25 days in California Itinerary

25 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

25 days in California Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + Drive:  19​h 30​min
1
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Bus:  5​h
2
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h
3
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
8
Fort Bragg
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
9
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Fly:  16​h 45​min
End: Sydney

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Bodie State Historic Park and Tuolumne Meadows. Explore hidden gems such as Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls. Step out of Yosemite National Park to go to Lee Vining and see Mono Lake County Park, which is approximately 48 minutes away. There's lots more to do: get great views at Tunnel View, take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass, make a trip to Olmsted Point, and admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall.

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

Sydney, Australia to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight, subway, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) to Pacific Standard Time is minus 18 hours. Traveling from Sydney in September, plan for little chillier nights in Yosemite National Park, with lows around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake County Park
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite, Tunnel View ©
Yosemite, Tunnel View
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point

3
nights
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park ©
With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Mountain Light Gallery and Gus's Fresh Jerky. Get some historical perspective at General Sherman Tree and Manzanar National Historic Site. Go for a jaunt from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Lone Pine to see Museum of Western Film History about 54 minutes away. It doesn't end there: explore the stunning scenery at Kings Canyon National Park and take in the dramatic scenery at Grizzly Falls.

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park planner .

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in September: highs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park hover around 38°C, while lows dip to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Museum of Western Film History, Gus's Fresh Jerky, Mountain Light Gallery, Manzanar National Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
Manzanar National Historic Site ©
Manzanar National Historic Site
Museum of Western Film History ©
Museum of Western Film History

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater, take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, and then go deep underground at Eureka Mine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Tue): take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Panamint Range.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Death Valley National Park trip planning website .

Traveling by car from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Death Valley National Park takes 7 hours. In September in Death Valley National Park, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

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.
You'll explore and learn at The Getty Center and La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. Do some cultural sightseeing at Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Explore Los Angeles' surroundings by going to Santa Monica (Santa Monica Farmers Market, Montana Avenue, & more). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, look for gifts at UCLA Store, take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, and see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory.

For photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Los Angeles day trip tool .

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight. When traveling from Death Valley National Park in September, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Los Angeles: temperatures range from 34°C by day to 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Shopping Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum ©
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

2
nights
Santa Barbara

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.
On the 15th (Sat), browse the eclectic array of goods at Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market, stop by The Sacred Space, then make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, and finally admire all the interesting features of State Street. On the 16th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: browse for treasures at Solvang Antiques, don't miss a visit to Visitor Center, stop by Sort This Out Cellars, then look for gifts at Jule Hus, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Bethania Lutheran Church.

For photos, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara online trip itinerary maker .

You can drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Los Angeles in September, with highs in Santa Barbara at 30°C and lows at 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Solvang, The Sacred Space
Highlights from your plan
The Sacred Space ©
The Sacred Space
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Bethania Lutheran Church ©
Bethania Lutheran Church

2
nights
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 17th (Mon), explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station. On your second day here, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then stop by Lucia Apothecary, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our San Simeon trip maker site .

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Simeon in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in September, plan for somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 38°C by day to 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

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. Visiting Point Lobos State Reserve and Del Mar Beach will get you outdoors. Do your shopping at The Cheese Shop and Trio Carmel. Explore Carmel's surroundings by going to Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach, McWay Falls, & more). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach and stroll through China Cove and Gibson Beach.

For maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Carmel road trip app .

Drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in September, you will find days in Carmel are little chillier (26°C), and nights are about the same (15°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to go by car to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

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

1
night
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. On the 22nd (Sat), stop by Mendocino Jams & Preserves, look for gifts at Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books, then view the masterpieces at Highlight Gallery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Pudding Creek Beach, and finally kick back and relax at Seaside Beach. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Noyo Headlands Park, then kick back and relax at Glass Beach, and then stroll through Fort Bragg Coastal Trail.

To see ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Fort Bragg trip maker site .

You can drive from Carmel to Fort Bragg in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, and flight. Traveling from Carmel in September, expect nights in Fort Bragg to be about the same, around 13°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 36°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Mendocino
Highlights from your plan
Pudding Creek Beach ©
Pudding Creek Beach
Glass Beach ©
Glass Beach
Seaside Beach ©
Seaside Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, and then take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge. On the 25th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, then see the interesting displays at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at China Beach.

To see reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco trip itinerary builder site .

You can drive from Fort Bragg to San Francisco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. While traveling from Fort Bragg, expect little chillier days and a bit warmer nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 28°C to lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

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

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