8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Drive
2
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
Drive
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive
4
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

San Francisco

— 1 night

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Fri): examine the collection at Cable Car Museum, then steep yourself in history at City Lights Booksellers, and then take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, then take a leisurely stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and finally browse the different shops at Ferry Building Marketplace.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco day trip website.

Houston to San Francisco is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 2 hours. In January, daytime highs in San Francisco are 59°F, while nighttime lows are 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Historic Sites · Shopping · Nature · Parks

Yosemite National Park

— 1 night
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 17th (Sun), make a trip to Washburn Point, then admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, then admire the masterpieces at Yosemite Museum Gallery, and finally take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View.

To find other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park online day trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. When traveling from San Francisco in January, plan for slightly colder days and cooler nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 44°F by day to 13°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can travel to San Simeon.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Museums · Shopping · Nature · Parks

San Simeon

— 1 night
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 18th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, then identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, and then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle.

For photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon visit planner.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to San Simeon in 5.5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in January: highs in San Simeon hover around 63°F, while lows dip to 37°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Mon) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Simeon

Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Los Angeles

— 2 nights

City of Angels

Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Tue): look for gifts at Edelweiss Chocolate Factory, admire the masterpieces at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, then take a stroll through Montana Avenue, and finally examine the collection at The Getty Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: shop like a local with The Grove, browse the different shops at Two Rodeo Drive, then explore the world behind art at Diorama-museum of Bhagavad-gita, then look and learn at Griffith Observatory, and finally view the masterpieces at The Disney Gallery.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Los Angeles trip planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of taxi and train. In January, Los Angeles is somewhat warmer than San Simeon - with highs of 70°F and lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can drive to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums · Shopping · Neighborhoods · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Palm Springs

— 2 nights
On the 21st (Thu), admire the natural beauty at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, then take a stroll through El Paseo Shopping District, then stop by Wabi Sabi Japan Living, and finally admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum.

To find reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Palm Springs online journey planner.

Getting from Los Angeles to Palm Springs by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 71°F in January, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping

Side Trips

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.