8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in California Itinerary

Start: Cincinnati
Fly:  7​h
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  9​h
End: Cincinnati

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge and then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun): have fun and explore at Exploratorium and then explore and take pictures at Golden Gate Park.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip itinerary maker site .

Cincinnati to San Francisco is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and subway; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Cincinnati to San Francisco is minus 3 hours. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Cincinnati in June, with highs in San Francisco at 71°F and lows at 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

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 24th (Mon): stroll through Piedras Blancas, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station. On the next day, explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach.

To see maps, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon online holiday planner .

Getting from San Francisco to San Simeon by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and taxi; or do a combination of flight and bus. When traveling from San Francisco in June, plan for much hotter days in San Simeon, with highs around 93°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

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 26th (Wed), contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay, then kick back and relax at Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge, and then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel vacation planning tool .

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in June, you will find days in Carmel are much colder (68°F), and nights are about the same (53°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

Monterey Bay, Pacific Grove Shoreline Parkway Marine Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay

3
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 27th (Thu), make a trip to Olmsted Point, then hike along Tuolumne Meadows, and then explore the activities along Tenaya Lake. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, trek along Panorama Trail, then take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall, and finally admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park vacation builder site .

Getting from Carmel to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus, flight, and car; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, flight, and car. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Carmel in June: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 79°F, while lows dip to 43°F. You'll have a few hours on the 29th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Vernal Fall ©
Vernal Fall

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