53 days in California Itinerary

53 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

53 days in California Itinerary

Start: Berlin
Fly:  9​h 30​min
1
Los Angeles
— 8 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Ventura
— 5 nights
Bus:  30​min
3
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
Morro Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Santa Cruz
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h
6
Half Moon Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
7
Orinda
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
8
Marin County
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 30​min
9
San Diego
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
10
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
Fly + Bus:  7​h 45​min
11
South Lake Tahoe
— 3 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Bus:  6​h 15​min
12
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Bus + Fly + Bus:  10​h 45​min
13
Eureka
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  24​h
End: Berlin

8
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.
Bring the kids along to Venice Beach and Boardwalk and Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Santa Monica State Beach and Santa Monica Bay. Venture out of the city with trips to Torrance Beach (in Redondo Beach), Long Beach (City Beach, Rosie's Dog Beach, &more) and Laguna Beach (Main Beach & Crystal Cove). And it doesn't end there: appreciate the extensive heritage of Hollywood Walk of Fame, stop by El Pueblo de Los Angeles, enjoy the sand and surf at Redondo Beach, and stroll through The Wedge.

To find ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Los Angeles sightseeing planner.

Berlin, Germany to Los Angeles is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 9 hours. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in September, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Ventura.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Long Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Redondo Beach, Laguna Beach
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica Bay ©
Santa Monica Bay
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach

5
nights
Ventura

Ventura ©
Ventura, officially the City of San Buenaventura, is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States. Take a break from the city and head to Zuma Beach and Oxnard Beach Park. Visit Heritage Square and Cemetery Memorial Park for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Malibu (Leo Carrillo State Park and Beach, El Matador State Beach, &more). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Silver Strand Beach, stroll through McGrath State Beach, take in the waterfront at Ventura Pier and Promenade, and stroll around Serra Cross Park.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Ventura tour itinerary planning website .

You can drive from Los Angeles to Ventura in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Los Angeles in September; daily highs in Ventura reach 28°C and lows reach 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) early enough to catch the bus to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Ventura

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Oxnard, Malibu
Highlights from your plan
Leo Carrillo State Park and Beach ©
Leo Carrillo State Park and Beach
Zuma Beach ©
Zuma Beach
Oxnard Beach Park ©
Oxnard Beach Park

4
nights
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like State Street Underpass and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. Take a break from the city and head to Butterfly Beach and Arroyo Burro County Beach Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Ostrich Land (in Buellton) and Quicksilver Ranch (in Solvang). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Thousand Steps Beach and stroll through Carpinteria State Beach.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Santa Barbara trip builder.

Santa Barbara is just a short distance from Ventura. In September, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Morro Bay.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Carpinteria, Ostrich Land, Goleta Beach, Quicksilver Ranch, El Capitan State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Butterfly Beach ©
Butterfly Beach
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach

3
nights
Morro Bay

Morro Bay ©
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. Visit Hearst Castle and Nitt Witt Ridge for their historical value. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Piedras Blancas and Moonstone Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Morro Bay: Moonstone Beach (in Trinidad) and William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach (in San Simeon). There's more to do: trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and enjoy the sand and surf at Morro Strand State Beach.

To find photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Morro Bay online travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Morro Bay takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In September in Morro Bay, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Morro Bay

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Cambria, San Simeon, Moonstone Beach
Highlights from your plan
William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach ©
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

5
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center and San Carlos Cathedral are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Asilomar State Beach and Lovers Point. Get out of town with these interesting Santa Cruz side-trips: Garrapata State Park (in Carmel) and Big Basin Redwoods State Park (in Boulder Creek). There's more to do: kick back and relax at Davenport Landing Beach and tour the pleasant surroundings at Cowell's Beach.

For photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Santa Cruz trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Morro Bay to Santa Cruz takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Morro Bay in October: highs in Santa Cruz hover around 28°C, while lows dip to 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to drive to Half Moon Bay.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Davenport Landing Beach, Garrapata State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, San Carlos Cathedral
Highlights from your plan
Garrapata State Park ©
Garrapata State Park
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach

3
nights
Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay ©
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, United States. Visit Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve and Miramar Beach for some beach relaxation. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Montara Point Lighthouse and Filoli. There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Cowell Ranch State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Gray Whale Cove State Beach, relax in the rural setting at Lemos Farm, and don't miss a visit to Mavericks.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Half Moon Bay trip planning app .

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. When traveling from Santa Cruz in October, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Half Moon Bay: temperatures range from 22°C by day to 11°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to travel to Orinda.

Things to do in Half Moon Bay

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Montara Point Lighthouse, Filoli, Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Poplar Beach ©
Poplar Beach
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve ©
Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Cowell Ranch State Beach ©
Cowell Ranch State Beach

3
nights
Orinda

Orinda ©
Orinda is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Your inner history buff will appreciate Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park and Benicia Capitol State Historic Park. Get in touch with nature at Lafayette Reservoir and Martinez Regional Shoreline. When in Orinda, make a side trip to see Sycamore Grove Regional Park in Livermore, approximately Livermore away. There's more to do: contemplate the long history of Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site Tao House and walk around Point Isabel.

For other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Orinda trip website .

You can drive from Half Moon Bay to Orinda in an hour. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Half Moon Bay in October: highs in Orinda hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to travel to Marin County.

Things to do in Orinda

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Richmond, Lafayette Reservoir, Martinez Regional Shoreline, Sycamore Grove Regional Park, Benicia Capitol State Historic Park
Highlights from your plan
Point Isabel ©
Point Isabel
Lafayette Reservoir ©
Lafayette Reservoir

5
nights
Marin County

Marin County ©
Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, the natural beauty of Marin County provides an optimal setting for the oldest cross-country running event in the United States.
We've included these beaches for you: Stinson Beach and Bodega Head. Get a sense of the local culture at Fort Ross State Historic Park and Point Reyes Lighthouse. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Marin County: Doran Beach (in Bodega Bay) and Salt Point State Park (in Jenner). The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Drakes Beach and stroll through Bolinas Beach.

To find traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Marin County road trip app .

Traveling by car from Orinda to Marin County takes 1.5 hours. Traveling from Orinda in October, plan for a bit cooler nights in Marin County, with lows around 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to travel to San Diego.

Things to do in Marin County

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Bodega Bay, Jenner, Drakes Beach
Highlights from your plan
Drakes Beach ©
Drakes Beach
Fort Ross State Historic Park ©
Fort Ross State Historic Park
Point Reyes Lighthouse ©
Point Reyes Lighthouse

3
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. Visiting Children's Pool and Ocean Beach will get you outdoors. There's much more to do: walk around La Jolla Shores Park, kick back and relax at Windansea Beach, stroll through Pacific Beach, and steep yourself in history at Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House.

To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the San Diego trip itinerary builder site .

Explore your travel options from Marin County to San Diego with the Route module. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in San Diego when traveling from Marin County in October, with lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow time to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park
Children's Pool ©
Children's Pool

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Manzanar National Historic Site and then hike along Mt. Whitney. Keep things going the next day: hike along Moro Rock and then trek along Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park.

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park online vacation planner .

Fly from San Diego to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Diego in October, plan for a bit cooler nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, with lows around 12°C. On the 24th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Manzanar National Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Manzanar National Historic Site ©
Manzanar National Historic Site
Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park ©

3
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.
Family-friendly places like Meeks Bay Beach and Commons Beach Park will thrill your kids. Get outdoors at Pope Beach and Tahoe City - South/North Trailheads. There's more to do: examine the collection at Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum and tour the pleasant surroundings at Cascade Falls Trail.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, go to the South Lake Tahoe holiday planner.

Do a combination of flight and bus from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to South Lake Tahoe in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in October, expect nights in South Lake Tahoe to be cooler, around 0°C, while days are little chillier, around 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Tahoe City, Meeks Bay Beach, Cascade Falls Trail
Highlights from your plan
Commons Beach Park ©
Commons Beach Park
Pope Beach ©
Pope Beach
Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum ©

3
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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Fri): take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, then take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, then trek along Panorama Trail, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall. On the 29th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: trek along Four Mile Trail, then hike along Wawona Meadow, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Tenaya Lake.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip planner.

You can take a bus from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park in 6.5 hours. In October in Yosemite National Park, expect temperatures between 22°C during the day and -2°C at night. On the 30th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Eureka.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Panorama Trail ©
Panorama Trail
Vernal Fall ©
Vernal Fall

1
night
Eureka

Eureka ©
Eureka is the principal city and county seat of Humboldt County in the Redwood Empire region of California. Kick off your visit on the 31st (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Trinidad State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Patrick's Point State Park, and then identify plant and animal life at Arcata Community Forest. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at College Cove, then pause for some photo ops at Trinidad Memorial and Memorial Lighthouse, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Agate Beach.

To see where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Eureka trip planner.

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Eureka by combination of bus and flight takes about 11 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, subway, and flight; or do a combination of bus and train. Plan for much hotter nights when traveling from Yosemite National Park in October since evenings lows in Eureka dip to 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Eureka

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Trinidad, Arcata Community Forest, Agate Beach
Highlights from your plan
Trinidad State Beach ©
Trinidad State Beach
Patrick's Point State Park ©
Patrick's Point State Park
Arcata Community Forest ©
Arcata Community Forest

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