43 days in California Itinerary

43 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Fresno
— 9 nights
Drive
2
Yosemite National Park
— 9 nights
Drive
3
South Lake Tahoe
— 6 nights
Drive
4
Sonoma
— 6 nights
Drive
5
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Carmel
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive
8
San Diego
— 4 nights
Fly

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Fresno

— 9 nights
The only metropolitan hub nestled between three national parks, Fresno makes a surprisingly lively getaway.
Family-friendly places like Giant Forest and Old Fresno Water Tower will thrill your kids. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Fresno: Quady Winery (in Madera) and Buck Owens' Crystal Palace (in Bakersfield). There's more to do: get to know the resident critters at Fresno Chaffee Zoo and examine the collection at Meux Home Museum.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Fresno driving holiday planner.

Florianopolis, Brazil to Fresno is an approximately 23.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Brasilia Standard Time (BRT) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 5 hours. Traveling from Florianopolis in December, expect Fresno to be cooler, temps between 17°C and 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Fresno

Parks · Museums · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 9 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 visit kid-friendly attractions like Badger Pass Ski Area and Cathedral Beach Picnic Area. The adventure continues: admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, hike along Tuolumne Meadows, don't miss a visit to Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, and take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip planner.

Drive from Fresno to Yosemite National Park in 3 hours. Traveling from Fresno in December, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be much colder, around -11°C, while days are little chillier, around 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trip

South Lake Tahoe

— 6 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.
Bring the kids along to Adventure Mountain and Vikingsholm. Step out of South Lake Tahoe to go to Carson City and see Nevada State Museum, which is approximately 46 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: hit the slopes at Rock House Discount Ski & Snowboard Rentals, relax in the rural setting at Tahoe Trout Farm, have some family-friendly fun at Magic Carpet Golf, and contemplate the long history of Tallac Historic Site.

For ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the South Lake Tahoe tour planner.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to South Lake Tahoe takes 3 hours. In December in South Lake Tahoe, expect temperatures between 8°C during the day and -8°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can drive to Sonoma.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors · Parks · Winter Sports · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sonoma

— 6 nights
Set in the heart of one of the United States' most esteemed wine-producing regions, just 45 minutes from San Francisco, Sonoma boasts colonial Mexican architecture, including a mission.
Bring the kids along to Sonoma Coast State Beach and Sonoma Plaza. Explore Sonoma's surroundings by going to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (in Vallejo) and St. Helena (Pride Mountain Vineyards & V. Sattui Winery). There's much more to do: admire the architecture and history at Mission San Francisco Solano, explore the world behind art at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, join the crowd at SIMRACEWAY PERFORMANCE DRIVING CENTER, and awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

To see more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Sonoma tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from South Lake Tahoe to Sonoma takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and taxi; or take a bus. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe in December, things will get somewhat warmer in Sonoma: highs are around 17°C and lows about 2°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Sonoma

Wineries · Tours · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 3 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Attractions like Golden Gate Bridge and Exploratorium make great kid-friendly stops. And it doesn't end there: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, take in nature's colorful creations at Japanese Tea Garden, buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, and engage your brain at California Academy of Sciences.

To find photos, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the San Francisco day trip planning site.

You can drive from Sonoma to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and subway; or take a bus. Traveling from Sonoma in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in San Francisco, with lows of 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Museums · Childrens Museums · Historic Sites

Carmel

— 2 nights
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 5th (Tue): kick back and relax at China Cove and Gibson Beach, admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then stroll through Carmel River State Beach, and finally don't miss a visit to Carmel Beach Boardwalk. On the 6th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hike along Scenic Road Walkway, then kick back and relax at Del Mar Beach, then admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, and finally explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Carmel online itinerary planner.

Drive from San Francisco to Carmel in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 19°C in January, and nighttime lows around 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

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.
On the 7th (Thu), examine the collection at The Getty Center, then get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Hollywood, and then catch some excitement at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. On the next day, discover the magic at Disneyland Park and then look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

For reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles trip itinerary maker website.

You can fly from Carmel to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in January: highs in Los Angeles hover around 24°C, while lows dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks · Museums · Childrens Museums · Fun & Games

Side Trip

San Diego

— 4 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.
Attractions like San Diego Zoo and USS Midway Museum make great kid-friendly stops. The adventure continues: get in on the family fun at SeaWorld San Diego, examine the collection at Maritime Museum of San Diego, kick back and relax at Black's Beach, and walk around Balboa Park.

To find maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the San Diego online holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. January in San Diego sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors · Beaches

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.