45 days in California Itinerary

45 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

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Route & dates

45 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  9​h 45​min
1
Crescent City
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
2
San Francisco
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Santa Rosa
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
South Lake Tahoe
— 5 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
5
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 8 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 15​min
7
Los Angeles
— 7 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
8
San Diego
— 6 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Chicago

4
nights
Crescent City

Crescent City ©
Crescent City is the county seat and only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. Get in touch with nature at Redwood National Park and Trillium Falls Hike. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Enderts Beach and Camel Rock. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Crescent City: California Coastal Trail (in Redwood National Park) and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (in Orick). There's more to do: trek along Stout Grove and contemplate the waterfront views at Point St George Park.

Planning Crescent City trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

Chicago to Crescent City is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Chicago to Crescent City due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Chicago in July, you will find days in Crescent City are colder (62°F), and nights are little chillier (52°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) to allow time to travel to San Francisco.

Things to do in Crescent City

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Camel Rock
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Trillium Falls Hike ©
Trillium Falls Hike
California Coastal Trail ©
California Coastal Trail

7
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Alcatraz Island and Union Square. Get in touch with nature at Fort Funston National Park and Marshall’s Beach. Spend the 21st (Sun) exploring nature at Presidio of San Francisco. There's lots more to do: browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace, take a memorable tour with Tours, have fun and explore at Exploratorium, and take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Crescent City to San Francisco takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. While traveling from Crescent City, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in San Francisco, ranging from highs of 73°F to lows of 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Rosa.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
City Lights Booksellers ©
City Lights Booksellers
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

4
nights
Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa ©
Located less than an hour's drive north of San Francisco, Santa Rosa serves as a convenient hub for travelers on their way to the world-famous Napa Valley wine country.
Shop till you drop at Oxbow Public Market and Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery. Get in touch with nature at Sonoma Coast State Beach and Fort Ross State Historic Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Rosa: St. Helena (Pride Mountain Vineyards, V. Sattui Winery, & more), Bodega Dunes (in Bodega) and Stephen & Walker Winery (in Healdsburg). There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Safari West, take in the exciting artwork at Patrick Amiot, and admire the majestic nature at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve.

To see photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Santa Rosa online trip itinerary planner .

Drive from San Francisco to Santa Rosa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from San Francisco in July, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Santa Rosa: temperatures range from 84°F by day to 53°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to go by car to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Santa Rosa

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

St. Helena, Fort Ross State Historic Park, Imagery Estate Winery & Art Gallery, Oxbow Public Market, Stephen & Walker Winery
Highlights from your plan
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Fort Ross State Historic Park ©
Fort Ross State Historic Park
Safari West ©
Safari West

5
nights
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe ©
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tallac Historic Site and Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery. Step out of the city life by going to Baldwin Beach and Meeks Bay Beach. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at El Dorado Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Pope Beach, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, and explore the activities along Emerald Bay State Park.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the South Lake Tahoe online trip builder .

Drive from Santa Rosa to South Lake Tahoe in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Expect little chillier evenings in South Lake Tahoe when traveling from Santa Rosa in July, with lows around 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Meeks Bay Beach, Emerald Bay State Park
Highlights from your plan
El Dorado Beach ©
El Dorado Beach
Van Sickle Bi-State Park ©
Van Sickle Bi-State Park
Tallac Historic Site ©
Tallac Historic Site

2
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. Visiting Point Lobos and Asilomar State Beach will get you outdoors. Get some cultural insight at Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. Step out of Carmel to go to Moss Landing and see Dolphin & Whale Watching, which is approximately 44 minutes away. There's much more to do: stroll through Carmel River State Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Del Mar Beach, and hike along Scenic Road Walkway.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Carmel trip maker website .

Traveling by car from South Lake Tahoe to Carmel takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from South Lake Tahoe in July: highs in Carmel hover around 69°F, while lows dip to 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©

8
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.
Head to Ansel Adams Gallery and Yosemite Museum Galleryfor plenty of shopping. Get in touch with nature at Tuolumne Meadows and Taft Point. Spend the 9th (Fri) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, hike along Panorama Trail, take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Lembert Dome.

To see reviews, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park route planner .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Yosemite National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. When traveling from Carmel in August, plan for a bit warmer days and slightly colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 81°F by day to 43°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows

7
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.
Shop till you drop at Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Amoeba Music. The Getty Center and Griffith Observatory are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Los Angeles' surroundings by going to Malibu (Nicholas Canyon Beach & Zuma Beach), Santa Monica (Montana Avenue, Santa Monica Farmers Market, & more) and Disneyland Park (in Anaheim). Pack the 17th (Sat) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, tour the pleasant surroundings at Will Rogers State Beach, make a trip to Hollywood Walk of Fame, and admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica State Beach.

Plan a Los Angeles trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Yosemite National Park to Los Angeles takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Plan for much warmer nights when traveling from Yosemite National Park in August since evenings lows in Los Angeles dip to 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Malibu, Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

6
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.
Shop till you drop at Gaslamp Quarter and Liberty Public Market. We've included these beaches for you: La Jolla Cove and Children's Pool. Step out of San Diego to go to Alpine and see Lions, Tigers & Bears, which is approximately 1 hour away. There's lots more to do: meet the residents at San Diego Zoo, get a taste of the local shopping with Spanish Village Art Center, kick back and relax at Black's Beach, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Mission Beach Park.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read San Diego journey maker tool .

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. While traveling from Los Angeles, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in San Diego, ranging from highs of 78°F to lows of 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Lions, Tigers & Bears
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
Lions, Tigers & Bears ©
Lions, Tigers & Bears

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