29 days in California Itinerary

29 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in California Itinerary

Start: Detroit
Fly:  8​h
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
2
St. Helena
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h
4
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Bus:  6​h 45​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
7
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
8
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
9
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
10
Mendocino
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: Detroit

2
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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at La Jolla Cove and Black's Beach. When in San Diego, make a side trip to see Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens in Encinitas, approximately 48 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Mission Beach Park, stroll through Children's Pool, and get a taste of the local shopping with Gaslamp Quarter.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our San Diego trip tool .

Detroit to San Diego is an approximately 8-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also drive; or take a train. Traveling from Detroit to San Diego, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Detroit in July, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in San Diego: temperatures range from 77°F by day to 68°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can travel to St. Helena.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Children's Pool ©
Children's Pool
Mission Beach Park ©
Mission Beach Park

2
nights
St. Helena

St. Helena ©
The city of St.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Thu): learn about winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery, learn about winemaking at Pride Mountain Vineyards, do a tasting at Schramsberg Vineyards, do a tasting at Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at O'Brien Estate Winery, and finally stop by Oxbow Public Market.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the St. Helena trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from San Diego to St. Helena takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, subway, and bus; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from San Diego in July: highs in St. Helena hover around 84°F, while lows dip to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in St. Helena

Tours Wineries Shopping

Side Trips

Napa, Schramsberg Vineyards, Robert Mondavi Winery
Highlights from your plan
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Pride Mountain Vineyards ©
Pride Mountain Vineyards
Schramsberg Vineyards ©
Schramsberg Vineyards

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Popular historic sites such as Alcatraz Island and Twin Peaks are in your itinerary. You'll get in some beach time at China Beach and Marshall’s Beach. There's lots more to do: buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, kick back and relax at Fort Funston National Park, make a trip to Ghirardelli Square, and take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the San Francisco trip planning website .

Getting from St. Helena to San Francisco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of bus and subway. When traveling from St. Helena in July, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Francisco: temperatures range from 73°F by day to 57°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Neighborhoods Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
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.
Yosemite National Park is known for nature, trails, scenic drive, museums, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Taft Point, hike along Four Mile Trail, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Tuolumne Meadows.

To see more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park attractions planner.

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. When traveling from San Francisco in July, plan for somewhat warmer days and slightly colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 83°F by day to 46°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) so you can go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Taft Point ©
Taft Point
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass
Valley View ©
Valley View

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 19th (Fri): get a sense of history and politics at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then take a stroll through State Street, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Butterfly Beach, and finally take in the waterfront at Stearns Wharf. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, admire the natural beauty at Lotusland, then enjoy the sand and surf at San Buenaventura State Beach, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach.

Plan trip to Santa Barbara with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Santa Barbara takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in July, plan for a bit cooler days and somewhat warmer nights in Santa Barbara: temperatures range from 75°F by day to 60°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

San Buenaventura State Beach, Butterfly Beach, Carpinteria State Beach
Highlights from your plan
San Buenaventura State Beach
San Buenaventura State Beach
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Butterfly Beach ©
Butterfly Beach

2
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.
On the 21st (Sun), shop like a local with Third Street Promenade, take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, then enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, then examine the collection at The Getty Center, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here are some ideas for day two: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Hollywood.

For photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles trip itinerary maker tool .

Getting from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Santa Barbara in July, with highs in Los Angeles at 83°F and lows at 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Tue) to allow time for travel to Carmel.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Hollywood ©
Universal Studios Hollywood
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

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 ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Wed): stop by The Cheese Shop, make a trip to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Point Lobos.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Carmel trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Los Angeles to Carmel in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Los Angeles in July; daily highs in Carmel reach 69°F and lows reach 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Pfeiffer State Beach, Cannery Row, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, Gilroy Premium Outlets
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach

3
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 26th (Fri), look for gifts at Brown Butter Cookie Company. On the 27th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Piedras Blancas.

To see maps, photos, and more tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Carmel in July, expect nights in San Simeon to be about the same, around 56°F, while days are much warmer, around 94°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Simeon

Wildlife Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Brown Butter Cookie Company, Pismo Beach Premium Outlets, Speed Boats Tours
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

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 29th (Mon): admire the architecture and history at Mission San Antonio de Padua, admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, and then admire the majestic nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: immerse yourself in nature at Point Sur State Historic Park, then take in the views from Bixby Bridge, then immerse yourself in nature at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Coast Gallery Big Sur.

To find maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Big Sur trip itinerary planning app .

You can drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 4 hours. While traveling from San Simeon, expect cooler days and about the same nights in Big Sur, ranging from highs of 69°F to lows of 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Mission San Antonio de Padua, Holman Ranch
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Mission San Antonio de Padua ©
Mission San Antonio de Padua
Point Sur State Historic Park ©
Point Sur State Historic Park

3
nights
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Start off your visit on the 1st (Thu): immerse yourself in nature at MacKerricher State Park, then enjoy the sand and surf at Glass Beach, and then take a memorable drive along Mendocino Coast. On the 2nd (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: visit a coastal fixture at Point Cabrillo Light Station, take in nature's colorful creations at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, and then admire the majestic nature at Mendocino Headlands State Park.

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Mendocino trip planner .

You can drive from Big Sur to Mendocino in 6.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Traveling from Big Sur in July, you will find days in Mendocino are warmer (95°F), and nights are about the same (57°F). On the 3rd (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Mendocino

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Fort Bragg, Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast ©
Mendocino Coast
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens ©
Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum ©
Point Arena Lighthouse & Museum

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