31 days in California Itinerary

31 days in California Itinerary

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31 days in California Itinerary

Sydney
Fly:  16​h 30​min
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
Yosemite National Park
— 6 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
Mendocino
— 5 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
San Simeon
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Big Sur
— 3 nights
bus + shuttle + Fly:  21​h 30​min
Sydney

5
days
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
For shopping fun, head to Union Square or City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. Step out of the city life by going to Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods National Monument. Change things up with these side-trips from San Francisco: Gracianna Winery (in Healdsburg), Castello di Amorosa (in Calistoga) and Armstrong Redwood State Reserve (in Guerneville). There's much more to do: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, see the interesting displays at Musee Mecanique, engage your brain at Exploratorium, and wander the streets of Fisherman's Wharf.

To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read San Francisco trip itinerary maker tool .

Sydney, Australia to San Francisco is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) (AEST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -18 hour difference. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Sydney in August; daily highs in San Francisco reach 26°C and lows reach 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Armstrong Redwood State Reserve, Gracianna Winery, Muir Woods National Monument, Castello di Amorosa
Accommodations
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Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Castello di Amorosa ©
Castello di Amorosa
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument

6
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 Bodie State Historic Park and Tunnel View. Step out of the city life by going to Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point. When in Yosemite National Park, make a side trip to see Tioga Rd in Lee Vining, approximately 52 minutes away. There's lots more to do: admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, explore the striking landscape at Sentinel Dome, don't miss a visit to Olmsted Point, and mingle with the ghosts of the past at Bodie.

To see other places to visit, maps, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park travel itinerary planner .

Getting from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of subway, flight, bus, and taxi. While traveling from San Francisco, expect somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 32°C to lows of 7°C. You will have some time to spend on the 12th (Mon) before leaving for Mendocino.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Bodie, Tioga Rd, Bodie State Historic Park
Accommodations
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Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Tunnel View ©
Tunnel View

4
days
Mendocino

Mendocino ©
Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Head to Highlight Gallery and Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle's Children's Booksfor plenty of shopping. Popular historic sites such as Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA and Ford House Visitor Center & Museum are in your itinerary. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Mendocino: Schooner Gulch State Beach (in Point Arena), Black Sands Beach (in Shelter Cove) and Briceland Vineyards Winery (in Redway). Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Glass Beach, see the interesting displays at Guest House Museum, admire the majestic nature at Russian Gulch State Park, and take in nature's colorful creations at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Mendocino trip planner .

Traveling by car from Yosemite National Park to Mendocino takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and train; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Yosemite National Park in August, with highs in Mendocino at 39°C and lows at 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can go by car to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Mendocino

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Black Sands Beach, Briceland Vineyards Winery
Accommodations
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Schooner Gulch State Beach ©
Schooner Gulch State Beach
Manchester Beach / Mendocino Coast KOA ©
Glass Beach ©
Glass Beach

5
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.
Get outdoors at Giant Forest and Kings Canyon National Park. Step off the beaten path and head to General Sherman Tree and Manzanar National Historic Site. Change things up with these side-trips from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park: Eastern California Museum (in Independence) and Lone Pine Film History Museums (in Lone Pine). And it doesn't end there: take in the dramatic natural features at Moro Rock, take in the dramatic scenery at Roaring River Falls, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Zumwalt Meadow Trail.

To find more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip planner.

Drive from Mendocino to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, shuttle, and car; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, and car. In August, daytime highs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are 42°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. On the 22nd (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to San Simeon.

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

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Moonstone Beach and William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. For shopping fun, head to Sebastian General Store or Shell Shop Inc. Step out of San Simeon with an excursion to Morro Rock in Morro Bay--about 38 minutes away. The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, look for gifts at Red Moose Cookie Company, trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, and enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read San Simeon trip itinerary builder app .

Getting from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to San Simeon by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, shuttle, and bus. Expect much colder weather when traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in August: highs in San Simeon hover around 18°C, while lows dip to 14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Cambria, Morro Bay
Accommodations
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Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas
Piedras Blancas
Morro Rock ©
Morro Rock

4
days
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at The Cheese Shop and Coast Gallery Big Sur. You'll get in some beach time at Pfeiffer State Beach and Asilomar State Beach. Venture out of the city with trips to Monterey (San Carlos Cathedral & Monterey Bay) and Carmel (Seventeen Mile Drive, Point Lobos State Reserve, & more). There's still lots to do: immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, snap pictures at Bixby Bridge, admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, and hike along Partington Cove.

To see where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Big Sur online visit planner .

Getting from San Simeon to Big Sur by car takes about 1.5 hours. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from San Simeon in August: highs in Big Sur hover around 23°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Carmel, 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

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