15 days in California Itinerary

15 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in California Itinerary

Start: Auckland
Fly:  15 h 45 min
1
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Bus:  30 min
2
Sausalito
— Few hours
Drive:  45 min
3
Sonoma
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
Mariposa
— Few hours
Drive:  1 h 15 min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Bus:  5 h 15 min
6
Paso Robles
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 15 min
7
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 15 min
8
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly:  15 h 45 min
End: Auckland

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Exploratorium and Musee Mecanique are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit China Beach and San Gregorio State Beach for some beach relaxation. There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum, and get to know the fascinating history of Twin Peaks.

For maps, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our San Francisco itinerary planner.

Auckland, New Zealand to San Francisco is an approximately 16-hour flight. Traveling from Auckland to San Francisco, you'll gain 20 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Auckland in September, expect nights in San Francisco to be about the same, around 16°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Sausalito.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Museums Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Musee Mecanique ©
Musee Mecanique
Cable Car Museum ©
Cable Car Museum

few
hours
Sausalito

Sausalito ©
Sausalito is a city in Marin County, California. To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Sausalito trip builder.

Sausalito is just a short distance from San Francisco. September in Sausalito sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Sonoma.

Things to do in Sausalito

Museums

Side Trip

Marin Center
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Marin Center ©
Marin Center

3
nights
Sonoma

Sonoma ©
Set in the heart of one of the United States' most esteemed wine-producing regions, just 45 minutes from San Francisco, Sonoma boasts colonial Mexican architecture, including a mission.
On the 17th (Sun), kick back and relax at Sonoma Coast State Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Doran Beach. On the 18th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the exciting artwork at Patrick Amiot, do a tasting at Iron Horse Vineyards, then learn about winemaking at Gracianna Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Williamson Wines Tasting Room.

For traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Sonoma trip planner.

Traveling by car from Sausalito to Sonoma takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Sausalito in September, Sonoma is slightly colder at night with lows of 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can travel to Mariposa.

Things to do in Sonoma

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Doran Beach
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Gracianna Winery ©
Gracianna Winery
Williamson Wines Tasting Room ©
Williamson Wines Tasting Room
Sonoma Coast State Beach ©
Sonoma Coast State Beach

few
hours
Mariposa

Mariposa ©
Set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mariposa prides itself on its friendly small-town feel and Old West heritage.
On the 19th (Tue), settle in for a delightful tour with a horse-drawn carriage tour, then get engrossed in the history at Mariposa Museum and History Center, and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For traveler tips, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Mariposa vacation builder.

You can drive from Sonoma to Mariposa in 3.5 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Sonoma in September: high temperatures in Mariposa hover around 38°C and lows are around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Mariposa

Museums
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Mariposa Museum and History Center ©
Mariposa Museum and History Center

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Wed): don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, then hike along Lembert Dome, and then take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass.

To find other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park vacation planner.

You can drive from Mariposa to Yosemite National Park in 2 hours. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Mariposa in September: high temperatures in Yosemite National Park hover around 28°C and lows are around 3°C. You'll have a few hours on the 21st (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Paso Robles.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass
Lembert Dome ©
Lembert Dome
Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias ©
Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias

1
night
Paso Robles

Paso Robles ©
A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
To see more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Paso Robles vacation planner.

Drive from Yosemite National Park to Paso Robles in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, things will get a bit warmer in Paso Robles: highs are around 38°C and lows about 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Trails Outdoors

Side Trip

Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Adelaida Vineyards & Winery ©
Adelaida Vineyards & Winery

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 23rd (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, enjoy the sea views from Point Pinos Lighthouse, and then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos State Reserve.

For more things to do and tourist information, read Carmel vacation trip planner.

Traveling by car from Paso Robles to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Paso Robles in September, you will find days in Carmel are much colder (24°C), and nights are about the same (15°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Point Pinos Lighthouse
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Point Pinos Lighthouse ©
Point Pinos Lighthouse

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, and then kick back and relax at Baker Beach. On your second day here, take in the spiritual surroundings of Grace Cathedral, wander the streets of Chinatown, then take in the waterfront at The Embarcadero, and finally admire the majestic nature at Angel Island State Park.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our San Francisco itinerary builder.

Getting from Carmel to San Francisco by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Neighborhoods Nature
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf
California Academy of Sciences ©
California Academy of Sciences

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