20 days in California Itinerary

20 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

20 days in California Itinerary

Start: Bangkok
Fly:  20​h 15​min
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
3
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Big Sur
— 1 night
bus:  30​min
5
Carmel
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
Yosemite National Park
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h
7
Berkeley
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
8
Sacramento
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
9
Healdsburg
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  18​h 45​min
End: Bangkok

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Tue): kick back and relax at Children's Pool and then kick back and relax at La Jolla Cove. On your second day here, examine the collection at USS Midway Museum and then see the interesting displays at Maritime Museum of San Diego.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read San Diego online tour itinerary planner .

Bangkok, Thailand to San Diego is an approximately 20.5-hour flight. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Bangkok to San Diego is minus 15 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Bangkok in December: highs in San Diego hover around 23°C, while lows dip to 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Museums
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
USS Midway Museum ©
USS Midway Museum
Maritime Museum of San Diego ©
Maritime Museum of San Diego

3
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Head to Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Bergamot Stationfor plenty of shopping. El Pueblo de Los Angeles and Santa Monica Pier will appeal to history buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Los Angeles: Santa Monica (Montana Avenue & Santa Monica Farmers Market). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at The Getty Center, buy something for everyone on your list at The Grove, wander the streets of Angelino Heights Historic Area, and admire the masterpieces at Hammer Museum.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Los Angeles online vacation planner .

Getting from San Diego to Los Angeles by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or fly. In December, daily temperatures in Los Angeles can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Abbot Kinney Boulevard ©
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

1
night
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): get to know the fascinating history of State Street Underpass, admire the masterpieces at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, then steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, then do a tasting at Jaffurs Wine Cellars, and finally learn about winemaking at Grassini Family Vineyards.

For where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara day trip planning app .

You can drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Santa Barbara when traveling from Los Angeles in December, with lows around 5°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Historic Sites Museums Wineries
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Museum of Art ©
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Jaffurs Wine Cellars ©
Jaffurs Wine Cellars

1
night
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach and then admire the majestic nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Big Sur trip planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Big Sur takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or fly. When traveling from Santa Barbara in December, plan for slightly colder days in Big Sur, with highs around 19°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to catcht the bus to Carmel.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

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. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): look for all kinds of wild species at Point Lobos, then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then look for gifts at AiX.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, use the Carmel attractions planner.

Carmel is just a short distance from Big Sur. In December, plan for daily highs up to 19°C, and evening lows to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

AiX, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard

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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): get a taste of the local shopping with Yosemite Museum Gallery, then take in the awesome beauty at Cathedral Beach Picnic Area, and then get to know the fascinating history of Big Trees Lodge, National Historic Landmark. Here are some ideas for day two: take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass, then take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, and then make a trip to Olmsted Point.

For ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Yosemite National Park trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Carmel to Yosemite National Park takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Traveling from Carmel in December, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are a bit cooler (9°C), and nights are much colder (-11°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Berkeley.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Outdoors Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Tioga Pass ©
Tioga Pass
Yosemite Museum Gallery ©
Yosemite Museum Gallery

1
night
Berkeley

Berkeley ©
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California. On the 27th (Fri), take a stroll through Downtown Alameda, explore the world behind art at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), and then stop by Moe's Books.

For ratings, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Berkeley day trip planning tool .

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Yosemite National Park to Berkeley takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in December, plan for a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in Berkeley: temperatures range from 17°C by day to 5°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can drive to Sacramento.

Things to do in Berkeley

Shopping Nightlife Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Downtown Alameda
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Moe's Books ©
Moe's Books

1
night
Sacramento

Sacramento ©
The capital city of America's most economically significant state, Sacramento is an important stop for any politico.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): do a tasting at Bogle Winery, then examine the collection at California State Railroad Museum, and then look for gifts at Andy's Candy Apothecary.

For other places to visit, maps, photos, and more tourist information, use the Sacramento trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Berkeley to Sacramento takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in December, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can go by car to Healdsburg.

Things to do in Sacramento

Wineries Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Bogle Winery
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
California State Railroad Museum ©
California State Railroad Museum
Andy's Candy Apothecary ©
Andy's Candy Apothecary

2
nights
Healdsburg

Healdsburg ©
The quaint city of Healdsburg is one of northern California's wine capitals, serving as the meeting point for three of Sonoma's most important wine-producing regions.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): learn about winemaking at Alexander Valley Vineyards, do a tasting at Sapphire Hill Winery, then do a tasting at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Mumm Napa. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about winemaking at Jordan Vineyard & Winery, then learn about winemaking at Gracianna Winery, and then do a tasting at Modus Operandi Cellars.

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Healdsburg trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by car from Sacramento to Healdsburg takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Healdsburg can reach 18°C, while at night they dip to 2°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Francisco.

Things to do in Healdsburg

Wineries Shopping Museums

Side Trips

B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, Modus Operandi Cellars, Mumm Napa
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
B Cellars Vineyards and Winery ©
B Cellars Vineyards and Winery
Jordan Vineyard & Winery ©
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
Gracianna Winery ©
Gracianna Winery

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Shop till you drop at Union Square and Ferry Building Marketplace. Your inner history buff will appreciate Golden Gate Bridge and The Embarcadero. There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Alcatraz Island, hunt for treasures at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at SS. Peter and Paul Church, and buy something for everyone on your list at NFL Shop Pier 39.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip itinerary planning site .

Getting from Healdsburg to San Francisco by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Expect a bit warmer evenings in San Francisco when traveling from Healdsburg in December, with lows around 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

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