23 days in California, Las Vegas & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

23 days in California, Las Vegas & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in California, Las Vegas & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
San Diego
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Big Bear Lake
— 1 day
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Las Vegas
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
Grand Canyon National Park
— 1 night
+2
bus + Fly + bus:  12​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
7
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
8
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
9
Fresno
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
10
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
11
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: New York City

3
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.
Los Angeles is known for museums, theme parks, historic sites, childrens museums, and beaches. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look and learn at Griffith Observatory, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame, and don't miss a visit to Santa Monica Pier.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles day trip planning site .

New York City to Los Angeles is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from New York City to Los Angeles due to the time zone difference. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from New York City in January; daily highs in Los Angeles reach 70°F and lows reach 49°F. You will have some time to spend on the 10th (Fri) before leaving for San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Historic Sites Childrens Museums Museums

Side Trip

Santa Monica Pier
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory
Hollywood Walk of Fame ©
Hollywood Walk of Fame

1
night
San Diego

San Diego ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at San Diego Zoo.

Plan a San Diego trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In January in San Diego, expect temperatures between 67°F during the day and 51°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can travel to Big Bear Lake.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
San Diego Zoo ©
San Diego Zoo

1
day
Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake ©
Big Bear Lake is a small city in San Bernardino County, California, located in the San Bernardino Mountains along the south shore of Big Bear Lake, and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. Start off your visit on the 11th (Sat): hike along Castle Rock Trail 1W03 and then stroll through Snow Summit.

To see where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, use the Big Bear Lake trip planner.

Getting from San Diego to Big Bear Lake by car takes about 3 hours. In January, Big Bear Lake is colder than San Diego - with highs of 46°F and lows of 21°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to travel to Las Vegas.

Things to do in Big Bear Lake

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Snow Summit
Highlights from your plan
Castle Rock Trail 1W03 ©
Castle Rock Trail 1W03
Snow Summit ©
Snow Summit

3
nights
Las Vegas

Las Vegas ©
Nicknamed the "Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert in the southern section of Nevada.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): try to win big at Paris Las Vegas, then don't miss a visit to Fountains of Bellagio, then take in nature's colorful creations at Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, and finally explore the stunning scenery at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at The Mob Museum, then enjoy breathtaking views from High Roller, and then shop like a local with The Strip.

To see photos, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, use the Las Vegas sightseeing planner.

Drive from Big Bear Lake to Las Vegas in 4 hours. In January, Las Vegas is somewhat warmer than Big Bear Lake - with highs of 59°F and lows of 40°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Las Vegas

Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Fountains of Bellagio ©
Fountains of Bellagio
The Strip ©
The Strip

1
night
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park ©
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
On the 14th (Tue), stroll through South Kaibab Trail, take some stellar pictures from Pipe Creek Vista, and then take some stellar pictures from Mather Point. Keep things going the next day: hike along Bright Angel Trail and then explore the stunning scenery at Grand Canyon South Rim.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Grand Canyon National Park vacation tool .

Traveling by car from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park. Traveling from Las Vegas in January, expect nights in Grand Canyon National Park to be much colder, around 15°F, while days are slightly colder, around 44°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon South Rim ©
Grand Canyon South Rim
Bright Angel Trail ©
Bright Angel Trail
South Kaibab Trail ©
South Kaibab Trail

1
night
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.
On the 16th (Thu), trek along Mariposa Grove and then get great views at Yosemite, Tunnel View. On the next day, take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point and then fly down the slopes at Badger Pass Ski Area.

To find photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park road trip planner .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Grand Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park in 13 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Grand Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In January, plan for daily highs up to 44°F, and evening lows to 13°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Badger Pass Ski Area ©
Badger Pass Ski Area
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
San Francisco is known for nature, museums, parks, nightlife, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Golden Gate Bridge, get curious at California Academy of Sciences, get a taste of the local shopping with Union Square, and get great views at Twin Peaks.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip planner.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 59°F to lows of 46°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Francisco

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

1
night
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach and then kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Big Sur journey site .

Drive from San Francisco to Big Sur in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 62°F in January, and nighttime lows around 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Fresno.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

2
nights
Fresno

Fresno ©
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): take in nature's colorful creations at Forestiere Underground Gardens, then get to know the resident critters at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, then walk around Woodward Regional Park, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Shinzen Japanese Garden. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Blossom Trail, then pause for some serene contemplation at St George Greek Orthodox Church, and then brush up on your military savvy at Legion of Valor Museum.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read Fresno trip itinerary maker website .

Getting from Big Sur to Fresno by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. In January, daytime highs in Fresno are 59°F, while nighttime lows are 40°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Fresno

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Fresno Chaffee Zoo ©
Fresno Chaffee Zoo
St George Greek Orthodox Church ©
St George Greek Orthodox Church
Woodward Regional Park ©
Woodward Regional Park

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara and then awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area. On the 25th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: ponder the world of politics at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf, and then get to know the resident critters at Santa Barbara Zoo.

To find photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Santa Barbara tour itinerary planning website .

Getting from Fresno to Santa Barbara by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Fresno in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Santa Barbara, with highs around 66°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Zoo ©
Santa Barbara Zoo

3
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Change things up with these side-trips from Los Angeles: Anaheim (Disney California Adventure Park & Downtown Disney). See some other sides of Los Angeles: get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Hollywood, learn more about the world around you at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, admire the masterpieces at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and make a trip to Hollywood Sign.

To see maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Los Angeles tour itinerary tool .

Getting from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Los Angeles when traveling from Santa Barbara in January, with lows around 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Anaheim
Highlights from your plan
Disney California Adventure Park ©
Disney California Adventure Park
Universal Studios Hollywood ©
Universal Studios Hollywood
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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