28 days in California Itinerary

28 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

28 days in California Itinerary

Start: Manchester
+3
Fly + foot + bus + train:  16​h 45​min
1
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h
6
Mammoth Lakes
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h 45​min
7
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
Amador County
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
9
Gualala
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
10
Fort Bragg
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
11
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
12
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h
End: Manchester

2
nights
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.
Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, wander the streets of State Street, take in panoramic vistas at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then get to know the fascinating history of La Arcada Courtyard, and finally learn about winemaking at Grassini Family Vineyards.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara itinerary maker site .

Manchester, UK to Santa Barbara is an approximately 17-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 8 hours traveling from Manchester to Santa Barbara. In April, Santa Barbara is a bit warmer than Manchester - with highs of 23°C and lows of 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Historic Sites Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
The Historic La Arcada Courtyard ©
The Historic La Arcada Courtyard
Grassini Family Vineyards ©
Grassini Family Vineyards

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): step into the grandiose world of Friends of Hearst Castle, then stroll through Moonstone Beach, and then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery.

Make your San Simeon itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in May, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 15°C by day to 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

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

2
nights
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): admire the architecture and history at Mission San Antonio de Padua, immerse yourself in nature at Limekiln State Park, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Partington Cove. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Coast Gallery Big Sur, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Garland Ranch Regional Park, then learn about winemaking at Talbott Vineyards, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park.

For traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Big Sur driving holiday planning site .

You can drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 1.5 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in May, expect nights in Big Sur to be about the same, around 11°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 20°C. On the 5th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Carmel Valley, Mission San Antonio de Padua
Highlights from your plan
Garland Ranch Regional Park ©
Garland Ranch Regional Park
Point Sur State Historic Park ©
Point Sur State Historic Park
Limekiln State Park ©
Limekiln State Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): explore the striking landscape of Manzanar National Historic Site. On your second day here, tour the pleasant surroundings at Big Stump Basin, then take in the dramatic scenery at Roaring River Falls, and then trek along Zumwalt Meadow Trail.

To find maps, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park tour planning website .

Getting from Big Sur to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, train, bus, and car; or do a combination of bus, train, shuttle, and car. While traveling from Big Sur, expect a bit warmer days and slightly colder nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Manzanar National Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Manzanar National Historic Site ©
Manzanar National Historic Site
Zumwalt Meadow Trail ©
Zumwalt Meadow Trail
Big Stump Basin ©
Big Stump Basin

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Harmony Borax Works and Charcoal Kilns will appeal to history buffs. Explore hidden gems such as Titus Canyon and Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. Change things up with these side-trips from Death Valley National Park: Death Valley Junction (Twenty Mule Team Canyon & Golden Canyon). There's much more to do: explore the stunning scenery at Mosaic Canyon, don't miss a visit to Stovepipe Wells Village, and take an in-depth tour of The Ranch at Furnace Creek.

Start your trip to Death Valley National Park by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Explore your travel options from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Death Valley National Park with the Route module. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in May, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Death Valley National Park, with lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Twenty Mule Team Canyon ©
Twenty Mule Team Canyon
Golden Canyon ©
Golden Canyon
Titus Canyon ©
Titus Canyon

2
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. On the 11th (Fri), explore the striking landscape at Obsidian Dome and then cruise along June Lake Loop. On your second day here, trek along Crystal Lake trail, grab your bike and head to Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, and then get great views at Minaret Vista.

Find out how to plan Mammoth Lakes trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by bus from Death Valley National Park to Mammoth Lakes takes 4 hours. When traveling from Death Valley National Park in May, plan for much colder days and slightly colder nights in Mammoth Lakes: temperatures range from 21°C by day to 7°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

June Lake Loop
Highlights from your plan
Mammoth Mountain Bike Park ©
Mammoth Mountain Bike Park
Hot Creek ©
Hot Creek
Minaret Vista ©
Minaret Vista

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Mon): make a trip to Scenic Route Highway 49, appreciate the extensive heritage of Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark, and then don't miss a visit to Valley View. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Center at Happy Isles, then trek along Wawona Meadow, and then hike along Merced Grove.

Plan my day in Yosemite National Park using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can take a bus from Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite National Park in 3 hours. Another option is to drive. Expect slightly colder evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Mammoth Lakes in May, with lows around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Amador County.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Scenic Route Highway 49
Highlights from your plan
Valley View ©
Valley View
Nature Center at Happy Isles ©
Nature Center at Happy Isles
May Lake Trailhead ©
May Lake Trailhead

2
nights
Amador County

Amador County ©
On the 16th (Wed), do a tasting at Perry Creek Winery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Kennedy Tailing Wheels Park, do a tasting at Cooper Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at Windwalker Vineyards, and finally explore the striking landscape at California Cavern State Historic Landmark.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Amador County trip simple and quick.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Amador County takes 3 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in May: high temperatures in Amador County hover around 27°C and lows are around 11°C. On the 18th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Gualala.

Things to do in Amador County

Wineries Parks Nature

Side Trips

Fair Play, California Cavern State Historic Landmark
Highlights from your plan
Windwalker Vineyards ©
Windwalker Vineyards
Perry Creek Vineyards ©
Perry Creek Vineyards

2
nights
Gualala

Gualala ©
Gualala is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 19th (Sat): contemplate the waterfront views at Gualala River, then immerse yourself in nature at Gualala Point Regional Park, and then hike along Bluff Trail.

To find more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Gualala trip planner .

Traveling by car from Amador County to Gualala takes 4.5 hours. In May in Gualala, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 9°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to travel to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in Gualala

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Gualala River ©
Gualala River

2
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. On the 20th (Sun), admire the masterpieces at Mendocino Art Center, immerse yourself in nature at Jug Handle State Reserve, learn about winemaking at Pacific Star Winery, then grab your bike and head to Noyo Headlands Park, and finally examine the collection at Triangle Tattoo & Museum. On the next day, learn about winemaking at Handley Cellars Winery, then learn about winemaking at Goldeneye Winery, then contemplate the long history of Ford House Visitor Center & Museum, and finally explore the activities along Big River.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Fort Bragg road trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Gualala to Fort Bragg takes 1.5 hours. In May, daily temperatures in Fort Bragg can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can go by car to Calistoga.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Nature Wineries

Side Trips

Mendocino, Philo
Highlights from your plan
Jug Handle State Reserve ©
Jug Handle State Reserve
Pacific Star Winery ©
Pacific Star Winery
Ford House Museum ©
Ford House Museum

1
night
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
On the 22nd (Tue), immerse yourself in nature at Bothe-Napa State Park, then do a tasting at Fleury Estate Winery, then do a tasting at Cardinale Estate Winery, and finally explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa.

To see ratings, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Calistoga trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Fort Bragg to Calistoga in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In May, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Parks Nature

Side Trips

Fleury Estate Winery, Cardinale Estate Winery
Highlights from your plan
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Fleury Estate Winery ©
Fleury Estate Winery
Cardinale Estate Winery ©
Cardinale Estate Winery

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 23rd (Wed), immerse yourself in nature at Marin Headlands, kick back and relax at Stinson Beach, and then kick back and relax at Drakes Beach. Keep things going the next day: explore the activities along San Francisco Bay, enjoy the sand and surf at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, and then take some stellar pictures from Twin Peaks.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read our San Francisco online sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Calistoga to San Francisco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. When traveling from Calistoga in May, plan for little chillier days in San Francisco, with highs around 23°C, while nights are somewhat warmer with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Marin Headlands, Drakes Beach, Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, Muir Woods National Monument, Stinson Beach
Highlights from your plan
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve ©
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Stinson Beach ©
Stinson Beach
Marin Headlands ©
Marin Headlands

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