23 days in California Itinerary

23 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in California Itinerary

Start: Denver
Fly:  4​h 15​min
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Joshua Tree National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Palm Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
4
San Clemente
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Santa Barbara
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
7
Big Sur
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
8
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: Denver


Learn more about your trip

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sun): get in on the excitement at Petco Park, then pause for some photo ops at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, and then enjoy the sand and surf at La Jolla Shores Park. On the 15th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head off the coast to Coronado Island and then meet the residents at San Diego Zoo.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the San Diego online sightseeing planner .

Denver to San Diego is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Denver to San Diego due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Denver in July, plan for little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in San Diego: temperatures range from 29°C by day to 23°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Joshua Tree National Park.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Beaches

Side Trip

Coronado Island
Highlights from your plan
San Diego Zoo ©
San Diego Zoo
Petco Park ©
Petco Park
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park

2
nights
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park ©
Joshua Tree National Park takes its name from the Joshua tree, a twisted, spiky tree with bayonet-shaped leaves at the top that's one of the few plant species hardy enough to thrive in the extreme climate of the Mojave Desert.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Geology Tour Road and Arch Rock. There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Cap Rock at Joshua Tree, appreciate the views at Hidden Valley Nature Trail, explore the striking landscape at Keys View, and take in nature's colorful creations at Cholla Cactus Garden.

To find maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Joshua Tree National Park trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from San Diego to Joshua Tree National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of train, bus, and taxi. When traveling from San Diego in July, plan for much warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Joshua Tree National Park: temperatures range from 46°C by day to 30°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Hidden Valley Nature Trail ©
Hidden Valley Nature Trail
Cap Rock at Joshua Tree ©
Cap Rock at Joshua Tree
Arch Rock ©
Arch Rock

3
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Palm Springs Air Museum and Redlands Bowl. Venture out of the city with trips to Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness (in Idyllwild) and Castle Rock Trail 1W03 (in Big Bear Lake). And it doesn't end there: admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum, don't miss a visit to Palm Springs Historical Society, revel in the low prices at Cabazon Outlets, and look for gifts at Brandini Toffee.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs trip itinerary maker app .

Drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Palm Springs in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a daytime high around 49°C in July, and nighttime lows around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Clemente.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness, Redlands Bowl, Cabazon Outlets, Castle Rock Trail 1W03
Highlights from your plan
Castle Rock Trail 1W03 ©
Castle Rock Trail 1W03
Palm Springs Air Museum ©
Palm Springs Air Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum

3
nights
San Clemente

San Clemente ©
San Clemente is a city in Orange County, California, United States. Step off the beaten path and head to San Clemente Pier and San Clemente State Beach. And it doesn't end there: walk around Crescent Bay Point Park, kick back and relax at Victoria Beach, see the interesting displays at Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, and explore and take pictures at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Clemente trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Palm Springs to San Clemente takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. When traveling from Palm Springs in July, plan for cooler days in San Clemente, with highs around 28°C, while nights are little chillier with lows around 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Clemente

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Laguna Beach
Highlights from your plan
San Clemente State Beach ©
San Clemente State Beach
San Clemente Pier ©
San Clemente Pier
Crescent Bay Point Park ©
Crescent Bay Point Park

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like 26-Mile Bike Path and The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Go for a jaunt from Los Angeles to Anaheim to see Disneyland Park about 36 minutes away. There's more to do: take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier and see the interesting displays at The Nethercutt Collection.

Before you visit Los Angeles, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Getting from San Clemente to Los Angeles by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train. While traveling from San Clemente, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Los Angeles, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Disneyland Park, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
26-Mile Bike Path ©
26-Mile Bike Path

3
nights
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 26th (Fri): don't miss a visit to Moreton Bay Fig Tree. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Sat): take in nature's colorful creations at Lotusland and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, use the Santa Barbara trip maker tool .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Los Angeles in July: high temperatures in Santa Barbara hover around 28°C and lows are around 18°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

La Purisima State Historical Park, Camarillo Public Library, Serra Cross Park
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Camarillo Public Library ©
Camarillo Public Library
La Purisima State Historical Park ©
La Purisima State Historical Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): trek along Partington Cove, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and then immerse yourself in nature at Limekiln State Park. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the views from Bixby Bridge, then kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Big Sur trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Santa Barbara to Big Sur in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or fly. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Santa Barbara in July; daily highs in Big Sur reach 24°C and lows reach 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) to allow enough time to take a bus to Monterey.

Things to do in Big Sur

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

3
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 31st (Wed), appreciate the history behind The Cannery Row Monument, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then cruise along 17-Mile Drive, and finally see the interesting displays at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: walk around Dennis the Menace Park and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Monterey online trip planner .

Traveling by bus from Big Sur to Monterey takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In July in Monterey, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to San Francisco.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail ©
Dennis the Menace Park ©
Dennis the Menace Park

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Step off the beaten path and head to Wine Tours & Tastings and Twin Peaks. Next up on the itinerary: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and examine the collection at Cable Car Museum.

To find traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco route website .

You can drive from Monterey to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in August, and nighttime lows around 17°C. You will have some time to spend on the 5th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Tours Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Wine Tours & Tastings

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