36 days in California Itinerary

36 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive
2
Stanford
— 1 night
Drive
3
Yountville
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Olympic Valley
— 2 nights
Drive
5
South Lake Tahoe
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive to Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Fly to San Diego
7
San Diego
— 1 night
Drive
8
Huntington Beach
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Santa Monica
— 3 nights
Drive
11
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
12
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
13
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive
14
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive
15
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Drive
16
Half Moon Bay
— 3 nights
Drive
17
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly

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San Francisco

— 1 night

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): kick back and relax at Fort Funston National Park, step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, then take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and finally take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our San Francisco planner.

Sao Paulo, Brazil to San Francisco is an approximately 18-hour flight. Traveling from Sao Paulo to San Francisco, you'll gain 5 hours due to the time zone difference. In June, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can go by car to Stanford.

Things to do in San Francisco

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Stanford

— 1 night
Stanford is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Clara County, California, United States and is the home of Stanford University. Start off your visit on the 13th (Sat): stroll around Portola Redwoods State Park, then learn about winemaking at Thomas Fogarty Winery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at El Corte De Madera, and finally admire the masterpieces at Rodin Sculpture Garden.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Stanford trip site.

You can drive from San Francisco to Stanford in an hour. In June, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to drive to Yountville.

Things to do in Stanford

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

Yountville

— 3 nights
Named after the man responsible for establishing Napa Valley's first vineyard, Yountville is a destination for foodies.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Stephen & Walker Winery and Bell Wine Cellars. Take a break from the city and head to Sonoma Coast State Beach and Goat Rock Beach. Explore Yountville's surroundings by going to Pride Mountain Vineyards (in St. Helena), Sterling Vineyards (in Calistoga) and Safari West (in Santa Rosa). And it doesn't end there: do a tasting at V. Sattui Winery, explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa, explore and take pictures at Domaine Chandon, and take in the dramatic natural features at Bodega Head.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Yountville travel route site.

Traveling by car from Stanford to Yountville takes 2 hours. Traveling from Stanford in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Yountville, with lows of 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to travel to Olympic Valley.

Things to do in Yountville

Wineries · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Olympic Valley

— 2 nights
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Wed): immerse yourself in nature at Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum, take an in-depth tour of Gatekeeper's Museum, then stroll through Sand Harbor, then browse the exhibits of Tahoe City Field Station, and finally relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, fly down the slopes at Northstar California, and then snap pictures at Rainbow Bridge / Donner Summit Bridge.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, go to the Olympic Valley day trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Yountville to Olympic Valley takes 3 hours. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Yountville in June since evenings lows in Olympic Valley dip to 2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Olympic Valley

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Museums

Side Trips

South Lake Tahoe

— 2 nights
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 19th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Kiva Beach, explore the historical opulence of Vikingsholm, then explore the galleries of Tallac Historic Site, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Pope Beach. On the 20th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Lakeside Beach, try your luck at Casino at Harrah's Lake Tahoe, then stroll through Van Sickle Bi-State Park, then cast your line with a fishing tour, and finally kick back and relax at Baldwin Beach.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our South Lake Tahoe planner.

You can drive from Olympic Valley to South Lake Tahoe in 1.5 hours. In June in South Lake Tahoe, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 5°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Yosemite National Park

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sun): make a trip to Yosemite Village, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome, stroll through Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, then cruise along Tioga Pass, and finally don't miss a visit to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan, trek along Panorama Trail, then admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, then trek along Nevada Falls Loop, and finally admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls.

To see reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Yosemite National Park tour builder site.

You can drive from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park in 3 hours. In June, daily temperatures in Yosemite National Park can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to San Diego.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

San Diego

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): stroll the grounds of Fort Rosecrans Cemetery, then take an in-depth tour of Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House, then examine the collection at USS Midway Museum, and finally kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove. On the 24th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then stroll through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, then pause for some serene contemplation at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, and finally stroll through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the San Diego vacation builder app.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Yosemite National Park to San Diego. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in June: highs in San Diego hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Huntington Beach.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Nature

Huntington Beach

— 2 nights
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. Start off your visit on the 25th (Thu): take a stroll through Downtown Huntington Beach, kick back and relax at Huntington Dog Beach, then take in the waterfront at Huntington Beach Pier, and finally kick back and relax at Huntington State Beach. On the 26th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the different monuments and memorials at Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary, see the interesting displays at Mission San Juan Capistrano, then immerse yourself in nature at Crystal Cove, then enjoy the sand and surf at Newport Beach, and finally stroll through Orange County Coast.

To find maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Huntington Beach trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Diego to Huntington Beach takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi. In June, daily temperatures in Huntington Beach can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Huntington Beach

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Los Angeles

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, then get to know the fascinating history of Venice Canals Walkway, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Ballona Wetlands, and finally see the interesting displays at The Getty Center. On the 28th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the different monuments and memorials at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park, make a trip to Hollywood Walk of Fame, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Hollywood United Methodist Church, explore the stunning scenery at Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, then catch a movie at California Science Center, and finally look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

You can plan Los Angeles trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Traveling by car from Huntington Beach to Los Angeles takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In June, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Childrens Museums

Santa Monica

— 3 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.
On the 29th (Mon), enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica State Beach, take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, take a stroll through Montana Avenue, then take in the awesome beauty at Santa Monica Mountains, and finally admire the striking features of Shotgun House. On your second day here, get a taste of the local shopping with Third Street Promenade, contemplate the waterfront views at Santa Monica Bay, then get to know the fascinating history of Ocean Avenue, then explore the landscape on two wheels at 26-Mile Bike Path, and finally take a stroll through Rodeo Drive.

For ratings, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Santa Monica road trip planning site.

Santa Monica is very close to Los Angeles. Traveling from Los Angeles in June, expect nights in Santa Monica to be about the same, around 19°C, while days are slightly colder, around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Shopping

Side Trip

Santa Barbara

— 2 nights

The American Riviera

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.
On the 1st (Wed), kick back and relax at Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, stroll through Carpinteria State Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, take a stroll through State Street Underpass, then don't miss a visit to Old Mission Santa Barbara, and finally stroll through Douglas Family Preserve. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the landmark architecture of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and then stroll through Butterfly Beach.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Santa Barbara trip itinerary planning website.

Getting from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Santa Monica in July since evenings lows in Santa Barbara dip to 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

San Simeon

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, then look for gifts at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our San Simeon trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Santa Barbara in July: highs in San Simeon hover around 40°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Beaches · Wildlife · Outdoors

Carmel

— 1 night
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. On the 4th (Sat), stroll through Del Mar Beach, take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos. Here are some ideas for day two: trek along Scenic Road Walkway, do a tasting at Caraccioli Cellars, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Carmel Mission, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

To find out how to plan a trip to Carmel, use our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in July, plan for cooler days in Carmel, with highs around 24°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites · Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur

— 2 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 6th (Mon), take in the exciting artwork at Coast Gallery Big Sur, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then view the masterpieces at Hawthorne Gallery, then kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Tue): snap pictures at Bixby Bridge and then enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Big Sur trip itinerary maker website.

Traveling by car from Carmel to Big Sur takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In July, daytime highs in Big Sur are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Beaches

Santa Cruz

— 3 nights
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
You'll get in some beach time at New Brighton State Beach and Pleasure Point Beach. Visiting Dolphin & Whale Watching and Santa Cruz Main Beach will get you outdoors. There's still lots to do: immerse yourself in nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Capitola Beach, take a leisurely stroll along Boardwalk's Cocoanut Grove, and take in the pleasant sights at West Cliff Drive.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Santa Cruz trip builder.

You can drive from Big Sur to Santa Cruz in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In July in Santa Cruz, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 15°C at night. On the 10th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Half Moon Bay.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Half Moon Bay

— 3 nights
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, United States. We've included these beaches for you: San Gregorio State Beach and Miramar Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve and Pescadero State Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Half Moon Bay side-trips: Pescadero (Bean Hollow State Beach & Pigeon Point Light Station). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Rockaway Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, sample the fine beverages at Half Moon Bay Distillery, and trek along Sawyer Camp Trail.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Half Moon Bay holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. While traveling from Santa Cruz, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Half Moon Bay, ranging from highs of 19°C to lows of 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Half Moon Bay

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Trails

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

On the 14th (Tue), take in the pleasant sights at Lombard Street, visit Chinatown, snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, then enjoy the sand and surf at Baker Beach, and finally stroll through Marshall’s Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, stroll through Ocean Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Stinson Beach, then take a peaceful walk through Muir Woods National Monument, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Filbert Street Stairs.

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco online travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Half Moon Bay to San Francisco takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. While traveling from Half Moon Bay, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

California travel guide

4.1
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.

Napa Valley travel guide

4.3
Wineries & Vineyards · Wine Tours & Tastings · Castles
Thanks to a Mediterranean climate and idyllic location in Northern California, Napa Valley is one of the top wine producing regions in the world. This, coupled with the area's breathtaking scenery, abundance of quaint B&Bs, and exquisite local gastronomy, makes Napa Valley one of the country's most popular spots for peaceful weekends and romantic getaways. While wine tasting and vineyard tours are the traditional things to do, the region offers a variety of other attractions, including hot air balloon rides, spa treatments, and trips aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train.

Lake Tahoe (California) travel guide

4.2
Ski Areas · Zipline · State Parks
Lake of the Sky
Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe draws visitors from both states and beyond to its shores. With an average of 300 sunny days annually, it's no surprise that the lake is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. The blue-green waters beckon travelers for swimming, boating, windsurfing, or kayaking. The lake also has a number of walking trails for those who don't want to get wet. In the colder months, skiers take to the surrounding mountains. The south shore is the most developed side of the lake, with more things to do, while the west and north shores are generally more tranquil.