42 days in California Itinerary

42 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States attractions planner

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
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive
8
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Huntington Beach
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Santa Monica
— 3 nights
Drive
12
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive
13
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
14
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive
15
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive
16
Santa Cruz
— 2 nights
17
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Drive
18
Half Moon Bay
— 3 nights
Drive
19
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, explore the galleries of SS Jeremiah O'Brien, then head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, then take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and finally see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

Plan trip to San Francisco with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

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, daytime highs in San Francisco are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can drive to Stanford.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Outdoors

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): admire the majestic nature at Portola Redwoods State Park, do a tasting at Thomas Fogarty Winery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at El Corte De Madera, and finally explore the world behind art at Rodin Sculpture Garden.

To find ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Stanford trip itinerary tool.

Getting from San Francisco to Stanford by car takes about an hour. June in Stanford sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sat) early enough to go by car 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.
Escape the urban bustle at Sonoma Coast State Beach and Goat Rock Beach. Stephen & Walker Winery and Pride Mountain Vineyards are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Yountville's surroundings by going to Sterling Vineyards (in Calistoga), Safari West (in Santa Rosa) and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve (in Guerneville). And it doesn't end there: do a tasting at V. Sattui Winery, explore the striking landscape at Bodega Head, admire all the interesting features of Domaine Chandon, and explore the historical opulence of Castello di Amorosa.

For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Yountville tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Stanford to Yountville in 2 hours. Expect little chillier evenings in Yountville when traveling from Stanford in June, with lows around 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Olympic Valley.

Things to do in Yountville

Wineries · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trips

Olympic Valley

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 17th (Wed): admire the majestic nature at Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum, get engrossed in the history at Gatekeeper's Museum, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Sand Harbor, then stroll through Tahoe City Field Station, and finally relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Keep things going the next day: trek along Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, stroll through Northstar California, and then take in the views from Rainbow Bridge / Donner Summit Bridge.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Olympic Valley trip site.

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 up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) so you can go by car to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Olympic Valley

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Museums

Side Trips

South Lake Tahoe

— 3 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): kick back and relax at Pope Beach, step into the grandiose world of Vikingsholm, then steep yourself in history at Tallac Historic Site, then stroll the grounds of Genoa Cemetery, and finally admire the majestic nature at Van Sickle Bi-State Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Sat): kick back and relax at El Dorado Beach, then stroll through Baldwin Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Kiva Beach, and finally take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our South Lake Tahoe trip itinerary builder app.

You can drive from Olympic Valley to South Lake Tahoe in 1.5 hours. In June, daily temperatures in South Lake Tahoe can reach 29°C, while at night they dip to 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trip

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome. Take a break from Yosemite National Park with a short trip to Bodie State Historic Park in Bridgeport, about 4h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tuolumne Meadows, explore the striking landscape at Taft Point, and take some stellar pictures from Half Dome.

To find ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park road trip site.

Drive from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park in 3 hours. In June, daytime highs in Yosemite National Park are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Death Valley National Park

— 1 night

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Fri): take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, then explore the activities along Badwater Basin, then take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, and finally contemplate the long history of Harmony Borax Works.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park trip itinerary app.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 4.5 hours. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Death Valley National Park, ranging from highs of 43°C to lows of 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Scenic Drive

San Diego

— 2 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.
On the 27th (Sat), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, enjoy the sand and surf at La Jolla Cove, then see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum, and finally stroll the grounds of Fort Rosecrans Cemetery. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the waterfront views at Scripps Institute of Oceanography Coastal Reserve, then immerse yourself in nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, then sample the fine beverages at Malahat Spirits, and finally admire the majestic nature at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Plan my San Diego trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to San Diego in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. When traveling from Death Valley National Park in June, plan for cooler days in San Diego, with highs around 26°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can drive to Huntington Beach.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Huntington Beach

— 2 nights
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. Kick off your visit on the 29th (Mon): take a leisurely stroll along Huntington Beach Pier, then enjoy the sand and surf at Crystal Cove, then see the interesting displays at Mission San Juan Capistrano, and finally see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Tue): kick back and relax at Newport Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Huntington State Beach, then wander the streets of Downtown Huntington Beach, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Huntington Dog Beach.

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Huntington Beach trip planning site.

Traveling by car from San Diego to Huntington Beach takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi. In June, daytime highs in Huntington Beach are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Huntington Beach

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · 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 1st (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Ballona Wetlands, kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, then examine the collection at The Getty Center, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Hollywood Walk of Fame. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Santa Monica Bay, take in breathtaking views at Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, then take in nature's colorful creations at The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, and finally stop by Angelino Heights Historic Area.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles itinerary maker site.

You can drive from Huntington Beach to Los Angeles in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in June, and nighttime lows around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to drive to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Beaches

Side Trips

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, then enjoy the sand and surf at Santa Monica State Beach, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Santa Monica Mountains, and finally browse the collection at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. On your second day here, get a taste of the local shopping with Third Street Promenade, get to know the fascinating history of Ocean Avenue, then grab your bike and head to 26-Mile Bike Path, then examine the collection at The Getty Villa, and finally take a stroll through Rodeo Drive.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Santa Monica using our trip planner.

Santa Monica is just a stone's throw from Los Angeles. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Los Angeles in July: highs in Santa Monica hover around 28°C, while lows dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Parks · Museums · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): admire the majestic nature at Carpinteria State Beach, then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, then make a trip to Old Mission Santa Barbara, and finally take a stroll through State Street Underpass. Keep things going the next day: explore the landscape on two wheels at Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, stroll through Butterfly Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, then admire the striking features of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

To plan Santa Barbara vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Santa Monica in July, Santa Barbara is a bit cooler at night with lows of 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · 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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, then get all the information you need at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas.

To see ratings, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our San Simeon trip planner.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in July, plan for somewhat warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 40°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

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. Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, and finally kick back and relax at China Cove and Gibson Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Thu): do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, enjoy the sand and surf at Del Mar Beach, then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, then explore and take pictures at 17-Mile Drive, and finally trek along Scenic Road Walkway.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Carmel driving holiday planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in July, you will find days in Carmel are much colder (24°C), and nights are about the same (15°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at New Camaldoli Hermitage, and finally hike along Pacific Valley Bluff Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Sat): take in the views from Bixby Bridge and then enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park.

For ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Big Sur trip builder.

You can drive from Carmel to Big Sur in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. In July in Big Sur, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 15°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can go by car to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Santa Cruz

— 2 nights
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Here are some ideas for day two: take a leisurely stroll along Santa Cruz Wharf, find something for the whole family at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, then tour the pleasant surroundings at New Brighton State Beach, and finally delve into the mystery of Mystery Spot.

To see maps, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read Santa Cruz sightseeing website.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to Santa Cruz takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Santa Cruz

— 3 nights
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): relax in the rural setting at Swanton Berry Farm, immerse yourself in nature at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, then enjoy the sand and surf at Capitola Beach, then kick back and relax at Santa Cruz Main Beach, and finally head outdoors with Outdoor Activities. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Natural Bridges State Beach, observe the fascinating underwater world at Seymour Marine Discovery Center, then cruise along West Cliff Drive, then stroll through Pleasure Point Beach, and finally kick back and relax at Santa Cruz Harbor Beach.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Cruz trip planning app.

On the 16th (Thu), 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. Get some historical perspective at Pigeon Point Light Station and Filoli. Step out of the city life by going to San Gregorio State Beach and Bean Hollow State Beach. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, tour the pleasant surroundings at Half Moon Bay State Beach, admire all the interesting features of Mavericks, and hike along Sawyer Camp Trail.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the 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. Traveling from Santa Cruz in July, you will find days in Half Moon Bay are slightly colder (19°C), and nights are about the same (14°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Half Moon Bay

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Trails

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 2 nights

City by the Bay

On the 20th (Mon), wander the streets of Chinatown, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, don't miss a visit to Hyde Street Pier, then stroll through Baker Beach, and finally take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Grace Cathedral, then examine the collection at Exploratorium, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Muir Woods National Monument, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Ocean Beach.

For where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the San Francisco trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Half Moon Bay to San Francisco by car takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. When traveling from Half Moon Bay in July, plan for somewhat warmer days in San Francisco, with highs around 26°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Museums

Side Trip

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.