36 days in California Itinerary

36 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California route planner

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Route & dates

36 days in California Itinerary

Start: Albany
Fly:  11​h 45​min
1
Arcata
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Redding
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Cambria
— 4 nights
bus:  6​h
5
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Mammoth Lakes
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Death Valley National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
8
Palm Springs
— 7 nights
Fly + train:  9​h 45​min
End: Albany

4
nights
Arcata

Arcata ©
Arcata, originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Black Sands Beach and Big Lagoon County Park. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Camel Rock and Moonstone Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Arcata: Clendenen's Cider Works (in Fortuna), Redwood National Park (in Redwood National Park) and The Immortal Tree (in Redcrest). There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, get a new perspective on nature at Humboldt State University Natural History Museum, explore the landscape on two wheels at Hikshari Trail, and pick up some local products at Arcata Farmers' Market.

To find more things to do, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read Arcata journey builder site .

Albany to Arcata is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also drive. Traveling from Albany to Arcata, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Albany in March, with highs in Arcata at 57°F and lows at 44°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to travel to Redding.

Things to do in Arcata

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Trinidad, Camel Rock, Hikshari Trail, Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, Clendenen's Cider Works
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Black Sands Beach ©
Black Sands Beach
Humboldt Coastal Nature Center ©
Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

4
nights
Redding

Redding ©
Redding, officially the City of Redding, is the county seat of Shasta County, California, in the northern part of the state. Escape the urban bustle at Cinder Cone and Wild Horse Sanctuary. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Fantastic Lava Beds. Get out of town with these interesting Redding side-trips: The Weed Store (in Weed), Mount Shasta (Castle Lake & Mt. Shasta Nordic Center) and Devil's Kitchen (in Lassen Volcanic National Park). The adventure continues: cast your line with a fishing tour.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Redding travel planner.

You can drive from Arcata to Redding in 3 hours. When traveling from Arcata in March, plan for a bit warmer days in Redding, with highs around 68°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Redding

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Shasta, Wild Horse Sanctuary, The Weed Store
Highlights from your plan
Cinder Cone ©
Cinder Cone
Wild Horse Sanctuary ©
Wild Horse Sanctuary
Castle Lake ©
Castle Lake

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. Carmel Art Association and Steven Whyte's Sculpture Studio and Gallery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of the city life by going to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Monterey Bay. Venture out of the city with trips to Big Sur (McWay Falls, Coast Gallery Big Sur, & more). Spend the 3rd (Wed) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's much more to do: take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, admire all the interesting features of Seventeen Mile Drive, look for gifts at Monterey's Tasty Olive Bar, and enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Carmel travel site .

You can drive from Redding to Carmel in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Redding, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 64°F to lows of 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

4
nights
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Visit Piedras Blancas and Moonstone Beach for some beach relaxation. Take a break from the city and head to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and Bluff Trail. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cambria: Mission San Antonio de Padua (in Jolon), Morro Bay (Morro Rock & Fiona Bleu Gallery) and Pacific Valley Bluff Trail (in Big Sur). Next up on the itinerary: view the masterpieces at artifacts gallery, stop by Harmony Pottery Works, identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and browse for treasures at Rich Man Poor Man Antiques.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Cambria travel route planning website .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Cambria takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus and car. While traveling from Carmel, expect somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Cambria, ranging from highs of 78°F to lows of 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

San Simeon, Morro Bay, Mission San Antonio de Padua, Harmony Pottery Works, Pacific Valley Bluff Trail
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Manzanar National Historic Site and Horseshoe Meadow Trail. Get outdoors at Mount Whitney Trail and Mobius Arch Loop Trailhead. Step out of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to go to Dunlap and see Project Survival's Cat Haven, which is approximately 58 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Inyo National Forest, take in the dramatic scenery at Grizzly Falls, explore the stunning scenery at Kings Canyon National Park, and trek along Mt. Whitney.

For photos, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip builder site .

Traveling by bus from Cambria to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park takes 6 hours. Traveling from Cambria in April, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 49°F in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Lone Pine, Manzanar National Historic Site, Inyo National Forest, Project Survival's Cat Haven
Highlights from your plan
Manzanar National Historic Site ©
Manzanar National Historic Site
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
Project Survival's Cat Haven ©
Project Survival's Cat Haven

4
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. Discover out-of-the-way places like Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center and Mono Lake County Park. Visiting Mammoth Mountain and Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Mammoth Lakes: Yosemite National Park (Vernal Fall, Glacier Point, & more). There's much more to do: tee off at Snowcreek Golf Course, look for gifts at Footloose Sports in Mammoth Lakes, and get engrossed in the history at Mammoth Museum at the Hayden Cabin.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Mammoth Lakes trip planner .

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Mammoth Lakes by bus takes about 3.5 hours. When traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in April, plan for little chillier days and much colder nights in Mammoth Lakes: temperatures range from 59°F by day to 28°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake County Park
Highlights from your plan
Vernal Fall ©
Vernal Fall
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Mammoth Mountain ©
Mammoth Mountain

4
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Take a break from the city and head to Mosaic Canyon and Fall Canyon. Step off the beaten path and head to Wildrose Peak Trail and Gower Gulch Loop. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at The Devil's Speedway, cruise along Artists Dr, explore the activities along Badwater Basin, and don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

To see ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Death Valley National Park trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Mammoth Lakes to Death Valley National Park by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Mammoth Lakes in April, expect nights in Death Valley National Park to be much warmer, around 49°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 77°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Artists Dr ©
Artists Dr
Fall Canyon ©
Fall Canyon
Wildrose Peak Trail ©
Wildrose Peak Trail

7
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. For shopping fun, head to El Paseo Shopping District or Borrego Art Institute. Explore hidden gems such as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and South Lykken Trail. Explore Palm Springs' surroundings by going to Borrego Springs (Slot Canyon & Ocotillo Wells SVRA), Living Free Animal Sanctuary (in Mountain Center) and Palm Desert (CODA Gallery, Family Golf Center of Palm Desert, & more). There's lots more to do: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, identify plant and animal life at Murray Canyon Trail, get engrossed in the history at Palm Springs Air Museum, and take in the exciting artwork at 29 Palms Art Gallery.

Plan a Palm Springs trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to Palm Springs in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car, bus, and train; or take a bus. In April, Palm Springs is a bit warmer than Death Valley National Park - with highs of 89°F and lows of 61°F. On the 27th (Sat), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Outdoors Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Palm Desert, Borrego Springs, 29 Palms Art Gallery, Desert Hills Premium Outlets, Climbing Tours
Highlights from your plan
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ©
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Indian Canyons ©
Indian Canyons
Palm Springs Air Museum ©
Palm Springs Air Museum

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