36 days in California Itinerary

36 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

36 days in California Itinerary

Start: Sydney
Fly:  17​h
1
San Francisco
— 5 nights
Fly + Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Trinidad
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
St. Helena
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
South Lake Tahoe
— 4 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Bus:  6​h 15​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 6 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
Carmel
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
7
San Diego
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
8
Los Angeles
— 5 nights
Fly:  17​h 45​min
End: Sydney

5
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visit Marshall’s Beach and China Beach for some beach relaxation. Step out of the city life by going to Alcatraz Island and Baker Beach. Next up on the itinerary: go for a walk through Fisherman's Wharf, engage your brain at Exploratorium, cast your line with a fishing tour, and take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our San Francisco trip itinerary planner.

Sydney, Australia to San Francisco is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) to Pacific Standard Time is minus 18 hours. In September, daytime highs in San Francisco are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Trinidad.

Things to do in San Francisco

Neighborhoods Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

4
nights
Trinidad

Trinidad ©
Trinidad is a seaside city in Humboldt County, located on the Pacific Ocean 8mi north of the Arcata-Eureka Airport and 15mi north of the college town of Arcata. Visit Enderts Beach and Camel Rock for some beach relaxation. Take a break from the city and head to Redwood National Park and Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Explore Trinidad's surroundings by going to Redwood National Park (California Coastal Trail, Trillium Falls Hike, & more), Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy (in Orick) and Wilson Creek Beach (in Klamath). It doesn't end there: do a tasting at Moonstone Crossing Winery Tasting Room.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Trinidad trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from San Francisco to Trinidad. Traveling from San Francisco in September, expect Trinidad to be little chillier, temps between 22°C and 11°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to St. Helena.

Things to do in Trinidad

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Redwood National Park, Wilson Creek Beach, Camel Rock, Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy, Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Humboldt Redwoods State Park ©
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
Trillium Falls Hike ©
Trillium Falls Hike

4
nights
St. Helena

St. Helena ©
The city of St.
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards and Gracianna Winery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from the city and head to Sonoma Coast State Beach and Safari West. Get out of town with these interesting St. Helena side-trips: Bodega Dunes (in Bodega), Healdsburg (Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Sapphire Hill Winery, & more) and Pech Merle Winery (in Geyserville). There's more to do: learn about winemaking at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our St. Helena visit planner .

You can drive from Trinidad to St. Helena in 5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of car and flight. Traveling from Trinidad in September, you will find days in St. Helena are somewhat warmer (34°C), and nights are about the same (12°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) so you can go by car to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in St. Helena

Wineries Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Healdsburg, Safari West, Inglenook, Bodega Dunes, B Cellars Vineyards and Winery
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards ©
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Sapphire Hill Winery ©
Sapphire Hill Winery
Inglenook ©
Inglenook

4
nights
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe ©
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Visit Meeks Bay Beach and Baldwin Beach for some beach relaxation. Get outdoors at Kiva Beach and Pope Beach. Get out of town with these interesting South Lake Tahoe side-trips: Tahoe City (Commons Beach Park & River Rafting & Tubing) and West End Beach (in Truckee). Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at El Dorado Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Lakeside Beach, and explore the activities along Emerald Bay State Park.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to South Lake Tahoe fast, fun, and easy.

Traveling by car from St. Helena to South Lake Tahoe takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from St. Helena in September: high temperatures in South Lake Tahoe hover around 26°C and lows are around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Tahoe City, West End Beach, Meeks Bay Beach, Emerald Bay State Park
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Kiva Beach ©
Kiva Beach
El Dorado Beach ©
El Dorado Beach
Pope Beach ©
Pope Beach

6
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Glacier Point and Mariposa Grove. The adventure continues: trek along Tuolumne Meadows, cruise along Tioga Pass, take in the dramatic natural features at Taft Point, and take in the dramatic scenery at Vernal Fall.

To see photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park attractions tool .

You can take a bus from South Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park in 6.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 27°C in September, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Mariposa Grove ©
Mariposa Grove
Tuolumne Meadows ©
Tuolumne Meadows

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. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Fri): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then kick back and relax at Manresa State Beach. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach, kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, and then kick back and relax at Point Lobos.

To see photos, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Carmel trip itinerary app .

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Carmel by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from Yosemite National Park in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Carmel, with lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can travel to San Diego.

Things to do in Carmel

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Asilomar State Beach, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Manresa State Beach
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

4
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.
Relax by the water at La Jolla Cove and Black's Beach. Get a sense of the local culture at USS Midway Museum and Maritime Museum of San Diego. Take a break from San Diego with a short trip to Lions, Tigers & Bears in Alpine, about 48 minutes away. There's much more to do: admire the majestic nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, tour the pleasant surroundings at Mission Beach Park, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at San Diego Zoo, and enjoy the sand and surf at Children's Pool.

To find other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Diego online tour planner .

You can fly from Carmel to San Diego in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Carmel in September, with highs in San Diego at 30°C and lows at 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Los Angeles.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Lions, Tigers & Bears
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ©
Lions, Tigers & Bears ©
Lions, Tigers & Bears

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.
Visiting Venice Beach and Boardwalk and Royal Palms State Beach will get you outdoors. Get some cultural insight at The Getty Center and Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Venture out of the city with trips to Disneyland Park (in Anaheim), Nicholas Canyon Beach (in Malibu) and Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Newport Beach). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Will Rogers State Beach, admire the majestic nature at Santa Monica State Beach, take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier, and see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Los Angeles holiday planner .

Traveling by car from San Diego to Los Angeles takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. When traveling from San Diego in September, plan for somewhat warmer days in Los Angeles, with highs around 34°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 22°C. You will have some time to spend on the 5th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Santa Monica, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Disneyland Park, Nicholas Canyon Beach
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 5:
Highlights from your plan
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
Santa Monica State Beach ©
Santa Monica State Beach

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