29 days in California Itinerary

29 days in California Itinerary

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29 days in California Itinerary

Edinburgh
Fly:  15​h 15​min
San Francisco
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Calistoga
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Mendocino
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h
Crescent City
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
Arcata
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 30​min
Yosemite National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
bus + train:  7​h 45​min
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Fly + bus + train:  15​h 45​min
Edinburgh

3
days
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Alcatraz Island and SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Explore hidden gems such as Muir Woods National Monument and California State Railroad Museum. When in San Francisco, make a side trip to see Old Sacramento in Sacramento, approximately 2 hours away. There's still lots to do: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, engage your brain at Exploratorium, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and get to know the fascinating history of Filbert Steps.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip planner.

Edinburgh, UK to San Francisco is an approximately 15.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -8 hour difference. Traveling from Edinburgh in July, things will get a bit warmer in San Francisco: highs are around 26°C and lows about 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Fri) early enough to drive to Calistoga.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Sacramento, Muir Woods National Monument
Accommodations
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Exploratorium ©
Exploratorium
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

1
day
Calistoga

Calistoga ©
Indulgence is the name of the game in Calistoga.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): do a tasting at V. Sattui, then learn about winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery, then learn about winemaking at Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards, and finally step into the grandiose world of Castello di Amorosa.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Calistoga holiday planner.

You can drive from San Francisco to Calistoga in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a bus. While traveling from San Francisco, expect somewhat warmer days and slightly colder nights in Calistoga, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Mendocino.

Things to do in Calistoga

Wineries Historic Sites

Side Trips

St. Helena, Robert Mondavi Winery
Accommodations
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Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
V. Sattui ©
V. Sattui
Robert Mondavi Winery ©
Robert Mondavi Winery

2
days
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): visit a coastal fixture at Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum, then see the vivid underwater world at Point Arena - Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument, and then kick back and relax at Schooner Gulch State Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Mon): view the masterpieces at Highlight Gallery, contemplate the long history of Ford House Visitor Center & Museum, then enjoy the sand and surf at Glass Beach, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Russian Gulch State Park.

To see traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Mendocino trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Calistoga to Mendocino in 2.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Calistoga in July, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Mendocino: temperatures range from 39°C by day to 15°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can go by car to Crescent City.

Things to do in Mendocino

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Point Arena, Glass Beach
Accommodations
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Glass Beach ©
Glass Beach
Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum ©
Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum

2
days
Crescent City

Crescent City ©
Crescent City is the county seat and only incorporated city in Del Norte County, California. On the 10th (Tue), see the interesting displays at End of the Trail Museum, see the interesting displays at Trees of Mystery, and then stroll the grounds of Brother Jonathan Cemetery. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Battery Point Lighthouse, then take an in-depth tour of Del Norte County Historical Society, then admire the majestic nature at Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park Campground, and finally trek along Stout Grove.

To find traveler tips, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Crescent City online itinerary creator.

Traveling by car from Mendocino to Crescent City takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from Mendocino in July, plan for much colder days in Crescent City, with highs around 19°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to travel to Arcata.

Things to do in Crescent City

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trip

Klamath
Accommodations
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Trees of Mystery ©
Trees of Mystery
Stout Grove ©
Stout Grove

1
day
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. Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Redwood National Park.

To see other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Arcata itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Crescent City to Arcata takes 1.5 hours. July in Arcata sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Arcata

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trip

Redwood National Park
Accommodations
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Natural History Museum ©
Natural History Museum

3
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Tunnel View and Glacier Point. Take a break from the city and head to Tuolumne Meadows and Vernal Fall. There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, contemplate the waterfront views at Tenaya Lake, make a trip to Olmsted Point, and take a memorable drive along Tioga Pass.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park vacation trip planner.

Traveling by car from Arcata to Yosemite National Park takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. When traveling from Arcata in July, plan for a bit warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Yosemite National Park: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 8°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature
Accommodations
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Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Tunnel View ©
Tunnel View
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows

1
day
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
On the 17th (Tue), immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Big Sur trip builder.

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Big Sur takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in July, plan for slightly colder days in Big Sur, with highs around 23°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Big Sur

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Carmel
Accommodations
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Carmel City Beach/Carmel River Beach ©
Point Lobos State Reserve ©
Point Lobos State Reserve
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

1
day
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): appreciate the history behind Friends of Hearst Castle, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas.

For more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read San Simeon online itinerary creator.

Getting from Big Sur to San Simeon by car takes about 1.5 hours. When traveling from Big Sur in July, plan for slightly colder days in San Simeon, with highs around 17°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Moonstone Beach
Accommodations
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Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas
Piedras Blancas
Friends of Hearst Castle ©
Friends of Hearst Castle

3
days
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park ©
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at General Sherman Tree and Kings Canyon National Park. Escape the urban bustle at Giant Forest and Manzanar National Historic Site. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park: Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery (in Independence) and Lone Pine Film History Museums (in Lone Pine). There's more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Moro Rock.

To find ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park holiday planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus, shuttle, and car. Traveling from San Simeon in July, expect nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to be about the same, around 16°C, while days are much warmer, around 42°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can travel to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Independence, Lone Pine Film History Museums
Accommodations
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Giant Forest ©
Giant Forest
Kings Canyon National Park ©
Kings Canyon National Park
General Sherman Tree ©
General Sherman Tree

2
days
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point and then explore the activities along Badwater. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Wed): take in the dramatic natural features at Artists Palette, then take a memorable drive along Artists Dr, then get engrossed in the history at The Ranch at Furnace Creek, and finally take some stellar pictures from Dante's View.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Death Valley National Park vacation builder.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Death Valley National Park. Traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in July, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 26°C in Death Valley National Park. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Accommodations
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Zabriskie Point
Zabriskie Point
Dante's View ©
Dante's View
Artists Palette ©
Artists Palette

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Venice Beach and Boardwalk and El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like La Brea Tar Pits & Museum and Hollywood Walk of Fame. Pack the 30th (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Getty Center The Publications, explore the world behind art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica Beach, and take an in-depth tour of Avila Adobe.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles trip itinerary builder.

Do a combination of bus and train from Death Valley National Park to Los Angeles in 8 hours. Traveling from Death Valley National Park in July, expect nights in Los Angeles to be slightly colder, around 20°C, while days are colder, around 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Museums Theme Parks Parks

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Accommodations
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Getty Center The Publications ©
Getty Center The Publications
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory

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