28 days in California Itinerary

28 days in California Itinerary

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28 days in California Itinerary

Sydney
Fly:  16​h 30​min
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
Mendocino
— 4 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
Yosemite National Park
— 5 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
Carmel
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly:  18​h
Sydney

5
days
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Popular historic sites such as Alcatraz Island and Twin Peaks are in your itinerary. Head to Ferry Building Marketplace and City Lights Booksellers & Publishersfor plenty of shopping. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Francisco: Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga), Sebastopol Center For the Arts (in Sebastopol) and Powell's Sweet Shoppe (in Windsor). And it doesn't end there: take a stroll through Union Square, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Grace Cathedral, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and buy something for everyone on your list at Ghirardelli Square.

For where to stay, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip planner

Sydney, Australia to San Francisco is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 18 hours traveling from Sydney to San Francisco. Traveling from Sydney in February, expect nights in San Francisco to be much colder, around 10°C, while days are slightly colder, around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Mendocino.

Things to do in San Francisco

Shopping Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sebastopol Center For the Arts, Castello di Amorosa, Powell's Sweet Shoppe
Accommodations
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Ferry Building Marketplace ©
Ferry Building Marketplace
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa

3
days
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Step off the beaten path and head to Highlight Gallery and Noyo Headlands Park. Visiting Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA and Jug Handle State Reserve will get you outdoors. When in Mendocino, make a side trip to see Point Arena - Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument in Point Arena, approximately 56 minutes away. There's still lots to do: stop by Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Books, get a taste of the local shopping with Glass Fire Art Glass Gallery, take an in-depth tour of Kelley House Museum, and see the interesting displays at Guest House Museum.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Mendocino holiday app

You can drive from San Francisco to Mendocino in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of flight and bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from San Francisco in February since evenings lows in Mendocino dip to 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Mendocino

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Fort Bragg, Point Arena
Accommodations
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Jug Handle State Reserve ©
Jug Handle State Reserve

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Glacier Point and Mammoth Mountain. Step out of the city life by going to Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center. The adventure continues: get great views at Tunnel View, make a trip to Olmsted Point, hike along Wawona Meadow, and take in the dramatic natural features at El Capitan.

To find reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park trip planning app

You can drive from Mendocino to Yosemite National Park in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Mendocino in February, with highs in Yosemite National Park at 10°C and lows at -8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

Mammoth Lakes
Accommodations
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Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tunnel View ©
Tunnel View
El Capitan ©
El Capitan

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. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Point Lobos State Reserve and Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach. Relax by the water at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Asilomar State Beach. Get out of town with these interesting Carmel side-trips: Big Sur (McWay Falls, Partington Cove, & more). And it doesn't end there: look for gifts at The Cheese Shop, explore the activities along Monterey Bay, and pause for some serene contemplation at San Carlos Cathedral.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Carmel trip builder

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Carmel in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. While traveling from Yosemite National Park, expect a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 20°C to lows of 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, Monterey, Asilomar State Beach
Accommodations
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Point Lobos State Reserve ©
Point Lobos State Reserve
Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

2
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.
On the 18th (Sun), look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room, and then stroll through Piedras Blancas. On the 19th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach and then stop by Shell Shop Inc.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary planner

Traveling by car from Carmel to San Simeon takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Carmel in February, expect nights in San Simeon to be about the same, around 11°C, while days are slightly colder, around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Moonstone Beach, Shell Shop Inc
Accommodations
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Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas
Piedras Blancas
Shell Shop Inc
Shell Shop Inc

3
days
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.
Head to State Street and Global Gardensfor plenty of shopping. Discover out-of-the-way places like Bart's Books and Old Mission Santa Barbara. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Barbara: Ventura (Ventura Harbor Village & VOM FASS Ventura), Sunstone Vineyards & Winery (in Santa Ynez) and Camarillo Premium Outlets (in Camarillo). And it doesn't end there: browse the eclectic array of goods at Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market, get a sense of history and politics at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, look for gifts at Chocolate Maya, and do a tasting at Grassini Family Vineyards.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Santa Barbara trip planner

Drive from San Simeon to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in February, you will find days in Santa Barbara are somewhat warmer (20°C), and nights are little chillier (7°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Shopping Historic Sites Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Ventura, Camarillo Premium Outlets, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, The Good Life, Global Gardens
Accommodations
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Bart's Books
Bart's Books
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Camarillo Premium Outlets ©
Camarillo Premium Outlets

4
days
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.
Do your shopping at Bergamot Station and Abbot Kinney Boulevard. El Pueblo de Los Angeles and Santa Monica Pier will appeal to history buffs. There's still lots to do: hunt for treasures at Melrose Trading Post, look and learn at Griffith Observatory, enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, and look for gifts at Amoeba Music.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Los Angeles trip itinerary planner

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Santa Barbara in February: high temperatures in Los Angeles hover around 25°C and lows are around 12°C. On the 27th (Tue), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping Museums Parks

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Accommodations
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Bergamot Station ©
Bergamot Station
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
El Pueblo de Los Angeles
El Pueblo de Los Angeles

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