8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in California Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly:  7​h 15​min
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  9​h
End: Newark

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Fri): take a stroll through Twin Peaks and then snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Sat): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Alcatraz Island, then buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, and then take a stroll through Union Square.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, read San Francisco road trip planning tool .

Newark to San Francisco is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 3 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Newark in November, with highs in San Francisco at 64°F and lows at 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Shopping Parks
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Union Square ©
Union Square

1
night
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 18th (Sun): pause for some serene contemplation at Yosemite Valley Chapel, then get great views at Tunnel View, then explore the striking landscape at Taft Point, and finally explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park vacation maker tool .

You can drive from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. Traveling from San Francisco in November, expect nights in Yosemite National Park to be cooler, around 19°F, while days are little chillier, around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite, Tunnel View ©
Yosemite, Tunnel View
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Taft Point ©
Taft Point

1
night
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. On the 19th (Mon), stroll through Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos State Reserve, and then stop by The Cheese Shop.

For ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Carmel online travel planner .

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in November, plan for a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 65°F by day to 47°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
The Cheese Shop ©
The Cheese Shop

2
nights
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Tue): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Ephraim Pottery West Gallery, admire the natural beauty at Cambria Nursery & Florist, stop by Sebastian General Store, then stroll through Moonstone Beach, and finally stop by Brown Butter Cookie Company.

For reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, read San Simeon online itinerary builder .

Drive from Carmel to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Carmel in November, San Simeon is a bit cooler at night with lows of 40°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Cambria, Brown Butter Cookie Company
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): wander the streets of State Street, then don't miss a visit to Old Mission Santa Barbara, then enjoy breathtaking views from Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and finally stop by Italian Pottery Outlet.

For ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara trip planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Santa Barbara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Simeon in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Santa Barbara, with lows of 46°F. On the 23rd (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Italian Pottery Outlet ©
Italian Pottery Outlet
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Courthouse ©
Santa Barbara County Courthouse

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