42 days in California, Washington DC & New York City Itinerary

42 days in California, Washington DC & New York City Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Los Angeles
— 8 nights
Drive
2
San Diego
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Palm Springs
— 3 nights
Fly
4
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Bus to Fresno, Fly to Reagan Washington
6
Washington DC
— 6 nights
Train
7
New York City
— 7 nights
Fly

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Los Angeles

— 8 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.
Visit Santa Monica Pier and Hollywood Walk of Fame for their historical value. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Mission San Juan Capistrano and Griffith Observatory. Venture out of the city with trips to Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Newport Beach), Santa Monica Mountains (in Santa Monica) and Disneyland Park (in Anaheim). Pack the 17th (Thu) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Petersen Automotive Museum, learn about all things military at Battleship USS Iowa Museum, and learn more about the world around you at La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

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

Brisbane, Australia to Los Angeles is an approximately 17-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 18 hours traveling from Brisbane to Los Angeles. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Brisbane in December: high temperatures in Los Angeles hover around 24°C and lows are around 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks · Museums · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trips

San Diego

— 5 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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery and Maritime Museum of San Diego. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and Lions, Tigers & Bears. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Diego: Oceanside Pier (in Oceanside) and San Clemente Coastal Trail (in San Clemente). The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Point Loma, test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms, see the interesting displays at San Diego Air & Space Museum, and enjoy the sand and surf at La Jolla Shores Park.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the San Diego tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Los Angeles to San Diego by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. December in San Diego sees daily highs of 23°C and lows of 12°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Palm Springs

— 3 nights
Start off your visit on the 25th (Fri): admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum, explore the ancient world of Indian Canyons, then get engrossed in the history at Palm Springs Air Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St. Theresa Church. On your second day here, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Fulmor, take in the awesome beauty at San Jacinto Mountain, then stop by Wabi Sabi Japan Living, and finally play a few rounds at Escena Golf Club.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read our Palm Springs journey planning website.

Getting from San Diego to Palm Springs by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In December in Palm Springs, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to travel to San Francisco.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Nature · Parks · Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trip

San Francisco

— 6 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Take a break from the city and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge. Get out of town with these interesting San Francisco side-trips: Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga) and Muir Woods National Monument (in Mill Valley). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Exploratorium, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, brush up on your military savvy at USS Pampanito, and admire the natural beauty at Japanese Tea Garden.

To see more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read San Francisco vacation planner.

Traveling by flight from Palm Springs to San Francisco takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Palm Springs in December, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Francisco: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 8°C at night. You will leave for Yosemite National Park on the 2nd (Sat).

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Vernal Fall and Wawona Hotel, National Historic Landmark. Escape the urban bustle at Lower Yosemite Fall Trail and Washburn Point. And it doesn't end there: hike along Mariposa Grove, take in the dramatic natural features at Cloud's Rest, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, and tour the pleasant surroundings at May Lake Trailhead.

To see photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park online road trip planner.

Drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Traveling from San Francisco in January, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around -12°C, while days are slightly colder, around 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can travel to Washington DC.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Washington DC

— 6 nights
The capital of the United States, the District of Columbia contains the lion's share of the country's most treasured monuments, memorials, and public museums.
Let the collections at Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Museum of the Marine Corps capture your imagination. Get some cultural insight at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and National Portrait Gallery. Explore Washington DC's surroundings by going to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (in Baltimore) and Great Falls Park (in McLean). Next up on the itinerary: explore the world behind art at National Gallery of Art, examine the collection at The National Archives Museum, ponder the world of politics at Smithsonian Institution Building, and pause for some photo ops at Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, use the Washington DC vacation maker app.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Yosemite National Park to Washington DC takes 14.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a 3 hour difference. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in January, plan for a bit warmer nights in Washington DC, with lows around -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can take a train to New York City.

Things to do in Washington DC

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

New York City

— 7 nights

Big Apple

Writer Pearl Buck once called New York City “a place apart,” and this giant urban center remains unlike any other in the world.
Museum-lovers will appreciate The Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York Public Library. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Get out of town with these interesting New York City side-trips: Bushkill Falls (in Bushkill) and Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt (in Hyde Park). Next up on the itinerary: settle in for a delightful tour with a horse-drawn carriage tour, admire the masterpieces at Frick Collection, don't miss a visit to Statue of Liberty National Monument, and pause for some photo ops at 9/11 Memorial.

Planning New York City trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

Traveling by train from Washington DC to New York City takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Washington DC in January, expect slightly colder with lows of -5°C in New York City. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in New York City

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Tours

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.