29 days in California Itinerary

29 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour planner

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Route & dates

29 days in California Itinerary

Start: Christchurch
Fly:  18​h
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Fort Bragg
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 5 nights
bus:  6​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 7 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Christchurch

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Family-friendly places like Bodega Dunes and Exploratorium will thrill your kids. Step off the beaten path and head to Castello di Amorosa and Goat Rock Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Muir Woods National Monument (in Mill Valley), V. Sattui Winery (in St. Helena) and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve (in Guerneville). There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape of Alcatraz Island, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, take a tour of USS Pampanito, and wander the streets of North Beach.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco trip maker app .

Christchurch, New Zealand to San Francisco is an approximately 18-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. You'll gain 20 hours traveling from Christchurch to San Francisco due to the time zone difference. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Christchurch in September; daily highs in San Francisco reach 28°C and lows reach 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) so you can drive to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Goat Rock Beach, V. Sattui Winery, Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, Bodega Dunes
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

3
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Bring the kids along to Noyo Headlands Park and Pudding Creek Beach. Step off the beaten path and head to Seaside Beach and Van Damme State Park. Get out of town with these interesting Fort Bragg side-trips: Philo (Handley Cellars Winery & Lula Cellars) and Point Arena (Point Arena - Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument & Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA). There's more to do: examine the collection at Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Historical Society.

Start your trip to Fort Bragg by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

You can drive from San Francisco to Fort Bragg in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in September, you will find days in Fort Bragg are somewhat warmer (36°C), and nights are slightly colder (13°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Point Arena, Philo, Van Damme State Park
Highlights from your plan
Seaside Beach ©
Seaside Beach
Pudding Creek Beach ©
Pudding Creek Beach
Van Damme State Park ©
Van Damme State Park

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. Kids will enjoy Carmel River State Beach and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Get outdoors at Monterey Bay and China Cove and Gibson Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Carmel: Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach & McWay Falls). Spend the 25th (Wed) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's still lots to do: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, kick back and relax at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, and stroll through Del Mar Beach.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Carmel day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Fort Bragg to Carmel takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of bus, train, and flight. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Fort Bragg in September: highs in Carmel hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey, Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge
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

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.
On the 28th (Sat), step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, take in the spiritual surroundings of The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel, and then stroll through Moonstone Beach. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station, kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To see ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our San Simeon trip itinerary maker site .

You can drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Carmel in September, expect nights in San Simeon to be about the same, around 13°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 38°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trip

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

5
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Manzanar National Historic Site and Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery. Explore hidden gems such as Moro Rock and Giant Forest. Change things up with these side-trips from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park: Cerro Gordo Mines (in Keeler) and Lone Pine (Museum of Western Film History & Alabama Hills). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of General Sherman Tree, admire the sheer force of Grizzly Falls, take in breathtaking views at Kings Canyon National Park, and hike along Zumwalt Meadow Trail.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip planner .

Getting from San Simeon to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from San Simeon in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to take a bus to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Independence, Lone Pine, Cerro Gordo Mines
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park

7
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Bodie State Historic Park and Yosemite Museum Gallery. Explore hidden gems such as Tunnel View and Yosemite Falls. Explore Yosemite National Park's surroundings by going to Lee Vining (Mono Lake County Park & Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve) and June Lake Brewing (in June Lake). Spend the 8th (Tue) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, tour the pleasant surroundings at Four Mile Trail, hike along Tuolumne Meadows, and mingle with the ghosts of the past at Bodie.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park vacation builder tool .

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park by bus takes about 7 hours. While traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, expect little chillier days and cooler nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 22°C to lows of -2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Lee Vining, Bodie State Historic Park, June Lake Brewing
Highlights from your plan
El Capitan ©
El Capitan
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall

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