29 days in California Itinerary

29 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California route maker

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Route & dates

29 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly + bus:  8​h 30​min
1
South Lake Tahoe
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
St. Helena
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 6 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 15​min
6
Los Angeles
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
San Diego
— 5 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Chicago

3
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.
Visiting Baldwin Beach and Pope Beach will get you outdoors. Relax by the water at Meeks Bay Beach and Lakeside Beach. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at El Dorado Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kiva Beach, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, and take in the exciting artwork at Wyland Galleries.

For traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the South Lake Tahoe trip itinerary maker tool .

Chicago to South Lake Tahoe is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -2 hour difference. Traveling from Chicago in July, South Lake Tahoe is cooler at night with lows of 46°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to go by car to St. Helena.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Meeks Bay Beach
Highlights from your plan
El Dorado Beach ©
El Dorado Beach
Kiva Beach ©
Kiva Beach
Pope Beach ©
Pope Beach

2
nights
St. Helena

St. Helena ©
The city of St.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Wed): learn about winemaking at Pride Mountain Vineyards, learn about winemaking at Moone Tsai Winery, learn about winemaking at Modus Operandi Cellars, then do a tasting at Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, and finally do a tasting at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery. On your second day here, look for gifts at Oxbow Public Market, learn about winemaking at Far Niente Winery, then do a tasting at Stephen & Walker Winery, then learn about winemaking at Jordan Vineyard & Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at V. Sattui Winery.

For photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, use the St. Helena road trip tool .

Drive from South Lake Tahoe to St. Helena in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe in July, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 53°F in St. Helena. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in St. Helena

Wineries Shopping

Side Trips

Healdsburg, Oakville, Oxbow Public Market
Highlights from your plan
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
B Cellars Vineyards and Winery ©
B Cellars Vineyards and Winery
Jordan Vineyard & Winery ©
Jordan Vineyard & Winery

6
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Shop till you drop at Union Square and Ferry Building Marketplace. Get some historical perspective at Alcatraz Island and Twin Peaks. Take a break from San Francisco with a short trip to Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, about 46 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, wander the streets of Chinatown, and kick back and relax at Fort Funston National Park.

To find photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco travel route planner .

Traveling by car from St. Helena to San Francisco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and subway; or take a bus. Traveling from St. Helena in July, expect nights in San Francisco to be about the same, around 57°F, while days are slightly colder, around 73°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Muir Woods National Monument
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Twin Peaks ©
Twin Peaks

1
night
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. Start off your visit on the 25th (Thu): take in the exciting artwork at Carmel Art Association, then immerse yourself in nature at Asilomar State Beach, and then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos.

To find where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read Carmel trip itinerary planner .

Drive from San Francisco to Carmel in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Nature Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Asilomar State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach
Carmel Art Association ©
Carmel Art Association

6
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Yosemite Museum Gallery and Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark. Get in touch with nature at Taft Point and Tuolumne Meadows. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Nevada Falls Loop, take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, and hike along Four Mile Trail.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park route planner .

You can drive from Carmel to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Traveling from Carmel in July, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are a bit warmer (83°F), and nights are slightly colder (46°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) to allow time to travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Taft Point ©
Taft Point
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias ©
Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

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.
Head to Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Montana Avenuefor some retail therapy. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Santa Monica Pier and El Pueblo de Los Angeles. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Los Angeles: Anaheim (Disneyland Park & Disney California Adventure Park). Pack the 3rd (Sat) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, browse the different shops at The Grove, take in the exciting artwork at Annenberg Space for Photography, and see the interesting displays at The Getty Center.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles vacation site .

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Los Angeles by combination of car and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in July, Los Angeles is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Anaheim, Santa Monica
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Disney California Adventure Park ©
Disney California Adventure Park
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

5
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Kids will enjoy La Jolla Cove and Balboa Park. Maritime Museum of San Diego and San Diego Model Railroad Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. The adventure continues: meet the residents at San Diego Zoo, enjoy the sand and surf at Mission Beach Park, get in on the family fun at SeaWorld San Diego, and shop like a local with Gaslamp Quarter.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read San Diego holiday maker tool .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. While traveling from Los Angeles, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in San Diego, ranging from highs of 78°F to lows of 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
San Diego Zoo ©
San Diego Zoo

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