30 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Diego
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Los Angeles
— 6 nights
Drive
3
Santa Monica
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Big Sur
— 3 nights
Drive
8
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Fly

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San Diego — 4 nights

America's Finest City

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Sail Stars & Stripes and Point Loma. There's lots more to do: get to know the resident critters at San Diego Zoo, let little ones run wild at Balboa Park, stroll around Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, and take in the pleasant sights at Tuna Harbor Park.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Diego driving holiday planning app.

Minneapolis to San Diego is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Minneapolis to San Diego. Traveling from Minneapolis in October, you will find days in San Diego are somewhat warmer (30°C), and nights are warmer (20°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can go by car to Los Angeles.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Fun & Games

Los Angeles — 6 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens and La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. Next up on the itinerary: pedal to the sights with Bikes And Hikes LA Tours, admire the masterpieces at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, see some familiar sights at Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, and gain insight at California Institute of Technology.

For traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles road trip tool.

Getting from San Diego to Los Angeles by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in Los Angeles can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Monica.
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Museums · Tours · Nightlife · Childrens Museums
Side Trips

Santa Monica — 2 nights

Fortunate People in a Fortunate Land

A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Tue): kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk and then find something for the whole family at Pacific Park.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Monica trip planner.

Santa Monica is very close to Los Angeles. Traveling from Los Angeles in October, you will find days in Santa Monica are slightly colder (29°C), and nights are about the same (19°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Death Valley National Park.
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Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Theme Parks
Side Trip

Death Valley National Park — 2 nights

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Thu): take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point and then get great views at Dante's View. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Charcoal Kilns, then explore the striking landscape at Artists Palette, then explore the activities along Badwater Basin, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Panamint Range.

To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Death Valley National Park trip planner.

Drive from Santa Monica to Death Valley National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of tram, train, bus, and car. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Santa Monica in October since evenings lows in Death Valley National Park dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sat) to allow time for travel to Yosemite National Park.
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Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Yosemite National Park — 4 nights

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Tioga Pass and Glacier Point. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at El Capitan, hike along Panorama Trail, take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Tuolumne Meadows.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park trip planning website.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in October, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are a bit cooler (22°C), and nights are cooler (-2°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to travel to Monterey.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Monterey — 2 nights

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Step off the beaten path and head to Asilomar State Beach and Coast Guard Pier. The adventure continues: make a trip to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, grab your bike and head to Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, pause for some serene contemplation at San Carlos Cathedral, and join the crowd at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Monterey trip itinerary website.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Monterey takes 5 hours. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be much warmer in Monterey, with lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.
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Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums
Side Trips

Big Sur — 3 nights

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
On the 22nd (Sat), immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, hike along Partington Cove, then immerse yourself in nature at Limekiln State Park, and finally take in the views from Big Creek Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: snap pictures at Bixby Bridge, take some stellar pictures from Rocky Creek Bridge, then take a memorable drive along Old Coast Road, then admire the natural beauty at Hawthorne Gallery, and finally stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Big Sur online visit planner.

Drive from Monterey to Big Sur in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Big Sur are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

San Francisco — 6 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Wine Tours & Tastings and San Francisco Bay. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Francisco: VJB Cellars (in Kenwood), Thomas George Estates (in Healdsburg) and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve (in Guerneville). The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Golden Gate Bridge, learn the secrets of beer at a beer tour and tasting, stroll around Golden Gate Park, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco trip builder.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in San Francisco can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) so you can fly back home.
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Tours · Parks · Wineries · Nature
Side Trips

California travel guide

4.2
Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.
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