23 days in California Itinerary

23 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

23 days in California Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  19​h 15​min
1
San Diego
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Mammoth Lakes
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
3
Death Valley National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
4
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Paso Robles
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  16​h 30​min
End: Sydney

3
nights
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like La Jolla Shores Park and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at La Jolla Cove and Children's Pool. And it doesn't end there: immerse yourself in nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and meet the residents at San Diego Zoo.

To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the San Diego vacation planner.

Sydney, Australia to San Diego is an approximately 19.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Sydney to San Diego is minus 18 hours. Traveling from Sydney in January, things will get little chillier in San Diego: highs are around 22°C and lows about 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©

4
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Glacier Point and Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center. Visiting Tunnel View and Mammoth Mountain will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Mammoth Lakes: Yosemite National Park (Yosemite Village & Yosemite Falls). There's more to do: hit the slopes at June Mountain.

To find ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Mammoth Lakes trip site .

You can fly from San Diego to Mammoth Lakes in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train, tram, and bus. Traveling from San Diego in January, things will get colder in Mammoth Lakes: highs are around 5°C and lows about -9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a bus to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Winter Sports Outdoors

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park, June Mountain
Highlights from your plan
Mammoth Mountain ©
Mammoth Mountain
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

4
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Get in touch with nature at Badwater and Telescope Peak trail. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Trona Pinnacles and Artists Dr. When in Death Valley National Park, make a side trip to see Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley Junction, approximately 30 minutes away. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point and get great views at Dante's View.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park trip itinerary website .

Take a bus from Mammoth Lakes to Death Valley National Park in 4 hours. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Mammoth Lakes in January: high temperatures in Death Valley National Park hover around 18°C and lows are around -1°C. You will leave for Carmel on the 2nd (Fri).

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Trona Pinnacles
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

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. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Point Lobos State Reserve and Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach. Your inner history buff will appreciate Cannery Row and San Carlos Cathedral. Change things up with these side-trips from Carmel: Big Sur (McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, & more). There's more to do: explore the activities along Monterey Bay.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Carmel day trip website .

Getting from Death Valley National Park to Carmel by combination of bus and flight takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Carmel, with lows of 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can drive to Paso Robles.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

4
nights
Paso Robles

Paso Robles ©
A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
Get outdoors at Elephant Seal Rookery and Monarch Butterfly Grove. We've included these beaches for you: Moonstone Beach and Piedras Blancas. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Paso Robles: Morro Bay (Morro Rock & Morro Bay National Estuary). Next up on the itinerary: learn about winemaking at Ecluse Wines.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Paso Robles road trip planning website .

Getting from Carmel to Paso Robles by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder evenings in Paso Robles when traveling from Carmel in February, with lows around 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trips

Templeton, San Simeon, Morro Bay, Moonstone Beach, Monarch Butterfly Grove
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sat): snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, tour the pleasant surroundings at Alcatraz Island, and then take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf. On the next day, steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument, and then step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco itinerary builder site .

Traveling by car from Paso Robles to San Francisco takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and flight. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Paso Robles in February since evenings lows in San Francisco dip to 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Castello di Amorosa, Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

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