21 days in California Itinerary

21 days in California Itinerary

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21 days in California Itinerary

Minneapolis
Drive:  31​h 45​min
Arcata
— 5 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
Yosemite National Park
— 5 nights
Drive:  6​h
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Carmel
— 4 nights
Drive:  33​h
Minneapolis

5
days
Arcata

Arcata ©
Arcata, originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. Take a break from the city and head to Lady Bird Johnson Grove and Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Get some historical perspective at Ferndale Historic Cemetery and Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse. Explore Arcata's surroundings by going to Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy (in Orick), Founders Grove (in Weott) and Trinidad State Beach (in Trinidad). The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Arcata Community Forest, see the interesting displays at End of the Trail Museum, and explore the activities along Klamath River.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Arcata online holiday planner .

Minneapolis to Arcata is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -2 hour difference. While traveling from Minneapolis, expect much colder days and a bit cooler nights in Arcata, ranging from highs of 64°F to lows of 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Arcata

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Orick, Klamath, Trinidad, Ferndale Historic Cemetery, Founders Grove
Accommodations
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Lady Bird Johnson Grove ©
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Founders Grove ©
Founders Grove
Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse ©
Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse

5
days
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.
Visit Bodie and Bodie State Historic Park for their historical value. Step off the beaten path and head to Lembert Dome and Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve. Get out of town with these interesting Yosemite National Park side-trips: Travertine Hot Spring (in Bridgeport), Sonora (Black Oak Casino Resort & Indigeny Reserve) and Castle Air Museum (in Atwater). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Center at Happy Isles, and stroll through Merced Grove.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Yosemite National Park trip simple and quick.

Traveling by car from Arcata to Yosemite National Park takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Arcata in July: highs in Yosemite National Park hover around 82°F, while lows dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Bridgeport, Sonora, Castle Air Museum, Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Bodie
Accommodations
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Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve ©
Lembert Dome ©
Lembert Dome

3
days
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Piedras Blancas and Rotta Winery. Take a break from the city and head to Bluff Trail and Monarch Dunes Golf Club. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Simeon: Peachy Canyon Winery Tasting Room (in Templeton) and Sweet Springs Nature Preserve (in Los Osos). It doesn't end there: stop by Brown Butter Cookie Co.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to San Simeon takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in July, you will find days in San Simeon are colder (59°F), and nights are a bit warmer (53°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Los Osos, Templeton, Brown Butter Cookie Co, Monarch Dunes Golf Club
Accommodations
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Monarch Dunes Golf Club ©
Monarch Dunes Golf Club
Piedras Blancas
Piedras Blancas
Rotta Winery
Rotta Winery

4
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. Carmel Mission and National Steinbeck Center will appeal to museum buffs. Step out of the city life by going to Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail and Lovers Point. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Carmel: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (in Moss Landing), Big Sur (Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park & Pfeiffer State Beach) and Big Basin Redwoods State Park (in Boulder Creek). It doesn't end there: play a few rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links and get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

For other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Carmel tour itinerary builder .

You can drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in July, expect nights in Carmel to be about the same, around 55°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Pacific Grove, Big Sur, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, National Steinbeck Center, Pebble Beach Golf Links
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Carmel.
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Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park ©
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Pebble Beach Golf Links ©
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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