21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in California Itinerary

Start: Porto
Fly + Shuttle:  19​h 15​min
1
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Cambria
— 4 nights
+2
Bus + Fly + Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
4
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Fly:  16​h
End: Porto

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. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Carmel Art Association and Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery. Explore hidden gems such as Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Carmel River State Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Carmel: Big Sur (Partington Cove & Pfeiffer State Beach). There's much more to do: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, look for gifts at The Cheese Shop, steep yourself in history at Stevenson House, and view the masterpieces at Gallery by the Sea Carmel.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Carmel driving holiday site .

Porto, Portugal to Carmel is an approximately 19.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Western European Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -8 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in December, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Cambria.

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

4
nights
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Fiona Bleu Gallery and Brochelle Vineyards. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Moonstone Beach and Piedras Blancas. Change things up with these side-trips from Cambria: Morro Rock (in Morro Bay), Paso Robles (J Dusi Winery & Caliza Winery) and Jack Creek Celllars (in Templeton). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, view the masterpieces at artifacts gallery, examine the collection at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), and admire the natural beauty at Cambria Nursery & Florist.

To find out how to plan a trip to Cambria, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Carmel to Cambria takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Carmel in December, plan for little chillier nights in Cambria, with lows around 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Paso Robles, San Simeon, Morro Bay, Jack Creek Celllars
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Bodie State Historic Park and Glacier Point. Discover out-of-the-way places like Yosemite Falls and El Capitan. Spend the 11th (Tue) exploring nature at Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Tuolumne Meadows, make a trip to Olmsted Point, take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, and explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Cambria to Yosemite National Park takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Cambria in December, expect Yosemite National Park to be little chillier, temps between 9°C and -11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Bodie State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

6
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Shop till you drop at Union Square and City Lights Booksellers. Museum-lovers will appreciate Exploratorium and SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Get out of town with these interesting San Francisco side-trips: Robert Mondavi Winery (in Oakville), Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga) and Muir Woods National Monument (in Mill Valley). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Alcatraz Island, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and learn about winemaking at Zichichi Family Vineyard.

For more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip planner .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, flight, and subway. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, plan for a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in San Francisco: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 8°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Robert Mondavi Winery, Zichichi Family Vineyard, Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, Castello di Amorosa
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

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