8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Cambria
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Bus to Las Vegas, Fly to New York City

S M T W T F S
27
28
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

San Francisco

— 1 night

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Muir Woods National Monument, stroll around Lincoln Park, and then snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: buy something for everyone on your list at Ferry Building Marketplace, then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, and then take a stroll through Fisherman's Wharf.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, use the San Francisco trip planner.

New York City to San Francisco is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and subway. The time zone difference when traveling from New York City to San Francisco is minus 3 hours. Traveling from New York City in March, expect San Francisco to be somewhat warmer, temps between 65°F and 50°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Carmel

— 2 nights
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. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Pfeiffer State Beach, immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, then kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach, and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel road trip planner.

Drive from San Francisco to Carmel in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 64°F in March, and nighttime lows around 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can go by car to Cambria.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Cambria

— 2 nights
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Kick off your visit on the 9th (Wed): cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, then stroll through Moonstone Beach, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Thu): stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, then get a dose of the wild on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, and then contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Cambria trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Carmel to Cambria in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, train, and taxi. When traveling from Carmel in March, plan for somewhat warmer days in Cambria, with highs around 72°F, while nights are little chillier with lows around 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can go by car to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Cambria

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Death Valley National Park

— 2 nights

Hottest, Driest, Lowest

Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Fri): don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, take in breathtaking views at Twenty Mule Team Canyon, take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, explore the activities along Badwater Basin, then take in the dramatic natural features at Devil's Golf Course, and finally explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Cambria to Death Valley National Park takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of bus, train, and car. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in March, and nighttime lows around 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

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.