21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel route planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

21 days in California Itinerary

Start: Kabul
Fly:  28​h
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
bus + Drive:  8​h
3
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Calistoga
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  29​h
End: Kabul

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Head to Union Square and Ferry Plaza Farmers Marketfor some retail therapy. Your inner history buff will appreciate Alcatraz Island and City Lights Booksellers. Next up on the itinerary: browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace, browse the exhibits of SS Jeremiah O'Brien, wander the streets of Twin Peaks, and go for a walk through Fisherman's Wharf.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the San Francisco trip itinerary app .

Kabul, Afghanistan to San Francisco is an approximately 28-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Kabul to San Francisco is minus 12 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

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

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Bodie State Historic Park and Yosemite Museum Gallery. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Glacier Point and Mono Lake County Park. Spend the 7th (Sat) exploring nature at Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park. It doesn't end there: get great views at Tunnel View and take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome.

Plan my trip to Yosemite National Park with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in December, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around -11°C, while days are slightly colder, around 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

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

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Step out of the city life by going to Zabriskie Point and Badwater Basin. Explore hidden gems such as Dante's View and Panamint Range. Next up on the itinerary: explore and take pictures at Artists Dr, take in the dramatic natural features at The Devil's Speedway, and contemplate the long history of Eureka Mine.

To find maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park travel route builder site .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, expect Death Valley National Park to be a bit warmer, temps between 15°C and 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Dante's View ©
Dante's View
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette

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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Wed): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station. On the 12th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the natural beauty at Cambria Nursery & Florist, view the masterpieces at Ephraim Pottery West Gallery, then view the masterpieces at artifacts gallery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel.

For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip planner.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon in 6.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in December, you will find days in San Simeon are a bit warmer (20°C), and nights are about the same (0°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

4
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. Museum-lovers will get to explore Carmel Art Association and Coast Gallery Big Sur. Explore hidden gems such as Carmel River State Beach and Point Lobos. Venture out of the city with trips to Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park & Pfeiffer State Beach). Spend the 15th (Sun) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Monterey Bay, go for a walk through Ocean Avenue, take a memorable drive along Seventeen Mile Drive, and don't miss a visit to The Pilgrim's Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Carmel trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from San Simeon in December since evenings lows in Carmel dip to 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Calistoga.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

3
nights
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Castello di Amorosa and Ramini Mozzarella. Step out of the city life by going to Armstrong Redwood State Reserve and Safari West. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Calistoga: Sebastopol Center for the Arts (in Sebastopol), MacLeod Family Vineyard (in Kenwood) and Moshin Vineyards (in Healdsburg). There's still lots to do: view the masterpieces at Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery, do a tasting at Huge Bear at The Bank Tasting Room, shop like a local with Ca' Toga Galleria D' Arte, and indulge your taste buds at Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Calistoga trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Carmel to Calistoga in 3.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of flight, subway, and bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Calistoga when traveling from Carmel in December, with lows around 2°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Calistoga

Shopping Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Santa Rosa, Moshin Vineyards, Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, AERENA Galleries & Gardens, MacLeod Family Vineyard
Highlights from your plan
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Safari West ©
Safari West
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa

Similar Plans

22 days in California BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC August, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in California BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 22 days in California BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in California BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 22 days in California BY A USER FROM INDIA May, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 24 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in California BY A USER FROM BRAZIL August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in California & Grand Canyon National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in California BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND August, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans