21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  7​h
1
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
3
Mammoth Lakes
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Chicago

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like The Getty Center and Santa Monica Pier. Head to Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Montana Avenuefor some retail therapy. Step out of Los Angeles to go to Anaheim and see Disneyland Park, which is approximately 30 minutes away. There's still lots to do: buy something for everyone on your list at The Grove and kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Los Angeles tour itinerary planner.

Chicago to Los Angeles is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles. In July in Los Angeles, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 66°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

4
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 some historical perspective at Bodie State Historic Park and Bodie. Get outdoors at Panorama Trail and Bridalveil Fall. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, shop like a local with Yosemite Museum Gallery, trek along Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, and get your bearings at Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park online tour itinerary planner .

Do a combination of flight and car from Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Los Angeles in July, plan for colder nights in Yosemite National Park, with lows around 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to take a bus to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Bodie, Bodie State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park

3
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. Bring the kids along to Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and Mono Lake County Park. Take a break from the city and head to Footloose Sports in Mammoth Lakes and Tioga Rd. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Devils Postpile National Monument, admire the sheer force of Rainbow Falls, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Mary, and get engrossed in the history at Mammoth Museum at the Hayden Cabin.

To find reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Mammoth Lakes driving holiday planning website .

Traveling by bus from Yosemite National Park to Mammoth Lakes takes 1.5 hours. In July, daytime highs in Mammoth Lakes are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 46°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to catcht the bus to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Lee Vining
Highlights from your plan
Devils Postpile National Monument ©
Devils Postpile National Monument
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve ©
Rainbow Falls ©
Rainbow Falls

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Manzanar National Historic Site and Moro Rock. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kings Canyon National Park and Zumwalt Meadow Trail. There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of General Sherman Tree, take in the dramatic scenery at Grizzly Falls, and hike along Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park.

To see photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park road trip website .

Traveling by bus from Mammoth Lakes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park takes 3.5 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Mammoth Lakes in July, with highs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park at 98°F and lows at 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Manzanar National Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
Manzanar National Historic Site ©
Manzanar National Historic Site

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. Kids will enjoy Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Carmel River State Beach. Step out of the city life by going to Monterey Bay and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Take a break from Carmel with a short trip to McWay Falls in Big Sur, about 56 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos and wander the streets of Ocean Avenue.

To find traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Carmel sightseeing planner .

Drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, bus, and flight. Expect cooler weather when traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in July: highs in Carmel hover around 69°F, while lows dip to 55°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Monterey, Big Sur
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Alcatraz Island and City Lights Booksellers will appeal to history buffs. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Muir Woods National Monument and Bodega Dunes. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Francisco: V. Sattui Winery (in St. Helena) and Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga). There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Union Square, browse the eclectic array of goods at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, and take in the pleasant sights at Fisherman's Wharf.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read San Francisco trip planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in San Francisco can reach 73°F, while at night they dip to 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Castello di Amorosa, Bodega Dunes, V. Sattui Winery
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

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