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
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  5​h
3
Santa Monica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
San Diego
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Newark

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Exploratorium and Ferry Building Marketplace. Get some cultural insight at Fisherman's Wharf and Golden Gate Bridge. And it doesn't end there: step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, browse the eclectic array of goods at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, get a taste of the local shopping with Union Square, and contemplate the long history of SS Jeremiah O'Brien.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip builder site .

Newark to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Newark to San Francisco, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Newark in August: high temperatures in San Francisco hover around 73°F and lows are around 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

2
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.
On the 25th (Sun), explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, take in the dramatic natural features at Taft Point, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Panorama Trail and then hike along Tuolumne Meadows.

To find where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park visit planner .

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. While traveling from San Francisco, expect a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 81°F to lows of 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Monica.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows
Panorama Trail ©
Panorama Trail

1
night
Santa Monica

Santa Monica ©
A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Tue): browse the different shops at Two Rodeo Drive, then listen to music at Third Street Promenade, then immerse yourself in nature at Santa Monica State Beach, and finally take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier.

For ratings, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, use the Santa Monica day trip app .

Do a combination of car and flight from Yosemite National Park to Santa Monica in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect a bit cooler days and warmer nights in Santa Monica, ranging from highs of 76°F to lows of 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Diego.

Things to do in Santa Monica

Beaches Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Two Rodeo Drive
Highlights from your plan
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier
Third Street Promenade ©
Third Street Promenade

2
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.
On the 28th (Wed), examine the collection at San Diego Model Railroad Museum, kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove, and then step aboard Maritime Museum of San Diego. On the 29th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at USS Midway Museum.

For more things to do, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our San Diego day trip planning site .

You can drive from Santa Monica to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of bus and flight. In August, daily temperatures in San Diego can reach 78°F, while at night they dip to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Museums Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Maritime Museum of San Diego ©
Maritime Museum of San Diego

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