19 days in California Itinerary

19 days in California Itinerary

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19 days in California Itinerary

San Diego
Fly + taxi:  3​h
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
Mendocino
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
Ukiah
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Calistoga
— 2 nights
bus + subway + Fly:  7​h 30​min
Palm Springs
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
San Diego

3
days
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply referred to as Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Relax by the water at Point Lobos State Reserve and Pfeiffer State Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Take a break from Carmel with a short trip to Elephant Seal Rookery in San Simeon, about 1h 50 min away. There's more to do: admire all the interesting features of Seventeen Mile Drive and get to know the fascinating history of Cannery Row.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Carmel itinerary planner.

San Diego to Carmel is an approximately 3-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from San Diego in January; daily highs in Carmel reach 62°F and lows reach 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Mendocino.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Cannery Row, Elephant Seal Rookery
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Carmel.
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Point Lobos State Reserve ©
Point Lobos State Reserve
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach ©

4
days
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Get a sense of the local culture at Point Cabrillo Light Station and Briceland Vineyards Winery. Visit Black Sands Beach and Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA for some beach relaxation. When in Mendocino, make a side trip to see Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum in Point Arena, approximately 56 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: grab your bike and head to Noyo Headlands Park, steep yourself in history at Ford House Visitor Center & Museum, see the interesting displays at Sea Glass Museum, and view the masterpieces at Highlight Gallery.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Mendocino trip builder.

Traveling by car from Carmel to Mendocino takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. Traveling from Carmel in February, plan for a bit cooler nights in Mendocino, with lows around 38°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to travel to Ukiah.

Things to do in Mendocino

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Briceland Vineyards Winery, Black Sands Beach
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Mendocino.
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Point Cabrillo Light Station ©
Point Cabrillo Light Station
Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum ©
Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum

4
days
Ukiah

Ukiah
Ukiah is the county seat and largest city of Mendocino County, California. Discover out-of-the-way places like Gualala Point Regional Park and Toulouse Vineyards & Winery. Get some cultural insight at Navarro Vineyards & Winery and Saracina Vineyards. Change things up with these side-trips from Ukiah: Philo (Handley Cellars Winery, Goldeneye Winery, & more), BobDog Winery (in Cloverdale) and Historic Courthouse Museum (in Lakeport). There's more to do: learn about winemaking at Barra of Mendocino and see the interesting displays at Grace Hudson Museum-Sun House.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Ukiah itinerary planner.

You can drive from Mendocino to Ukiah in 1.5 hours. In February in Ukiah, expect temperatures between 60°F during the day and 38°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Calistoga.

Things to do in Ukiah

Wineries Museums Trails

Side Trips

Philo, Historic Courthouse Museum, Saracina Vineyards, BobDog Winery, Gualala Point Regional Park
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Ukiah.
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Navarro Vineyards & Winery
Navarro Vineyards & Winery
Barra of Mendocino ©
Barra of Mendocino
Saracina Vineyards ©
Saracina Vineyards

2
days
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sat): examine the collection at Sharpsteen Museum, learn about winemaking at V. Sattui, then examine the collection at Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, and finally step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa. On the 11th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: learn about winemaking at Davis Family Vineyards, examine the collection at Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg, then learn about winemaking at Peterson Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Stephen & Walker Winery.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Calistoga sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Ukiah to Calistoga takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 61°F in February, and nighttime lows around 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Palm Springs.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Healdsburg, St. Helena
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Calistoga.
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Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Davis Family Vineyards
Davis Family Vineyards
Peterson Winery ©
Peterson Winery

4
days
Palm Springs

Palm Springs
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Sunnylands and Palm Springs Art Museum. Appreciate the collections at Cabot Pueblo Museum Trading Post & Gallery and La Quinta Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Palm Desert (CODA Gallery & Living Desert Zoo & Gardens) and Joshua Tree National Park (in Twentynine Palms). Next up on the itinerary: take in breathtaking views at Indian Canyons, take an in-depth tour of Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, gain insight at Palm Springs Air Museum, and take a stroll through El Paseo Shopping District.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Palm Springs trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus, subway, and flight from Calistoga to Palm Springs takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Calistoga in February; daily highs in Palm Springs reach 72°F and lows reach 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Palm Desert, La Quinta Museum, Joshua Tree National Park, Cabot Pueblo Museum Trading Post & Gallery, Sunnylands
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Palm Springs.
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Sunnylands
Sunnylands
CODA Gallery ©
CODA Gallery

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