5 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California visit planner
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Make it your trip
Drive
1
Yosemite National Park
— 1 night
Drive
2
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
— 1 night
Drive
3
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive

S M T W T F S
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3
4
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Yosemite National Park — 1 night

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 2nd (Sun): cruise along Tioga Pass, then take some stellar pictures from Yosemite, Tunnel View, then take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Sentinel Dome. On your second day here, admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, take in the dramatic scenery at Yosemite Falls, then admire the sheer force of Bridalveil Fall, and finally trek along Mariposa Grove.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Yosemite National Park vacation website.

Oakland to Yosemite National Park is an approximately 4-hour car ride. While traveling from Oakland, expect slightly colder days and much colder nights in Yosemite National Park, ranging from highs of 66°F to lows of 28°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.
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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park — 1 night

A Land of Giants

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.
On the 4th (Tue), take in the dramatic natural features at Moro Rock Trail, then take a peaceful walk through Giant Forest, and then explore the stunning scenery at Kings Canyon National Park.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park trip planner.

You can drive from Yosemite National Park to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in 5.5 hours. When traveling from Yosemite National Park in October, plan for somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park: temperatures range from 81°F by day to 51°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel to Carmel.
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Carmel — 2 nights

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. Start off your visit on the 5th (Wed): visit Old Fisherman's Wharf, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Asilomar State Beach, explore the activities along Monterey Bay, then shop like a local with Wyland Gallery Carmel, and finally admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, use the Carmel day trip tool.

Drive from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to Carmel in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. While traveling from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Carmel, ranging from highs of 70°F to lows of 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can go by car back home.
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Side Trips
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California travel guide

4.2
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.
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