53 days in California Itinerary

53 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

53 days in California Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly + Drive:  19​h 30​min
1
Yosemite National Park
— 7 nights
+2
bus + foot + bus:  6​h 15​min
2
South Lake Tahoe
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
St. Helena
— 5 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 5 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
5
San Diego
— 6 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Los Angeles
— 8 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
7
Crescent City
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
8
San Francisco
— 8 nights
Fly:  17​h
End: Sydney

7
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.
Yosemite National Park is known for nature, trails, scenic drive, wildlife, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, get great views at Tunnel View, cruise along Tioga Pass, and trek along Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

To find ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park driving holiday site .

Sydney, Australia to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 19.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight, subway, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi. You'll gain 18 hours traveling from Sydney to Yosemite National Park due to the time zone difference. Expect little chillier evenings in Yosemite National Park when traveling from Sydney in September, with lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) to allow time to travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows
Sentinel Dome ©
Sentinel Dome

5
nights
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from South Lake Tahoe: Eagle Rock Hiking Trail (in Homewood), Truckee (Truckee River Legacy Trail & Rainbow Bridge / Donner Summit Bridge) and Truckee River Bike Trail (in Tahoe City). There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Emerald Bay State Park, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, tour the pleasant surroundings at Baldwin Beach, and get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

To find where to stay, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read South Lake Tahoe online trip builder .

Traveling by bus from Yosemite National Park to South Lake Tahoe takes 6.5 hours. In September, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can drive to St. Helena.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Truckee, Truckee River Bike Trail, Eagle Rock Hiking Trail, Emerald Bay State Park
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Emerald Bay State Park ©
Emerald Bay State Park
Mt. Tallac Trail ©
Mt. Tallac Trail

5
nights
St. Helena

St. Helena ©
The city of St.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around St. Helena: The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum (in Napa), Healdsburg (Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Stephen & Walker Winery, & more) and Sonoma (Mission San Francisco Solano, Sonoma Plaza, & more). Dedicate the 28th (Sat) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's still lots to do: learn about winemaking at Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, take a memorable tour with Tours, and stop by Petaluma Seed Bank.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our St. Helena road trip planning app .

Getting from South Lake Tahoe to St. Helena by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. In September, St. Helena is a bit warmer than South Lake Tahoe - with highs of 34°C and lows of 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to drive to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in St. Helena

Tours Wineries Outdoors

Side Trips

Napa, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Rutherford, B Cellars Vineyards and Winery
Highlights from your plan
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Wine Tours & Tastings
Gracianna Winery ©
Gracianna Winery

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.
Take a break from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park with a short trip to Manzanar National Historic Site in Independence, about 44 minutes away. There's still lots to do: delve into the lush surroundings at Giant Forest, trek along Congress Trail, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Kings Canyon National Park, and stroll through General Grant Tree Trail.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park road trip app .

Traveling by car from St. Helena to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and car; or do a combination of bus, train, and car. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in October, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can travel to San Diego.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trip

Manzanar National Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest
Moro Rock ©
Moro Rock
Congress Trail ©
Congress Trail

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.
Go for a jaunt from San Diego to Encinitas to see Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens about 46 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: meet the residents at San Diego Zoo, get in on the family fun at SeaWorld San Diego, shop like a local with Gaslamp Quarter, and enjoy some diversion at Balboa Park.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our San Diego trip itinerary planner.

You can fly from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to San Diego in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in October, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 20°C in San Diego. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Outdoors

Side Trip

Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens
Highlights from your plan
San Diego Zoo ©
San Diego Zoo
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Balboa Park ©
Balboa Park

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Anaheim (Disneyland Park & Disney California Adventure Park). Pack the 16th (Wed) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, admire the landmark architecture of Walt Disney Concert Hall, kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, and admire the majestic nature at Topanga State Park.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, use the Los Angeles journey app .

Getting from San Diego to Los Angeles by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. In October in Los Angeles, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 19°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Crescent City.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Anaheim, Santa Monica Pier
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Universal Studios Hollywood ©
Universal Studios Hollywood
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

4
nights
Crescent City

Crescent City ©
Crescent City is the county seat and only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Crescent City: Orick (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park & Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy) and Redwood National Park (Redwood National Park, Trillium Falls Hike, & more). The adventure continues: admire the majestic nature at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park Campground, tour the pleasant surroundings at Point St George Park, take in breathtaking views at Fern Canyon, and enjoy the sand and surf at Enderts Beach.

To see reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Crescent City trip planner.

You can fly from Los Angeles to Crescent City in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Expect cooler weather when traveling from Los Angeles in October: highs in Crescent City hover around 19°C, while lows dip to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel to San Francisco.

Things to do in Crescent City

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Redwood National Park, Orick, Fern Canyon
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Trillium Falls Hike ©
Trillium Falls Hike
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park ©

8
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Dedicate the 31st (Thu) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's much more to do: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and don't miss a visit to Golden Gate Park.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the San Francisco day trip app .

Fly from Crescent City to San Francisco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In October, San Francisco is somewhat warmer than Crescent City - with highs of 26°C and lows of 15°C. You will have some time to spend on the 4th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Tours Museums Parks
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

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