17 days in California Itinerary

17 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California holiday planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Bus
3
Mammoth Lakes
— 1 night
Bus
4
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 1 night
Drive
5
Bakersfield
— 1 night
Drive
6
Joshua Tree National Park
— 1 night
Drive
7
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive
9
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive
10
San Francisco
— 1 day
Fly

S M T W T F S
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San Francisco

— 4 nights

City by the Bay

San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Step out of San Francisco to go to Mill Valley and see Muir Woods National Monument, which is approximately 48 minutes away. Dedicate the 28th (Sat) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Union Square, see the interesting displays at USS Pampanito, contemplate the waterfront views at San Francisco Bay, and get curious at California Academy of Sciences.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read San Francisco trip planner.

Barcelona, Spain to San Francisco is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time (CET) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -9 hour difference. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Barcelona in August, with highs in San Francisco at 26°C and lows at 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Tours · Wineries · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Aug 26 — 30:

Yosemite National Park

— 2 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.
Yosemite National Park is known for nature, trails, and scenic drive. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, take some stellar pictures from Half Dome, trek along Tuolumne Meadows, and don't miss a visit to Yosemite Village.

To see ratings and more tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park online vacation builder.

Traveling by car from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park takes 4 hours. When traveling from San Francisco in August, plan for somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 7°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to catch the bus to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Find places to stay Aug 30 — Sep 1:

Mammoth Lakes

— 1 night
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): explore the activities along Lake Mary, contemplate the waterfront views at Convict Lake, and then explore the striking landscape at Devils Postpile National Monument.

To find reviews, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Mammoth Lakes trip planner.

You can take a bus from Yosemite National Park to Mammoth Lakes in 3.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In September, daily temperatures in Mammoth Lakes can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can catch the bus to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 2:

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): explore the striking landscape at Moro Rock Trail, steep yourself in history at General Sherman Tree, and then take in breathtaking views at Kings Canyon National Park.

To see more things to do, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park visit planner.

Traveling by bus from Mammoth Lakes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Traveling from Mammoth Lakes in September, expect nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to be much hotter, around 17°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 38°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Bakersfield.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 3:

Bakersfield

— 1 night
For more things to do, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Bakersfield trip itinerary maker website.

Drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Bakersfield in 4 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in September since evenings lows in Bakersfield dip to 22°C. You'll set off for Joshua Tree National Park on the 4th (Sat).

Things to do in Bakersfield

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums
Find places to stay Sep 3 — 4:

Joshua Tree National Park

— 1 night
Joshua Tree National Park takes its name from the Joshua tree, a twisted, spiky tree with bayonet-shaped leaves at the top that's one of the few plant species hardy enough to thrive in the extreme climate of the Mojave Desert.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): explore the striking landscape at Keys View, then admire the verdant scenery at Hidden Valley Nature Trail, and then explore the striking landscape at Skull Rock. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Sun): make a trip to Arch Rock Nature Trail and then take in nature's colorful creations at Cholla Cactus Garden.

To see more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Joshua Tree National Park road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Bakersfield to Joshua Tree National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. September in Joshua Tree National Park sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 23°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Joshua Tree National Park

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 5:

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 6th (Mon): shop like a local with The Grove and then make an unforgettable trip to Disneyland Park. On the 7th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: buy something for everyone on your list at Two Rodeo Drive, take a leisurely stroll along Santa Monica Pier, make a trip to Santa Monica Yacht Harbor Sign, examine the collection at The Getty Center, then don't miss a visit to Hollywood Walk of Fame, and finally look and learn at Griffith Observatory.

To see photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles trip builder.

You can drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Los Angeles in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus; or fly. Traveling from Joshua Tree National Park in September, expect nights in Los Angeles to be about the same, around 22°C, while days are slightly colder, around 34°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 5 — 7:

Santa Barbara

— 1 night

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.
On the 8th (Wed), contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara and then don't miss a visit to Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Santa Barbara trip planner.

You can drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Los Angeles in September, expect Santa Barbara to be little chillier, temps between 30°C and 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can go by car to Big Sur.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 7 — 8:

Big Sur

— 2 nights

Big Country of the South

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 9th (Thu): take in the views from Bixby Bridge, view the masterpieces at Hawthorne Gallery, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, then enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Big Sur sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Big Sur takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in September, plan for slightly colder days in Big Sur, with highs around 26°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 10:

San Francisco

— 1 day

City by the Bay

Kick off your visit on the 10th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Alcatraz Island, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and then take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge.

For reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read San Francisco trip maker.

Getting from Big Sur to San Francisco by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and train; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Find places to stay Sep 10 — 11:

California travel guide

4.1
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.