59 days in California Itinerary

59 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

59 days in California Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly + Drive:  9​h
1
Yosemite National Park
— 9 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Bus:  6​h 15​min
2
South Lake Tahoe
— 6 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  5​h 45​min
3
Trinidad
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Healdsburg
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
5
San Francisco
— 9 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Carmel
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
7
Los Angeles
— 9 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
8
San Diego
— 7 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Chicago

9
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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Ansel Adams Gallery and Yosemite Museum Gallery. Visiting Glacier Point and Vernal Fall will get you outdoors. Spend the 9th (Sun) exploring nature at Elizabeth Lake, Yosemite National Park. Spend the 10th (Mon) exploring nature at Bridalveil Fall. Next up on the itinerary: hike along Tuolumne Meadows, take in the dramatic natural features at Lembert Dome, stroll through Nevada Falls Loop, and cruise along Tioga Pass.

For traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park trip planner .

Chicago to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 9-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Chicago to Yosemite National Park, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for much colder nights when traveling from Chicago in June since evenings lows in Yosemite National Park dip to 43°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Elizabeth Lake ©
Elizabeth Lake
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove

6
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.
Take a break from the city and head to West End Beach and Kiva Beach. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Tallac Historic Site and Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum. Explore South Lake Tahoe's surroundings by going to Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum (in Truckee) and Tahoe City (River Rafting & Tubing, Commons Beach Park, & more). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Baldwin Beach, get a taste of the local shopping with Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery, stop by Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Lakeside Beach.

To see where to stay and other tourist information, refer to the South Lake Tahoe trip planner .

Take a bus from Yosemite National Park to South Lake Tahoe in 6.5 hours. In June, daytime highs in South Lake Tahoe are 77°F, while nighttime lows are 41°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can travel to Trinidad.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Tahoe City, Truckee, Meeks Bay Beach
Highlights from your plan
Kiva Beach ©
Kiva Beach
Tallac Historic Site ©
Tallac Historic Site

5
nights
Trinidad

Trinidad ©
Trinidad is a seaside city in Humboldt County, located on the Pacific Ocean 8mi north of the Arcata-Eureka Airport and 15mi north of the college town of Arcata. Let the collections at Art of the Burl Redwood Gallery and Trinidad Museum capture your imagination. Step out of the city life by going to Redwood National Park and Trillium Falls Hike. Change things up with these side-trips from Trinidad: Redwood National Park (Enderts Beach, California Coastal Trail, & more), Humboldt Coastal Nature Center (in Manila) and Stout Grove (in Crescent City). There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape at Camel Rock, cruise along Avenue of the Giants, stop by Holly Yashi Store and Design Studio, and explore and take pictures at Redwood Highway.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Trinidad online trip builder .

Traveling by car from South Lake Tahoe to Trinidad takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from South Lake Tahoe in June: highs in Trinidad hover around 63°F, while lows dip to 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Healdsburg.

Things to do in Trinidad

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Redwood National Park, Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, Art of the Burl Redwood Gallery, Avenue of the Giants, Camel Rock
Highlights from your plan
Humboldt Redwoods State Park ©
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Trillium Falls Hike ©
Trillium Falls Hike

7
nights
Healdsburg

Healdsburg ©
The quaint city of Healdsburg is one of northern California's wine capitals, serving as the meeting point for three of Sonoma's most important wine-producing regions.
Head to Mumm Napa and Petaluma Seed Bankfor some retail therapy. Get some cultural insight at Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards and Modus Operandi Cellars. Explore Healdsburg's surroundings by going to Sonoma (Sonoma Coast State Beach & Sonoma Valley Museum of Art), Bodega Dunes (in Bodega) and B. Wise Vineyards (in Kenwood). There's lots more to do: learn about winemaking at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, identify plant and animal life at Safari West, explore the world behind art at The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum, and examine the collection at Charles M. Schulz Museum.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Healdsburg trip itinerary maker tool .

You can drive from Trinidad to Healdsburg in 4 hours. Traveling from Trinidad in June, you will find days in Healdsburg are somewhat warmer (83°F), and nights are about the same (51°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Healdsburg

Wineries Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

St. Helena, Santa Rosa, Rutherford, Sonoma, The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum
Highlights from your plan
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Sapphire Hill Winery ©
Sapphire Hill Winery
Inglenook ©
Inglenook

9
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visit Golden Gate Bridge and The Embarcadero for their historical value. For shopping fun, head to Exploratorium or Ferry Building Marketplace. Spend the 9th (Tue) exploring nature at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The adventure continues: go for a walk through Fisherman's Wharf, head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, wander the streets of SoMa, and see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique.

To see more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco travel route builder tool .

You can drive from Healdsburg to San Francisco in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Healdsburg in July, expect nights in San Francisco to be about the same, around 57°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

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

4
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. Get a sense of the local culture at Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Gallery by the Sea Carmel. Take a break from the city and head to Point Lobos and Carmel River State Beach. Explore Carmel's surroundings by going to Pfeiffer State Beach (in Big Sur), Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Moss Landing) and Elephant Seal Rookery (in San Simeon). Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach, stop by AiX, tour the pleasant surroundings at Del Mar Beach, and play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Carmel route planner.

Getting from San Francisco to Carmel by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in July, and nighttime lows around 55°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Pfeiffer State Beach, Friends of the Elephant Seal, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

9
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Venice Beach and Boardwalk and Santa Monica State Beach. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and Avila Adobe will appeal to history buffs. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Los Angeles: Santa Monica (Annenberg Community Beach House & Montana Avenue). Pack the 23rd (Tue) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, get engrossed in the history at Museum of Tolerance, get a new perspective on nature at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and make a trip to Hollyhock House.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Los Angeles itinerary site .

Fly from Carmel to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Carmel in July; daily highs in Los Angeles reach 83°F and lows reach 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Santa Monica, The Wende Museum of the Cold War, Norton Simon Museum
Highlights from your plan
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ©
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

7
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.
Let the collections at USS Midway Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego capture your imagination. Head to Gaslamp Quarter and Spanish Village Art Centerfor some retail therapy. There's much more to do: kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove, stroll through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, let the kids burn off some steam at Balboa Park, and stroll around La Jolla Shores Park.

To see other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the San Diego trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to San Diego takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Los Angeles in July: highs in San Diego hover around 77°F, while lows dip to 68°F. On the 31st (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©

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