21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour builder

Make it your trip
Train to London Gatwick, Fly to San Francisco
1
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Calistoga
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive
5
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
6
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Fly
7
San Diego
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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31
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San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Change things up with a short trip to Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley (about 48 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace, and take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read San Francisco planner.

Bournemouth, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 16-hour combination of train and flight. Traveling from Bournemouth to San Francisco, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in July, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Calistoga.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Nature

Side Trip

Calistoga

— 2 nights
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
On the 27th (Wed), identify plant and animal life at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, then take in the exciting artwork at Patrick Amiot, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Safari West. On the next day, explore the striking landscape at Petrified Forest and then take in the natural beauty of Old Faithful Geyser of California.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Calistoga holiday site.

Getting from San Francisco to Calistoga by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from San Francisco in July, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Calistoga: temperatures range from 34°C by day to 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Calistoga

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 4 nights
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.
Yosemite National Park is known for nature, trails, and scenic drive. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, trek along Tuolumne Meadows, and take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park online trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Calistoga to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Traveling from Calistoga in July, Yosemite National Park is slightly colder at night with lows of 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) so you can travel to Monterey.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Monterey

— 1 night
Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. On the 2nd (Tue), admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium, and then take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive.

To see photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Monterey trip planner.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Monterey in 5 hours. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in Monterey, ranging from highs of 24°C to lows of 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Nature · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

San Simeon

— 1 night
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.
On the 3rd (Wed), take a leisurely stroll along San Simeon Pier, identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, then take some stellar pictures from Ragged Point Overlook, and finally contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon online day trip planner.

Getting from Monterey to San Simeon by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, train, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. Expect warmer weather when traveling from Monterey in August: highs in San Simeon hover around 40°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Historic Sites · Wildlife · Beaches · Parks

Santa Barbara

— 1 night

The American Riviera

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 4th (Thu): admire the landmark architecture of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, then take a stroll through State Street Underpass, and finally take in the waterfront at Stearns Wharf.

For photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara trip planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Simeon in August, expect nights in Santa Barbara to be about the same, around 18°C, while days are slightly colder, around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Scenic Drive · Shopping

San Diego

— 4 nights

America's Finest City

Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Spend the 6th (Sat) exploring the fascinating underwater world at SeaWorld San Diego. There's still lots to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at San Diego Zoo, appreciate the history behind Cabrillo National Monument, kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove, and stroll through Children's Pool.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read San Diego online tour planner.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Diego in 3.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in August, plan for somewhat warmer nights in San Diego, with lows around 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Theme Parks · Beaches

Palm Springs

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 9th (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum, don't miss a visit to Redlands Bowl, and then admire the majestic nature at The Mountain Station. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: gain insight at Palm Springs Air Museum, then admire nature's extreme beauty at Coachella Valley Preserve, and then see Off-Road Tours.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Palm Springs day trip planning website.

You can drive from San Diego to Palm Springs in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from San Diego in August, plan for much warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Palm Springs: temperatures range from 49°C by day to 31°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Nature · Museums · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

California travel guide

4.1
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.

Napa Valley travel guide

4.3
Wineries & Vineyards · Wine Tours & Tastings · Castles
Thanks to a Mediterranean climate and idyllic location in Northern California, Napa Valley is one of the top wine producing regions in the world. This, coupled with the area's breathtaking scenery, abundance of quaint B&Bs, and exquisite local gastronomy, makes Napa Valley one of the country's most popular spots for peaceful weekends and romantic getaways. While wine tasting and vineyard tours are the traditional things to do, the region offers a variety of other attractions, including hot air balloon rides, spa treatments, and trips aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train.

San Luis Obispo County travel guide

4.2
Wineries & Vineyards · Castles · Gift & Specialty Shops
The Central Coast
Separated from major metropolitan areas, coastal San Luis Obispo County has preserved its rural character. It includes many small communities with a strong agricultural heritage, and preserves a sense of old California. Many visitors on holiday come here to browse the excellent farmers' markets or tour world-class vineyards. The county offers plentiful outdoor vacation ideas, with beaches, rolling hills, and the Santa Lucia mountain range nearby. You can also take side trips to the area's larger towns, with their historical downtown districts, shopping destinations, and museums.