8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California route planner

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Route & dates

8 days in California Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  17​h 30​min
1
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
Death Valley National Park
— 3 nights
+3
Drive + bus + taxi + Fly:  21​h
End: Auckland

1
night
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): snap pictures at Bixby Bridge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Point Lobos, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, then kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and finally stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach.

To see reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Big Sur online trip itinerary planner .

Auckland, New Zealand to Big Sur is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 20 hours traveling from Auckland to Big Sur. When traveling from Auckland in October, plan for a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Big Sur: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Point Lobos
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
McWay Falls ©
McWay Falls
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sat): explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, and finally make a trip to San Simeon Pier. Keep things going the next day: pause for some serene contemplation at Santa Rosa Catholic Church, don't miss a visit to Nitt Witt Ridge, then identify plant and animal life at Friends of the Elephant Seal, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the San Simeon road trip planning website .

You can drive from Big Sur to San Simeon in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. While traveling from Big Sur, expect somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in San Simeon, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Nitt Witt Ridge ©
Nitt Witt Ridge
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

3
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Mon): explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point and then get great views at Dante's View. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic natural features at Artists Palette, then explore the activities along Badwater Basin, and then cruise along Artists Dr.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Death Valley National Park journey tool .

Drive from San Simeon to Death Valley National Park in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, train, and car. Traveling from San Simeon in October, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 13°C in Death Valley National Park. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette
Dante's View ©
Dante's View

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