43 days in California Itinerary

43 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip maker

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Route & dates

43 days in California Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  18​h 15​min
1
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Healdsburg
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 5 nights
bus:  6​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 6 nights
bus + Drive:  5​h 45​min
7
Death Valley National Park
— 5 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
8
San Diego
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
9
Los Angeles
— 6 nights
Fly:  16​h
End: Brisbane

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge will appeal to history buffs. Get outdoors at Muir Woods National Monument and Twin Peaks. When in San Francisco, make a side trip to see Wine Tours & Tastings in Napa, approximately 1h 05 min away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, examine the collection at Exploratorium, steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and wander the streets of SoMa.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco journey planner.

Brisbane, Australia to San Francisco is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 18 hours traveling from Brisbane to San Francisco. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Brisbane in November; daily highs in San Francisco reach 20°C and lows reach 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Healdsburg.

Things to do in San Francisco

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Wine Tours & Tastings
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

5
nights
Healdsburg

Healdsburg ©
The quaint city of Healdsburg is one of northern California's wine capitals, serving as the meeting point for three of Sonoma's most important wine-producing regions.
Get in touch with nature at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve and Point Cabrillo Light Station. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like VJB Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Healdsburg: Patrick Amiot (in Sebastopol), Mendocino Coast (in Mendocino) and Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (in Fort Bragg). There's much more to do: indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, do a tasting at Gracianna Winery, and identify plant and animal life at Safari West.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Healdsburg online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Healdsburg takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from San Francisco in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Healdsburg, with lows of 5°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Healdsburg

Parks Wineries Nature

Side Trips

Oakville, Mendocino, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Safari West, Patrick Amiot
Highlights from your plan
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve ©
Armstrong Redwood State Reserve
Mendocino Coast ©
Mendocino Coast
VJB Cellars ©
VJB Cellars

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. Do some cultural sightseeing at Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Cima Collina. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Point Lobos and Carmel River State Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Big Sur (Pfeiffer State Beach, McWay Falls, & more). There's still lots to do: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

To see maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Carmel attractions planner .

Traveling by car from Healdsburg to Carmel takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or fly. Traveling from Healdsburg in December, Carmel is a bit warmer at night with lows of 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Cima Collina
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

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.
On the 8th (Sun), identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Simeon vacation planner.

Getting from Carmel to San Simeon by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Carmel in December, San Simeon is slightly colder at night with lows of 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel ©
The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel

5
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Giant Forest and Moro Rock. Visiting Kings Canyon National Park and Alabama Hills will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at General Grant Tree Trail, trek along Big Stump Basin, make a trip to General Sherman Tree, and cruise along Generals Hwy.

For more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip itinerary planner .

Drive from San Simeon to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. While traveling from San Simeon, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, ranging from highs of 17°C to lows of 2°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to catcht the bus to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Alabama Hills
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest

6
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.
Get in touch with nature at Glacier Point and Mariposa Grove. Step off the beaten path and head to Yosemite, Tunnel View and Yosemite Falls. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tuolumne Meadows, hit the slopes at Curry Village Ice Rink, and admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip itinerary planning tool .

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Yosemite National Park by bus takes about 7 hours. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in December, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are little chillier (9°C), and nights are cooler (-11°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome

5
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Explore hidden gems such as Badwater Basin and Dante's View. Step out of the city life by going to Zabriskie Point and Artists Palette. There's still lots to do: cruise along Artists Dr, explore the striking landscape at The Devil's Speedway, hike along Telescope Peak trail, and make a trip to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Death Valley National Park online trip itinerary maker .

Do a combination of bus and car from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 6 hours. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in December: high temperatures in Death Valley National Park hover around 15°C and lows are around 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette

5
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to La Jolla Shores Park and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Escape the urban bustle at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Go for a jaunt from San Diego to Temecula to see Old Town Temecula about 1h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, see the interesting displays at Mingei International Museum, step aboard Maritime Museum of San Diego, and enjoy the sand and surf at La Jolla Cove.

To see maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the San Diego online trip maker .

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to San Diego in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Death Valley National Park in December, with highs in San Diego at 23°C and lows at 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Old Town Temecula, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ©
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Dolphin & Whale Watching

6
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Dolphin & Whale Watching and El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. When in Los Angeles, make a side trip to see Disneyland Park in Anaheim, approximately 36 minutes away. The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, steep yourself in history at Hollyhock House, see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory, and take a stroll through Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

To find ratings, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Los Angeles travel website .

You can drive from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or fly. In December, plan for daily highs up to 24°C, and evening lows to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

Disneyland Park, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Santa Monica Pier
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk

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