43 days in California Itinerary

43 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Los Angeles International Airport, Drive to Santa Barbara
1
Santa Barbara
— 6 nights
Drive
2
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Carmel
— 5 nights
Drive
4
San Francisco
— 6 nights
Fly
5
Crescent City
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Santa Rosa
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Yosemite National Park
— 5 nights
Drive
8
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 6 nights
Drive to Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Fly to Washington Dulles International Airport

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Santa Barbara

— 6 nights

The American Riviera

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
Take a break from the city and head to Ventura to Ojai Paved Bike Path and El Capitan State Beach. Do some cultural sightseeing at Firestone Vineyard and Hans Christian Andersen Museum. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Santa Barbara: Camarillo (Camarillo Premium Outlets & McGrath Family Farm), Pismo Beach (Pismo Pier & Monarch Butterfly Grove) and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum (in Simi Valley). The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Santa Barbara Harbor, learn about winemaking at SAARLOOSons, indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and get to know the resident critters at Santa Barbara Zoo.

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

Washington to Santa Barbara is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 3 hours. In May in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 71°F during the day and 52°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks · Wineries · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 29 — Jun 4:

San Simeon

— 3 nights
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.
Hearst Ranch Winery and Hearst Castle are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get in touch with nature at Piedras Blancas and Sand Dollar Beach. Change things up with a short trip to Salmon Creek Falls Trail in Big Sur (about 36 minutes away). There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, take in the waterfront at San Simeon Pier, get great views at Ragged Point Overlook, and admire the majestic nature at San Simeon State Park.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our San Simeon road trip planning website.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in June, plan for much warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 93°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 4 — 7:

Carmel

— 5 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. Get a sense of the local culture at Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard and Wyland Gallery Carmel. Escape the urban bustle at Pebble Beach Golf Links and McWay Falls. Venture out of the city with trips to Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Partington Point, &more). There's still lots to do: grab your bike and head to Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, make a trip to China Rock, snap pictures at Bixby Bridge, and admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Carmel trip planning tool.

Getting from San Simeon to Carmel by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in June, you will find days in Carmel are colder (68°F), and nights are about the same (53°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 7 — 12:

San Francisco

— 6 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Explore hidden gems such as Crocker Art Museum and Presidio of San Francisco. Get a sense of the local culture at Grace Cathedral and Wine Tours & Tastings. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Francisco: California State Railroad Museum (in Sacramento), Muir Woods National Monument (in Mill Valley) and Point Reyes Lighthouse (in Point Reyes National Seashore). There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Marin Headlands, examine the collection at Walt Disney Family Museum, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and explore the world behind art at Legion of Honor.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Francisco travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Francisco takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In June, daytime highs in San Francisco are 71°F, while nighttime lows are 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Crescent City.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums · Parks · Tours · Wineries

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 12 — 18:

Crescent City

— 4 nights
Crescent City is the county seat and only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. Get some cultural insight at Trees of Mystery and Battery Point Lighthouse. Step out of the city life by going to Redwood National Park and Stout Grove. Venture out of the city with trips to Luffenholtz Beach County Park (in Westhaven-Moonstone), Redwood Highway (in Eureka) and Wilson Creek Beach (in Klamath). The adventure continues: admire the majestic nature at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, don't miss a visit to Tour-Through Tree, and identify plant and animal life at Northcoast Marine Mammal Center.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Crescent City online visit planner.

Traveling by flight from San Francisco to Crescent City takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from San Francisco in June; daily highs in Crescent City reach 61°F and lows reach 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) to allow time to drive to Santa Rosa.

Things to do in Crescent City

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 18 — 22:

Santa Rosa

— 5 nights

Where Everything Comes Together

Located less than an hour's drive north of San Francisco, Santa Rosa serves as a convenient hub for travelers on their way to the world-famous Napa Valley wine country.
Get outdoors at Armstrong Redwood State Reserve and Balloon Rides. Step off the beaten path and head to Charles M. Schulz Museum and Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Explore Santa Rosa's surroundings by going to Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga), St. Helena (Orin Swift Cellars & V. Sattui Winery) and Mumm Napa (in Rutherford). Dedicate the 24th (Thu) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's more to do: do a tasting at Dry Creek Vineyard and identify plant and animal life at Safari West.

To find reviews, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Rosa trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Crescent City to Santa Rosa takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Crescent City in June, you will find days in Santa Rosa are warmer (83°F), and nights are about the same (51°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Santa Rosa

Wineries · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 22 — 27:

Yosemite National Park

— 5 nights
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Nevada Falls Loop and Lewis Creek Trail. Get outdoors at Cooks Meadow Loop and Mono Lake County Park. When in Yosemite National Park, make a side trip to see Bodie State Historic Park in Bridgeport, approximately Bridgeport away. The adventure continues: make a trip to Washburn Point, take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View, explore the striking landscape at Glacier Point, and take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall.

To find more things to do, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park driving holiday planner.

Getting from Santa Rosa to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 5 hours. Traveling from Santa Rosa in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Yosemite National Park, with lows of 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jun 27 — Jul 2:

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 3rd (Sat): don't miss a visit to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, contemplate the long history of Harmony Borax Works, explore and take pictures at Artists Dr, contemplate the waterfront views at Badwater Basin, then explore the striking landscape at Devil's Golf Course, and finally explore the striking landscape at Zabriskie Point. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Funeral Mountains, get great views at Dante's View, and then get great views at Father Crowley Vista Point.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Death Valley National Park road trip app.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Death Valley National Park takes 4.5 hours. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in July, expect nights in Death Valley National Park to be much warmer, around 73°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 101°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 2 — 4:

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

— 6 nights

A Land of Giants

With mountain peaks reaching past 4,250 m (14,000 ft) and trees stretching to over 75 m (250 ft) high, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks present nature on a grand scale.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Kings Canyon National Park and Generals Hwy. Visiting General Grant Tree Trail and Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park will get you outdoors. Step out of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park with an excursion to Whiskey Flat Trail in Kernville--about 1h 50 min away. The adventure continues: hike along Zumwalt Meadow Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Moro Rock Trail, explore the activities along Kern River, and steep yourself in history at General Sherman Tree.

For traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park travel planner.

Drive from Death Valley National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 7 hours. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Death Valley National Park in July since evenings lows in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park dip to 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 4 — 10:

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.