12 days in California Itinerary

12 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California route maker

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
San Diego
— 2 nights
2
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
3
San Simeon
— 1 night
4
Monterey
— 2 nights
5
San Francisco
— 1 night
6
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights

2
nights
San Diego

San Diego ©
Divided into neighborhoods with distinct characters and cultural heritages, San Diego sits just north of the Mexican border and offers visitors a blend of tourist attractions, including a lively nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a thriving musical scene.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at La Jolla Shores Park, then stroll through South Carlsbad State Beach, and then take in the waterfront at Oceanside Pier. Keep things going the next day: pause for some photo ops at The Unconditional Surrender, enjoy the sand and surf at Pacific Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Windansea Beach, and finally kick back and relax at Del Mar City Beach.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our San Diego trip itinerary site.

Rochester to San Diego is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Rochester to San Diego due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Rochester in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in San Diego, with lows around 61°F. On the 4th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in San Diego

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Del Mar City Beach, Coronado Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach, Oceanside Pier
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Shores Park ©
La Jolla Shores Park
Coronado Beach ©
Coronado Beach
South Carlsbad State Beach ©
South Carlsbad State Beach

2
nights
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 5th (Tue): take in the dramatic natural features at Zabriskie Point, take in the dramatic natural features at The Devil's Speedway, and then take in breathtaking views at Twenty Mule Team Canyon. Here are some ideas for day two: take in breathtaking views at Mosaic Canyon and then admire the sheer force of Darwin Falls.

To see photos, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Death Valley National Park trip planning site.

Drive from San Diego to Death Valley National Park in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train, bus, and car. When traveling from San Diego in May, plan for a bit warmer days in Death Valley National Park, with highs around 83°F, while nights are a bit cooler with lows around 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your plan
Twenty Mule Team Canyon ©
Twenty Mule Team Canyon
Zabriskie Point ©
Zabriskie Point
Darwin Falls ©
Darwin Falls

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, then do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, then enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and finally identify plant and animal life at Friends of the Elephant Seal.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our San Simeon trip planner.

You can drive from Death Valley National Park to San Simeon in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Death Valley National Park in May since evenings lows in San Simeon dip to 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Hearst Ranch Winery ©
Hearst Ranch Winery

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 8th (Fri), get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Del Monte Beach. Keep things going the next day: pause for some photo ops at The Cannery Row Monument, then enjoy the sand and surf at Lovers Point, then kick back and relax at Point Lobos, and finally kick back and relax at China Cove and Gibson Beach.

For ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Monterey online road trip planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Monterey in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in May, plan for little chillier days in Monterey, with highs around 65°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Carmel, Lovers Point
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Del Monte Beach ©
Del Monte Beach

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
On the 10th (Sun), stroll through Lands End, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island.

For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the San Francisco tour website.

Traveling by car from Monterey to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a shuttle. In May, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Lands End ©
Lands End
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

3
nights
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.
On the 11th (Mon), identify plant and animal life at Nature Center at Happy Isles, then admire the sheer force of Vernal Fall, then get great views at Valley View, and finally admire the sheer force of Yosemite Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: don't miss a visit to Yosemite Village, take in the dramatic natural features at Glacier Point, then hike along Panorama Trail, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Cloud's Rest.

For reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Yosemite National Park day trip planning site.

Do a combination of flight and bus from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of subway and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in May, plan for slightly colder nights in Yosemite National Park, with lows around 34°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Nature · Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Vernal Fall ©
Vernal Fall
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Yosemite Falls ©
Yosemite Falls

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