23 days in California Itinerary

23 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

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Route & dates

23 days in California Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Drive:  5​h 30​min
1
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h
2
Jenner
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Fort Bragg
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h
4
South Lake Tahoe
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Bus:  3​h 30​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 5 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Bus:  5​h 30​min
6
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
7
Carmel
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
End: San Diego

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): explore the stunning scenery at Mosaic Canyon. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Eureka Mine, then cruise along Artists Dr, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater.

Planning Death Valley National Park trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

San Diego to Death Valley National Park is an approximately 5.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of flight, bus, and car. While traveling from San Diego, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Death Valley National Park, ranging from highs of 98°F to lows of 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Jenner.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Dante's View ©
Dante's View
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail ©
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail

2
nights
Jenner

Jenner ©
Jenner is a small coastal town and census-designated place (CDP) with a population of about 136 in Sonoma County, California, U.S. Step out of the city life by going to Bodega Head and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve. You'll get in some beach time at Bodega Dunes and Limantour Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Jenner: Muir Woods National Monument (in Mill Valley), Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards (in St. Helena) and Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Goat Rock Beach.

Find out how to plan Jenner trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Death Valley National Park to Jenner takes 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in August, things will get a bit cooler in Jenner: highs are around 82°F and lows about 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can travel to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in Jenner

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, Bodega Head, Bodega Dunes, Castello di Amorosa, Limantour Beach
Highlights from your plan
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Bodega Head ©
Bodega Head
Bodega Dunes ©
Bodega Dunes

3
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Get in touch with nature at Russian Gulch State Park and Seaside Beach. You'll get in some beach time at Pudding Creek Beach and Glass Beach. Step out of Fort Bragg to go to Shelter Cove and see Black Sands Beach, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Big River, admire the natural beauty at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, kick back and relax at Noyo Beach, and grab your bike and head to Noyo Headlands Park.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Fort Bragg route builder .

You can drive from Jenner to Fort Bragg in 2.5 hours. When traveling from Jenner in August, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Fort Bragg: temperatures range from 93°F by day to 56°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can go by car to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Mendocino, Black Sands Beach
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens ©
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Russian Gulch State Park ©
Russian Gulch State Park
Glass Beach ©
Glass Beach

2
nights
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe ©
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Step out of the city life by going to Pope Beach and Meeks Bay Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lakeside Beach and Lake Alpine. When in South Lake Tahoe, make a side trip to see Grover Hot Springs State Park in Markleeville, approximately 40 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at El Dorado Beach and enjoy the sand and surf at Baldwin Beach.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, use the South Lake Tahoe trip itinerary maker site .

Drive from Fort Bragg to South Lake Tahoe in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. In September, South Lake Tahoe is a bit cooler than Fort Bragg - with highs of 73°F and lows of 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Grover Hot Springs State Park, Meeks Bay Beach, Lake Alpine
Highlights from your plan
Pope Beach ©
Pope Beach
El Dorado Beach ©
El Dorado Beach
Grover Hot Springs State Park ©
Grover Hot Springs State Park

5
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.
Visiting Taft Point and Panorama Trail will get you outdoors. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Olmsted Point and Lembert Dome. Step out of Yosemite National Park with an excursion to Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve in Lee Vining--about 1 hour away. Spend the 7th (Fri) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, get all the information you need at Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Yosemite Valley Chapel.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Yosemite National Park trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by combination of taxi and bus from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park takes 3.5 hours. September in Yosemite National Park sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 38°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Taft Point ©
Taft Point
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
Panorama Trail ©
Panorama Trail

1
night
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
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 10th (Mon), explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station. On your second day here, kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, stop by Sebastian General Store, and then stroll through Moonstone Beach.

To see ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to San Simeon takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, expect San Simeon to be a bit warmer, temps between 90°F and 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

4
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. Take a break from the city and head to Carmel River State Beach and Point Lobos State Reserve. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Asilomar State Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Carmel side-trips: Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach, McWay Falls, & more). And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach, take a memorable drive along Seventeen Mile Drive, stop by The Cheese Shop, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Breakwater.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel vacation maker .

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in September, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 72°F by day to 56°F at night. On the 15th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Asilomar State Beach, Breakwater
Highlights from your plan
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

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