 68°F and lows reach 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to drive to Paso Robles.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Big Sur
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
Paso Robles

Paso Robles ©
A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Moonstone Beach and William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. Visiting Elephant Seal Rookery and Piedras Blancas will get you outdoors. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Paso Robles: Cambria Nursery & Florist (in Cambria) and Morro Rock (in Morro Bay). Next up on the itinerary: do a tasting at Whalebone Vineyard and examine the collection at Camp Roberts Historical Museum.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Paso Robles itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Paso Robles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from Carmel in June, expect nights in Paso Robles to be about the same, around 53°F, while days are much hotter, around 93°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

San Simeon, Cambria, Morro Rock, Peachy Canyon Winery, Camp Roberts Historical Museum
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): browse the eclectic array of goods at Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market, then look for gifts at Italian Pottery Outlet, then steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, and finally take a stroll through State Street.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara online attractions planner .

Traveling by car from Paso Robles to Santa Barbara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. When traveling from Paso Robles in June, plan for cooler days in Santa Barbara, with highs around 72°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Italian Pottery Outlet ©
Italian Pottery Outlet

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, then cruise along Artists Dr, and then steep yourself in history at Eureka Mine. On the 18th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point, then get great views at Dante's View, and then explore the activities along Salt Creek Interpretive Trail.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Death Valley National Park trip planner.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Death Valley National Park in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, bus, and car; or take a bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in June, plan for much hotter days in Death Valley National Park, with highs around 98°F, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) to allow time to drive to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr

1
night
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe ©
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 19th (Wed): kick back and relax at Lakeside Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Meeks Bay Beach, and then stroll through Baldwin Beach. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Pope Beach and then stroll through El Dorado Beach.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our South Lake Tahoe online tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Death Valley National Park to South Lake Tahoe takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight. Prepare for cooler weather when traveling from Death Valley National Park in June: high temperatures in South Lake Tahoe hover around 77°F and lows are around 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Meeks Bay Beach
Highlights from your plan
El Dorado Beach ©
El Dorado Beach
Pope Beach ©
Pope Beach

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Yosemite Falls and Tunnel View. Escape the urban bustle at Glacier Point and Bodie State Historic Park. Go for a jaunt from Yosemite National Park to Lee Vining to see Mono Lake County Park about 48 minutes away. There's much more to do: admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, get your bearings at Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, and hike along Tuolumne Meadows.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park travel route planning app .

You can do a combination of taxi and bus from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park in 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in June, and nighttime lows around 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to drive to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake County Park
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite, Tunnel View ©
Yosemite, Tunnel View
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

2
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Explore hidden gems such as Seaside Beach and Pudding Creek Beach. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Noyo Headlands Park and Noyo Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Fort Bragg: Briceland Vineyards (in Redway) and Black Sands Beach (in Shelter Cove). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Glass Beach, steep yourself in history at Ford House Museum, look for gifts at Mendocino Jams & Preserves, and take in nature's colorful creations at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Fort Bragg trip app .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Fort Bragg in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in June, expect Fort Bragg to be a bit warmer, temps between 89°F and 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Mendocino, Black Sands Beach, Briceland Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens ©
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Black Sands Beach ©
Black Sands Beach
Glass Beach ©
Glass Beach

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Get some cultural insight at Alcatraz Island and Fisherman's Wharf. Visit City Lights Booksellers and Filbert Steps for their historical value. There's much more to do: take a stroll through Union Square, hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and browse the different shops at Ghirardelli Square.

To find ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip planner .

You can drive from Fort Bragg to San Francisco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. When traveling from Fort Bragg in June, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in San Francisco: temperatures range from 71°F by day to 55°F at night. On the 30th (Sun), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

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