21 days in California & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

21 days in California & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

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21 days in California & Grand Canyon National Park Itinerary

Start: Sao Paulo
Fly:  15​h 45​min
1
Los Angeles
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
5
Palm Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
6
Grand Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Bus + Taxi + Fly:  21​h 30​min
End: Sao Paulo

5
nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum and La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. Popular historic sites such as Old Mission Santa Barbara and Hollywood Walk of Fame are in your itinerary. Venture out of the city with trips to Anaheim (Disneyland Park & Disney California Adventure Park). The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, admire the masterpieces at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Hollywood, and learn more about the world around you at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

For reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Los Angeles sightseeing planner .

Sao Paulo, Brazil to Los Angeles is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Brasilia Time (BRT) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -5 hour difference. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Sao Paulo in December: high temperatures in Los Angeles hover around 24°C and lows are around 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Anaheim, Old Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Monica Pier, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

2
nights
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 4th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, and then contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, then look for all kinds of wild species at Friends of the Elephant Seal, then see the interesting displays at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), and finally look for gifts at Amphora Gallery.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read our San Simeon trip builder app .

Drive from Los Angeles to San Simeon in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Los Angeles in January; daily highs in San Simeon reach 20°C and lows reach 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

2
nights
Carmel

Carmel ©
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 6th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Asilomar State Beach, then stroll through Carmel River State Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Point Lobos, and finally explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Tue): kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, take in the exciting artwork at Gallery by the Sea Carmel, then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and finally look for gifts at AiX.

To see where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel journey maker app .

Drive from San Simeon to Carmel in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in January, expect a bit warmer with lows of 7°C in Carmel. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Monterey, AiX, Pfeiffer State Beach, Asilomar State Beach
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Attractions like Exploratorium and California Academy of Sciences make great kid-friendly stops. You'll explore and learn at California State Railroad Museum and Asian Art Museum. There's still lots to do: take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum, steep yourself in history at SS Jeremiah O'Brien, and make a trip to Book Passage.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our San Francisco online day trip planner .

You can drive from Carmel to San Francisco in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Palm Springs.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Childrens Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

California State Railroad Museum
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
California State Railroad Museum ©
California State Railroad Museum
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island

2
nights
Palm Springs

Palm Springs ©
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Coachella Valley. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Sunnylands Center & Gardens, get engrossed in the history at Palm Springs Air Museum, and then admire the masterpieces at Palm Springs Art Museum. On your second day here, admire the masterpieces at Heather James Fine Art, then shop like a local with El Paseo Shopping District, and then delve into the distant past at Indian Canyons.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Palm Springs trip tool .

Traveling by flight from San Francisco to Palm Springs takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Francisco in January, you will find days in Palm Springs are a bit warmer (25°C), and nights are about the same (10°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can drive to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Palm Springs

Museums Shopping Parks

Side Trips

Palm Desert, Sunnylands Center & Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Sunnylands Center & Gardens ©
Sunnylands Center & Gardens
Palm Springs Air Museum ©
Palm Springs Air Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum
Palm Springs Art Museum

3
nights
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park ©
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Bright Angel History Room and Tusayan Museum. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at South Kaibab Trail and Mather Point. There's much more to do: trek along Rim Trail, get great views at Pipe Creek Vista, look for gifts at Canyon Village Marketplace, and engage your brain at Yavapai Geology Museum.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Grand Canyon National Park online itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Palm Springs to Grand Canyon National Park takes 6.5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Palm Springs to Grand Canyon National Park. Plan for colder temperatures traveling from Palm Springs in January, with highs in Grand Canyon National Park at 7°C and lows at -11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
South Kaibab Trail ©
South Kaibab Trail
Tusayan Museum ©
Tusayan Museum
Bright Angel History Room ©
Bright Angel History Room

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