26 days in California Itinerary

26 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel route planner

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Route & dates

26 days in California Itinerary

Start: Santiago
Fly:  17​h 15​min
1
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Paso Robles
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
5
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h
6
Mount Shasta
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  8​h
7
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
8
Los Angeles
— 5 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Santiago

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, hunt for treasures at Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market, then look for gifts at The Sacred Space, and finally revel in the low prices at Italian Pottery Outlet. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Mon): take a stroll through State Street, look for gifts at Sort This Out Cellars, then take in the exciting artwork at Solvang Antiques, and finally stop by Jule Hus.

For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara journey planner .

Santiago, Chile to Santa Barbara is an approximately 17.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Santiago to Santa Barbara is minus 4 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) to allow time to drive to Paso Robles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Museums

Side Trips

Solvang, The Sacred Space
Highlights from your plan
The Sacred Space ©
The Sacred Space
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Solvang Antiques ©
Solvang Antiques

3
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 in touch with nature at Elephant Seal Rookery and Morro Strand State Beach. Head to Cambria Nursery & Florist and Sebastian General Storefor some retail therapy. Get out of town with these interesting Paso Robles side-trips: Piedras Blancas (in San Simeon), Moonstone Beach (in Cambria) and Morro Bay (Morro Rock & Fiona Bleu Gallery). Next up on the itinerary: learn about winemaking at Parrish Family Vineyard.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Paso Robles journey planner .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Santa Barbara in December, plan for slightly colder nights in Paso Robles, with lows around 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

San Simeon, Morro Bay, Cambria, Peachy Canyon Winery
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
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. Get a sense of the local culture at Carmel Art Association and Gallery by the Sea Carmel. Head to The Cheese Shop and Trio Carmelfor some retail therapy. Get out of town with these interesting Carmel side-trips: Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, & more). There's lots more to do: hike along Point Lobos, kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, look for gifts at Monterey's Tasty Olive Bar, and view the masterpieces at Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery.

To see maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Carmel trip itinerary site .

You can drive from Paso Robles to Carmel in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Paso Robles in January, Carmel is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey's Tasty Olive Bar
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

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Union Square and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Alcatraz Island and The Embarcadero will appeal to history buffs. There's still lots to do: browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace, steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, stop by City Lights Booksellers, and take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

To find photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco day trip planning site .

Getting from Carmel to San Francisco by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in San Francisco are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

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

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Bodie State Historic Park and Tunnel View. Step out of the city life by going to Glacier Point and Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Yosemite National Park: Footloose Sports in Mammoth Lakes (in Mammoth Lakes) and Mono County Museum (in Bridgeport). There's still lots to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls and make a trip to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center.

To find maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park day trip planning app .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from San Francisco in January, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are a bit cooler (7°C), and nights are cooler (-12°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel to Mount Shasta.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Mammoth Lakes, Bridgeport
Highlights from your plan
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

1
night
Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta ©
Mount Shasta is a city in Siskiyou County, California, at about 3600ft above sea level on the flanks of Mount Shasta, a prominent northern California landmark. Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sun): stroll through Mt Shasta Ski Park, then browse the exhibits of Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum, and then look for gifts at The Weed Store. On the 14th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Soul Connections, contemplate the geological forces at Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and then take in the awesome beauty at Castle Lake.

To find maps, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Mount Shasta trip itinerary site .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Mount Shasta takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in January, expect a bit warmer with lows of -2°C in Mount Shasta. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Mount Shasta

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

The Weed Store
Highlights from your plan
Mt Shasta Ski Park ©
Mt Shasta Ski Park
Castle Lake ©
Castle Lake
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum ©
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Badwater Basin and Zabriskie Point. Get a sense of the local culture at Cerro Gordo Mines and Museum of Western Film History. Take a break from Death Valley National Park with a short trip to Gus's Fresh Jerky in Olancha, about 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, contemplate the long history of Eureka Mine, and take in breathtaking views at Mosaic Canyon.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Death Valley National Park day trip app .

Traveling by car from Mount Shasta to Death Valley National Park takes 10 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Traveling from Mount Shasta in January, things will get somewhat warmer in Death Valley National Park: highs are around 17°C and lows about 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Cerro Gordo Mines, Museum of Western Film History, Gus's Fresh Jerky
Highlights from your plan
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

5
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like The Getty Center and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Visit La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and Avila Adobe for their historical value. Explore Los Angeles' surroundings by going to Santa Monica (Montana Avenue, Third Street Promenade, & more). And it doesn't end there: take a stroll through Abbot Kinney Boulevard, tour the pleasant surroundings at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, hunt for treasures at Melrose Trading Post, and see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory.

For more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Los Angeles online trip builder .

Traveling by car from Death Valley National Park to Los Angeles takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Death Valley National Park in January, with highs in Los Angeles at 24°C and lows at 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Highlights from your plan
Abbot Kinney Boulevard ©
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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