28 days in California Itinerary

28 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary planner

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Route & dates

28 days in California Itinerary

Start: Phoenix
Fly + Drive:  3​h 30​min
1
Avila Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
5
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
bus:  6​h 45​min
6
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  7​h
7
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  8​h 45​min
8
Orick
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  7​h
End: Phoenix

1
night
Avila Beach

Avila Beach is an unincorporated community in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States, located on San Luis Obispo Bay about 160 miles (257 km) northwest of Los Angeles, and about 200 miles south of San Francisco. On the 12th (Mon), enjoy the sand and surf at Avila Main Beach and then race across the water with a speed boat tour. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Bluff Trail, stroll through Point Buchon Trail, and then visit a coastal fixture at Point San Luis Lighthouse.

To find photos and more tourist information, refer to the Avila Beach trip planner.

Phoenix to Avila Beach is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Phoenix to Avila Beach due to the time zone difference. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from Phoenix in August; daily highs in Avila Beach reach 79°F and lows reach 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to travel to San Simeon.

Things to do in Avila Beach

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trip

Los Osos
Highlights from your plan
Speed Boats Tours
Bluff Trail
Bluff Trail
Point San Luis Lighthouse ©
Point San Luis Lighthouse

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Wed): admire all the interesting features of Moonstone Beach Dr, enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Thu): steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station.

Before you visit San Simeon, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Avila Beach to San Simeon in an hour. Traveling from Avila Beach in August, expect nights in San Simeon to be about the same, around 55°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 94°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

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. Get in touch with nature at Monterey Bay and Point Lobos. Relax by the water at Carmel River State Beach and Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge. Change things up with these side-trips from Carmel: Big Sur (McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, & more). Spend the 17th (Sat) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's still lots to do: take a memorable drive along Seventeen Mile Drive and take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

To find where to stay, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Carmel journey planner.

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 August, plan for colder days and about the same nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 70°F by day to 57°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey, Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge
Highlights from your plan
McWay Falls ©
McWay Falls
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Bodega Dunes and Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail. Escape the urban bustle at Muir Woods National Monument and San Francisco Bay. Explore San Francisco's surroundings by going to Bodega Bay (Bodega Head & Hagemann Ranch Trout Fishing). There's more to do: see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco tour planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In August in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 59°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

Bodega Bay, Bodega Dunes, Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Bodega Head ©
Bodega Head
Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail ©
Bodega Dunes ©
Bodega Dunes

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Yosemite Falls and Vernal Fall. Get outdoors at Tunnel View and El Capitan. Venture out of the city with trips to Lee Vining (Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve & Mono Lake County Park). Spend the 24th (Sat) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. The adventure continues: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, cruise along Tioga Pass, explore the landscape on two wheels at Yosemite Valley Biking, and make a trip to Olmsted Point.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park trip planner .

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 August, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be little chillier, around 43°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 81°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) so you can catcht the bus to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Lee Vining
Highlights from your plan
Olmsted Point ©
Olmsted Point
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve ©

4
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Moro Rock and Giant Forest. Escape the urban bustle at Kings Canyon National Park and Trail of 100 Giants. Explore Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park's surroundings by going to Manzanar National Historic Site (in Independence) and Alabama Hills (in Lone Pine). There's still lots to do: hike along Zumwalt Meadow Trail, admire the sheer force of Grizzly Falls, stroll through General Grant Tree Trail, and explore and take pictures at Generals Hwy.

To find reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park journey maker .

You can take a bus from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 7 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, with highs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park at 95°F and lows at 63°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Trail of 100 Giants, Alabama Hills, Manzanar National Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Congress Trail ©
Congress Trail
Manzanar National Historic Site ©
Manzanar National Historic Site
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Get outdoors at Zabriskie Point and Artists Palette. Discover out-of-the-way places like Badwater Basin and Artists Dr. Next up on the itinerary: take some stellar pictures from Dante's View, explore the striking landscape at Devil's Golf Course, take in the awesome beauty at Panamint Range, and don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

To find maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Death Valley National Park attractions planning website .

Traveling by car from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Death Valley National Park takes 7 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Death Valley National Park can reach 91°F, while at night they dip to 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to travel to Orick.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature Parks Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette
Devil's Golf Course ©
Devil's Golf Course
Panamint Range ©
Panamint Range

3
nights
Orick

Orick ©
Orick is a census-designated place situated on the banks of the Redwood Creek in Humboldt County, California. Get in touch with nature at Redwood National Park and California Coastal Trail. Discover out-of-the-way places like Trillium Falls Hike and Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy. Get out of town with these interesting Orick side-trips: Klamath (Trees of Mystery & Wilson Creek Beach). There's more to do: admire the majestic nature at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and stroll through Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

To see ratings, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Orick road trip planning website .

Getting from Death Valley National Park to Orick by car takes about 12.5 hours. Other options: fly. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in September, expect nights in Orick to be slightly colder, around 50°F, while days are much colder, around 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Orick

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Redwood National Park, Klamath
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Lady Bird Johnson Grove ©
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park ©

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