34 days in San Francisco, Carmel & South Lake Tahoe Itinerary

34 days in San Francisco, Carmel & South Lake Tahoe Itinerary

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34 days in San Francisco, Carmel & South Lake Tahoe Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
1
San Francisco
— 28 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
South Lake Tahoe
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

28
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 Exploratorium and Ferry Building Marketplace. Escape the urban bustle at Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods National Monument. Change things up with these side-trips from San Francisco: Sacramento (Crocker Art Museum, California State Railroad Museum, & more), Napa (The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum, Balloon Rides, & more) and Goat Rock Beach (in Jenner). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Walt Disney Family Museum, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, take in the awesome beauty at Twin Peaks, and view the masterpieces at Mumm Napa.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the San Francisco trip itinerary maker app .

If you are flying in from Costa Rica, the closest major airports are San Francisco International Airport, Metropolitan Oakland International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. September in San Francisco sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Point Reyes National Seashore, Pescadero, Sausalito, Healdsburg, Napa
Highlights from your plan
Lands End ©
Lands End
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island

2
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. Start off your visit on the 16th (Wed): take in the spiritual surroundings of Carmel Mission, take in the spiritual surroundings of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, wander the streets of Ocean Avenue, then stop by The Cheese Shop, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Del Mar Beach, then visit a coastal fixture at Point Pinos Lighthouse, and then make a trip to Lovers Point.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Carmel are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Thu) so you can drive to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Pacific Grove
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission ©
Point Pinos Lighthouse ©
Point Pinos Lighthouse

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Nevada State Capitol Building, then get engrossed in the history at Fourth Ward School Museum, then examine the collection at The Way It Was Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tahoe Mountain Wedding Chapel. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum, look for gifts at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, then enjoy the sand and surf at Lakeside Beach, then view the masterpieces at Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery, and finally shop like a local with Wyland Galleries.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a South Lake Tahoe trip simple and quick.

Getting from Carmel to South Lake Tahoe by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. While traveling from Carmel, expect slightly colder days and colder nights in South Lake Tahoe, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Museums Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Virginia City, Genoa Cemetery, Nevada State Capitol Building
Highlights from your plan
Fourth Ward School Museum ©
Fourth Ward School Museum
The Way It Was Museum ©
The Way It Was Museum
Nevada State Capitol Building ©
Nevada State Capitol Building