9 days in California Itinerary

9 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour planner

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Route & dates

9 days in California Itinerary

Start: Charlotte
Fly + bus:  11​h
1
Death Valley National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
2
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  9​h
End: Charlotte

1
night
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
To see ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Death Valley National Park trip builder app .

Charlotte to Death Valley National Park is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and car; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Charlotte in December, plan for slightly colder nights in Death Valley National Park, with lows around 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Badwater Basin ©
Badwater Basin
Eureka Mine ©
Eureka Mine

1
night
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 (Tue): trek along Pacific Valley Bluff Trail, identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, and then contemplate the long history of The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read San Simeon trip itinerary site .

Drive from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Death Valley National Park in December: highs in San Simeon hover around 63°F, while lows dip to 33°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Cambria, Pacific Valley Bluff Trail
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas Light Station ©
Piedras Blancas Light Station
The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel ©
The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then explore the activities along Monterey Bay, and then take an in-depth tour of Pacific House Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Fri): kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and then take an in-depth tour of Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

Discover how to plan a Monterey trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Drive from San Simeon to Monterey in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Monterey when traveling from San Simeon in December, with lows around 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Beaches Nature

Side Trips

Carmel, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
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 28th (Sat), take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan, then don't miss a visit to Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, and finally explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take an in-depth tour of Mono Basin Historical Society and then steep yourself in history at Bodie State Historic Park.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park sightseeing planning website .

You can drive from Monterey to Yosemite National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car; or do a combination of flight and car. When traveling from Monterey in December, plan for little chillier days and colder nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 46°F by day to 14°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Basin Historical Society
Highlights from your plan
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
El Capitan ©
El Capitan

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