26 days in California, Crater Lake National Park & Crescent Beach Itinerary

26 days in California, Crater Lake National Park & Crescent Beach Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in California, Crater Lake National Park & Crescent Beach Itinerary

Start: Raleigh
Fly:  9​h
1
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  15​min
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Fresno
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
6
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  7​h 30​min
7
South Lake Tahoe
— 2 nights
+2
bus + Fly + Drive:  7​h 45​min
8
Crater Lake National Park
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  14​h 15​min
9
Crescent Beach
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  13​h 30​min
10
Napa
— 2 nights
+2
bus + subway + Fly:  9​h 45​min
End: Raleigh

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 14th (Sat), immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium, enjoy the sea views from Point Pinos Lighthouse, then browse the fresh offerings at Pacific Grove Certified Farmers' Market, and finally take a stroll through Old Fisherman's Wharf.

Discover how to plan a Monterey trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Raleigh to Monterey is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Raleigh in September, expect Monterey to be little chillier, temps between 72°F and 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Pacific Grove
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach
Point Pinos Lighthouse ©
Point Pinos Lighthouse

2
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. On the 16th (Mon), take in the spiritual surroundings of Carmel Mission, then take in the spiritual surroundings of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and finally wander the streets of Ocean Avenue. On your second day here, stroll through Carmel River State Beach and then enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Carmel visit planning app .

Carmel is just a stone's throw from Monterey. In September, plan for daily highs up to 72°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Point Sur State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission ©

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf. Popular historic sites such as Alcatraz Island and City Lights Booksellers are in your itinerary. There's lots more to do: buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, take a stroll through SoMa, hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and take in the waterfront at The Embarcadero.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the San Francisco road trip tool .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 76°F, and evening lows to 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in San Francisco

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

3
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 21st (Sat), steep yourself in history at Nitt Witt Ridge, do a tasting at Moonstone Cellars, view the masterpieces at artifacts gallery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and finally take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr. On the 22nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, then stop by Sebastian General Store, and finally identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary planning tool .

Getting from San Francisco to San Simeon by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi; or do a combination of flight and bus. While traveling from San Francisco, expect a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights in San Simeon, ranging from highs of 90°F to lows of 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Fresno.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

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

3
nights
Fresno

Fresno ©
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): pause for some serene contemplation at St. Johns Cathedral of Fresno. On the next day, take a memorable drive along Kings Canyon Scenic Byway and then hike along Congress Trail.

To find reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Fresno online journey planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to Fresno in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus, taxi, and train. Traveling from San Simeon in September, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 64°F in Fresno. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Fresno

Outdoors Parks Wineries

Side Trips

Madera, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Bravo Farms
Highlights from your plan
Congress Trail ©
Congress Trail
Ficklin Vineyards ©
Ficklin Vineyards
Quady Winery ©
Quady Winery

2
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. On the 26th (Thu), explore the ancient world of Indian Canyons, browse the eclectic array of goods at VillageFest, and then explore the world behind art at Palm Springs Art Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: wander the streets of El Paseo Shopping District, wander the streets of Old Town Temecula, and then do a tasting at Peltzer Winery.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Palm Springs trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Fresno to Palm Springs takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Fresno in September, with highs in Palm Springs at 100°F and lows at 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Shopping Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Temecula, Sunnylands Center & Gardens, El Paseo Shopping District
Highlights from your plan
VillageFest ©
VillageFest
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Old Town Temecula ©
Old Town Temecula

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.
On the 29th (Sun), get a taste of the local shopping with Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery, soothe aching muscles at Casino at Harrah's Lake Tahoe, and then kick back and relax at Sand Harbor. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, then steep yourself in history at Tallac Historic Site, and then stroll the grounds of Genoa Cemetery.

For reviews, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the South Lake Tahoe online trip itinerary planner .

Do a combination of flight and bus from Palm Springs to South Lake Tahoe in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Palm Springs in September, with highs in South Lake Tahoe at 73°F and lows at 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel to Crater Lake National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Museums Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Casino at Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor, Genoa Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
Tallac Historic Site ©
Tallac Historic Site
Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery ©
Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery
Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters ©
Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters

2
nights
Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park ©
Reaching a depth of 592 m (1,943 ft), Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States.
On the 1st (Tue), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Crater Lake National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: cruise along Rim Dr and then contemplate the long history of Rim Village Visitor Center.

To find other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Crater Lake National Park trip planner .

You can do a combination of bus, flight, and car from South Lake Tahoe to Crater Lake National Park in 8 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe in September, expect Crater Lake National Park to be a bit warmer, temps between 83°F and 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Crescent Beach.

Things to do in Crater Lake National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Crater Lake National Park ©
Crater Lake National Park
Rim Village Visitor Center ©
Rim Village Visitor Center
Rim Dr ©
Rim Dr

1
night
Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach ©
Crescent Beach may refer to: Crescent Beach, Brevard County, FloridaCrescent Beach, St. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): get in on the family fun at Marineland Dolphin Adventure and then look for all kinds of wild species at River to Sea Trail Preserve.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Crescent Beach day trip tool .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Crater Lake National Park to Crescent Beach. The time zone difference when traveling from Crater Lake National Park to Crescent Beach is 3 hours. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Crater Lake National Park in October: highs in Crescent Beach hover around 80°F, while lows dip to 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Napa.

Things to do in Crescent Beach

Theme Parks Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Marineland, Matanzas Inlet
Highlights from your plan
Marineland Dolphin Adventure ©
Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Matanzas Inlet ©
Matanzas Inlet

2
nights
Napa

Located just 80 km (50 mi) north of San Francisco, Napa sits at the southern end of the scenic Napa Valley, one of the world's major wine regions.
On the 5th (Sat), do a tasting at Domaine Carneros, appreciate the views at Artesa Vineyards & Winery, then indulge your taste buds at The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum, and finally stop by Oxbow Public Market. Here are some ideas for day two: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Napa trip planning tool .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Crescent Beach to Napa. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Crescent Beach to Napa. Traveling from Crescent Beach in October, plan for much colder nights in Napa, with lows around 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Napa

Tours Wineries Museums

Side Trip

Domaine Chandon
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Artesa Vineyards & Winery ©
Artesa Vineyards & Winery

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