25 days in California Itinerary

25 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary planner

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Route & dates

25 days in California Itinerary

Start: Helsinki
Fly:  13​h 45​min
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
bus + Drive:  8​h
3
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Carmel
— 5 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
6
Fort Bragg
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  20​h 15​min
End: Helsinki

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visit Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail and Bodega Head for some beach relaxation. Explore hidden gems such as Armstrong Redwood State Reserve and Muir Woods National Monument. Step out of San Francisco to go to St. Helena and see Modus Operandi Cellars, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. And it doesn't end there: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Twin Peaks, snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, and wander the streets of Chinatown.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the San Francisco trip planner.

Helsinki, Finland to San Francisco is an approximately 14-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern European Time (EET) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 10 hours. In May, San Francisco is somewhat warmer than Helsinki - with highs of 24°C and lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Bodega Bay, Modus Operandi Cellars, Muir Woods National Monument, Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

4
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.
Get in touch with nature at Glacier Point and Tunnel View. Explore hidden gems such as Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall. Spend the 9th (Thu) exploring nature at Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at North Dome, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Swinging Bridge Picnic Area Yosemite National Park CA, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park day trip planning website .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in May, expect little chillier with lows of 1°C in Yosemite National Park. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Step out of the city life by going to Zabriskie Point and Artists Dr. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Badwater Basin and Artists Palette. And it doesn't end there: take some stellar pictures from Dante's View, hike along Wildrose Peak Trail, make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and take in the dramatic natural features at The Devil's Speedway.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Death Valley National Park trip planner .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in May, plan for a bit warmer days in Death Valley National Park, with highs around 33°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle, kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, and then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, then look for gifts at Sebastian General Store, and finally do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery.

To see ratings, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our San Simeon online journey planner .

Getting from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in May, plan for little chillier nights in San Simeon, with lows around 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

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

5
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. Escape the urban bustle at Carmel River State Beach and Dolphin & Whale Watching. Kids will enjoy Point Lobos and Pfeiffer State Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Carmel: Big Sur (Partington Cove, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, & more). There's lots more to do: immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Del Mar Beach, explore the activities along Monterey Bay, and tour the pleasant surroundings at China Cove and Gibson Beach.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Carmel holiday planner.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 21°C by day to 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Pacific Grove, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

3
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Discover out-of-the-way places like Black Sands Beach and Lula Cellars. Step out of the city life by going to Jug Handle State Reserve and Noyo Headlands Park. Change things up with these side-trips from Fort Bragg: Art of the Burl Redwood Gallery (in Miranda), Briceland Vineyards (in Redway) and Philo (Navarro Vineyards, Handley Cellars Winery, & more). And it doesn't end there: stroll through Seaside Beach, explore the activities along Big River, get a taste of the local shopping with Glass Fire Art Glass Gallery, and explore the striking landscape at Mendocino Headlands State Park.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Fort Bragg trip itinerary planning tool .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Fort Bragg takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight, train, and bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in May: highs in Fort Bragg hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Nature Wineries

Side Trips

Philo, Mendocino, Art of the Burl Redwood Gallery, Black Sands Beach, Briceland Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
Black Sands Beach ©
Black Sands Beach
Seaside Beach ©
Seaside Beach
Jug Handle State Reserve ©
Jug Handle State Reserve

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