36 days in California Itinerary

36 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in California Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
1
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
2
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
3
Mammoth Lakes
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
San Luis Obispo
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
6
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Big Sur
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
8
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
10
Fort Bragg
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
11
Eureka
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
12
Sacramento
— 2 nights
bus + taxi:  7​h 15​min
13
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
End: Los Angeles

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): discover the magic at Disneyland Park. On your second day here, identify plant and animal life at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, then make a trip to Santa Monica Pier, and finally examine the collection at The Getty Center.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Los Angeles travel route planner .

The Route module shows you travel options from your home to Los Angeles. In August, daily temperatures in Los Angeles can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Los Angeles

#Theme Parks, #Parks, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area ©

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Zabriskie Point and Badwater Basin. Take a break from the city and head to Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Twenty Mule Team Canyon. Next up on the itinerary: take in breathtaking views at Mosaic Canyon, stroll through Salt Creek Interpretive Trail, and don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

To see reviews, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park trip website .

Getting from Los Angeles to Death Valley National Park by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, bus, and car; or do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Los Angeles in August, expect nights in Death Valley National Park to be about the same, around 70°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 98°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge ©
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin

3
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. Get in touch with nature at Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and Mono Lake County Park. Discover out-of-the-way places like Tioga Rd and Gull Lake. Step out of Mammoth Lakes with an excursion to Parker Lake Trail in June Lake--about 34 minutes away. There's lots more to do: identify plant and animal life at McGee Creek, look for gifts at Footloose Sports in Mammoth Lakes, and contemplate the waterfront views at Horseshoe Lake.

Discover how to plan a Mammoth Lakes trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Mammoth Lakes in 3.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Death Valley National Park in August: highs in Mammoth Lakes hover around 81°F, while lows dip to 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trips

Lee Vining, June Lake
Highlights from your plan
Gull Lake ©
Gull Lake
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve ©
Horseshoe Lake ©
Horseshoe Lake

3
nights
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park ©
With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
Step out of the city life by going to Moro Rock and Giant Forest. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Kings Canyon National Park and Mount Whitney Trail. Take a break from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park with a short trip to Project Survival's Cat Haven in Dunlap, about 1 hour away. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Zumwalt Meadow Trail, trek along General Grant Tree Trail, and take in the dramatic scenery at Roaring River Falls.

For more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip itinerary planning site .

You can drive from Mammoth Lakes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Mammoth Lakes in August, with highs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park at 95°F and lows at 63°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can drive to San Luis Obispo.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Trails

Side Trips

Mount Whitney Trail, Project Survival's Cat Haven
Highlights from your plan
Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
Project Survival's Cat Haven ©
Project Survival's Cat Haven

1
night
San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo ©
San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): kick back and relax at Pismo State Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Avila Main Beach, and then identify plant and animal life at Sweet Springs Nature Preserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: delve into the lush surroundings at Elfin Forest Preserve, then take in the dramatic natural features at Morro Rock, then hike along Bluff Trail, and finally get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the San Luis Obispo trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to San Luis Obispo in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of car, shuttle, and bus. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in August: high temperatures in San Luis Obispo hover around 79°F and lows are around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Los Osos, Avila Beach, Pismo State Beach, Morro Rock
Highlights from your plan
Morro Rock ©
Morro Rock
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, then identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon vacation planner .

Drive from San Luis Obispo to San Simeon in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from San Luis Obispo in August, plan for somewhat warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 94°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 55°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Simeon

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

3
nights
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Limekiln State Park. Escape the urban bustle at Pfeiffer State Beach and McWay Falls. Step out of Big Sur to go to Paicines and see Bear Gulch Caves, which is approximately 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Partington Cove, admire the majestic nature at Andrew Molera State Park, admire all the interesting features of Point Sur State Historic Park, and take a memorable drive along Old Coast Road.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Big Sur online trip builder .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Big Sur takes 4 hours. When traveling from San Simeon in August, plan for much colder days in Big Sur, with highs around 70°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 57°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to catcht the bus to Carmel.

Things to do in Big Sur

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature

Side Trip

Bear Gulch Caves
Highlights from your plan
Limekiln State Park ©
Limekiln State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

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. On the 19th (Mon), tee off at Pebble Beach Golf Links, stroll through Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, and then kick back and relax at Lovers Point. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then immerse yourself in nature at Garrapata State Park, and then trek along Scenic Road Walkway.

Plan my Carmel trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Carmel is very close to Big Sur. In August, daily temperatures in Carmel can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Trails

Side Trips

Pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, Lovers Point
Highlights from your plan
Pebble Beach Golf Links ©
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Lovers Point ©
Lovers Point
Garrapata State Park ©
Garrapata State Park

3
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visiting Alcatraz Island and Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail will get you outdoors. Explore hidden gems such as Marin Headlands and Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Change things up with these side-trips from San Francisco: Mori Point (in Pacifica), Tomales Bay State Park (in Inverness) and Sulphur Creek Nature Center (in Hayward). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Fort Funston National Park and look for all kinds of wild species at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our San Francisco trip planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In August in San Francisco, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 59°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in San Francisco

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Anthony Chabot Regional Park, Mori Point, Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Marin Headlands, Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Tomales Bay State Park ©
Tomales Bay State Park
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve ©
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve

3
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Step off the beaten path and head to Seaside Beach and MacKerricher State Park. Get in touch with nature at Pudding Creek Beach and Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA. Step out of Fort Bragg with an excursion to Richardson Grove State Park in Garberville--about 1h 10 min away. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Noyo Headlands Park, contemplate the waterfront views at Big River, immerse yourself in nature at Jug Handle State Reserve, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Mendocino Coast.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Fort Bragg trip itinerary builder .

You can drive from San Francisco to Fort Bragg in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from San Francisco in August, expect nights in Fort Bragg to be about the same, around 56°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 93°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Eureka.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Mendocino, Richardson Grove State Park, Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast ©
Mendocino Coast
Jug Handle State Reserve ©
Jug Handle State Reserve
Seaside Beach ©
Seaside Beach

3
nights
Eureka

Eureka ©
Eureka is the principal city and county seat of Humboldt County in the Redwood Empire region of California. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Redwood National Park and Lady Bird Johnson Grove. Escape the urban bustle at Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary and Arcata Community Forest. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Trinidad State Beach.

For traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Eureka trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by car from Fort Bragg to Eureka takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. When traveling from Fort Bragg in August, plan for much colder days in Eureka, with highs around 64°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Sacramento.

Things to do in Eureka

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Trails

Side Trips

Arcata, Redwood National Park, Trinidad State Beach, Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Highlights from your plan
Arcata Community Forest ©
Arcata Community Forest
Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Trinidad State Beach ©
Trinidad State Beach

2
nights
Sacramento

Sacramento ©
The capital city of America's most economically significant state, Sacramento is an important stop for any politico.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Sacramento Zoo, then look for all kinds of wild species at Cosumnes River Preserve, and then grab your bike and head to Lodi Lake Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Sat): explore the activities along Lake Natoma and then identify plant and animal life at Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

To see reviews, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Sacramento online trip maker .

Drive from Eureka to Sacramento in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from Eureka in August, plan for much warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Sacramento: temperatures range from 91°F by day to 60°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sacramento

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Cosumnes River Preserve, Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Lodi Lake Park, Lake Natoma
Highlights from your plan
Effie Yeaw Nature Center ©
Effie Yeaw Nature Center
Cosumnes River Preserve ©
Cosumnes River Preserve
Lodi Lake Park ©
Lodi Lake Park

4
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Glacier Point and Tunnel View. Get outdoors at Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall. The adventure continues: stroll through Tuolumne Meadows, trek along Lembert Dome, make a trip to Valley View, and explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park trip builder .

You can do a combination of bus and taxi from Sacramento to Yosemite National Park in 7.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of train, bus, and taxi. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Sacramento in August; daily highs in Yosemite National Park reach 81°F and lows reach 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Bridalveil Fall ©
Bridalveil Fall

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