55 days in California Itinerary

55 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sacramento
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Yosemite National Park
— 6 nights
Drive
3
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 5 nights
Fly
5
San Diego
— 8 nights
Fly
6
Santa Barbara
— 7 nights
Drive
7
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Monterey
— 5 nights
Drive
9
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Fly
10
Crescent City
— 6 nights
Fly

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Sacramento

— 5 nights

River City

The capital city of America's most economically significant state, Sacramento is an important stop for any politico.
Do some cultural sightseeing at California State Railroad Museum and Fountain & Tallman Museum. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Crocker Art Museum and Old Sacramento Waterfront. Venture out of the city with trips to Oroville (The Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation, Mother Orange Tree, &more), Yolo County Historical Museum (in Woodland) and River Rafting & Tubing (in Lotus). Next up on the itinerary: admire the natural beauty at California State Capitol Museum, examine the collection at National Yo-Yo Museum, do a tasting at Fitzpatrick Winery and Lodge, and explore the activities along Clear Lake State Park.

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Sacramento road trip planning tool.

Seattle to Sacramento is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Seattle in September, expect nights in Sacramento to be about the same, around 58°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 88°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Sacramento

Museums · Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 6 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.
Explore hidden gems such as Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls. Get in touch with nature at Yosemite, Tunnel View and Half Dome. Get out of town with these interesting Yosemite National Park side-trips: Bodie State Historic Park (in Bridgeport), Lewis Creek Trail (in Fish Camp) and Mono Lake Vista Point (in Lee Vining). Spend the 18th (Sat) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. There's still lots to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome, admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, and cruise along Tioga Pass.

To see maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Sacramento to Yosemite National Park in 3.5 hours. When traveling from Sacramento in September, plan for little chillier days and much colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 74°F by day to 38°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Death Valley National Park

— 3 nights

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Explore hidden gems such as Zabriskie Point and Devil's Golf Course. Get in touch with nature at Badwater Basin and Panamint Range. There's much more to do: get great views at Dante's View, contemplate the long history of Geologist's Cabin, trek along Daylight Pass, and take an in-depth tour of The Ranch at Furnace Creek.

To see traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Death Valley National Park road trip site.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park in 4.5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, plan for somewhat warmer days and warmer nights in Death Valley National Park: temperatures range from 91°F by day to 63°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to go by car to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

— 5 nights

A Land of Giants

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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at General Sherman Tree and Golden Cactus Ghost Town & Old West Museum. Visiting Giant Forest and Kings Canyon National Park will get you outdoors. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park: Whiskey Flat Trail (in Kernville) and Gus's Fresh Jerky (in Olancha). Next up on the itinerary: trek along General Grant Tree Trail, explore the activities along Kern River, admire the sheer force of Grizzly Falls, and explore the striking landscape at Moro Rock Trail.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip planning website.

Getting from Death Valley National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park by car takes about 7 hours. In September, daytime highs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are 90°F, while nighttime lows are 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to San Diego.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trips

San Diego

— 8 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Wine Tours & Tastings. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Diego: Oceanside Pier (in Oceanside), Mission San Juan Capistrano (in San Juan Capistrano) and Old Town Temecula (in Temecula). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Coronado Beach, stroll around La Jolla Shores Park, stroll the grounds of Fort Rosecrans Cemetery, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Pacific Beach.

Plan a trip to San Diego easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can fly from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to San Diego in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in September, you will find days in San Diego are a bit cooler (79°F), and nights are a bit warmer (68°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can travel to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Nature

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 7 nights

The American Riviera

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum and Wine Tours & Tastings. Popular historic sites such as Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Old Mission Santa Barbara are in your itinerary. Venture out of the city with trips to Camarillo Premium Outlets (in Camarillo), Pismo Beach (Pismo Pier & Monarch Butterfly Grove) and Hans Christian Andersen Museum (in Solvang). The adventure continues: take a leisurely stroll along Santa Barbara Harbor, meet the residents at Santa Barbara Zoo, kick back and relax at Goleta Beach, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Miramar Beach.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Santa Barbara tour planner.

Traveling by flight from San Diego to Santa Barbara takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from San Diego in October since evenings lows in Santa Barbara dip to 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wineries

Side Trips

San Simeon

— 3 nights
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Hearst Castle and Jade Cove. Get outdoors at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop and San Simeon State Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Simeon: Big Sur (Salmon Creek Falls Trail & Big Creek Bridge). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, make a trip to San Simeon Pier, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake San Antonio, and take some stellar pictures from Ragged Point Overlook.

To see photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the San Simeon sightseeing planning site.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Santa Barbara, expect somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in San Simeon, ranging from highs of 83°F to lows of 46°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can go by car to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Monterey

— 5 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Explore hidden gems such as Point Lobos and Dolphin & Whale Watching. We've included these beaches for you: Pfeiffer State Beach and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Monterey: Big Sur (Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, McWay Falls, &more) and Santa Cruz (West Cliff Drive & Natural Bridges State Beach). There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay, grab your bike and head to Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, don't miss a visit to Fairy Tale Cottages of Hugh Comstock, and get a taste of the local shopping with Wyland Gallery Carmel.

To see maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Monterey travel itinerary planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Monterey by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in October, expect nights in Monterey to be somewhat warmer, around 52°F, while days are slightly colder, around 70°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

San Francisco

— 6 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Cable Car Museum and Musee Mecanique will appeal to museum buffs. Step out of the city life by going to Muir Woods National Monument and Boat Tours & Water Sports. Get out of town with these interesting San Francisco side-trips: Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga), Robert Mondavi Winery (in Oakville) and V. Sattui Winery (in St. Helena). Dedicate the 24th (Sun) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. And it doesn't end there: admire the majestic nature at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Grace Cathedral, examine the collection at Charles M. Schulz Museum, and learn about winemaking at VJB Cellars.

Take the guesswork out of planning a San Francisco vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Monterey to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or fly. In October, daytime highs in San Francisco are 73°F, while nighttime lows are 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to travel to Crescent City.

Things to do in San Francisco

Wineries · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

Crescent City

— 6 nights
Crescent City is the county seat and only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. Visiting Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Trees of Mystery will get you outdoors. Battery Point Lighthouse and Radar Station B-71 are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Freshwater Lagoon (in Orick), Redwood National Park (in Redwood National Park) and Trinidad (Luffenholtz Beach Park & Trinidad Memorial and Memorial Lighthouse). Next up on the itinerary: trek along Stout Grove, kick back and relax at Luffenholtz Beach County Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Mad River Hatchery, and admire all the interesting features of Redwood Highway.

Plan my Crescent City trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

You can fly from San Francisco to Crescent City in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from San Francisco in October, with highs in Crescent City at 62°F and lows at 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Crescent City

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

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.