8 days in California Itinerary

8 days in California Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in California Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Drive:  8​h 30​min
1
San Francisco
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h
2
Mammoth Lakes
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
3
Death Valley National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Los Angeles
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
End: San Diego

1
night
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): get curious at California Academy of Sciences, then step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island, then see the interesting displays at Cable Car Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Grace Cathedral.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Francisco trip maker tool .

San Diego to San Francisco is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or drive. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from San Diego in December; daily highs in San Francisco reach 17°C and lows reach 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Mammoth Lakes.

Things to do in San Francisco

Museums Childrens Museums Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
California Academy of Sciences ©
California Academy of Sciences
Cable Car Museum ©
Cable Car Museum

2
nights
Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes ©
Mammoth Lakes is a town in Mono County, California, the county's only incorporated community. Start off your visit on the 29th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, explore the activities along Horseshoe Lake, then hit the slopes at ASO Mammoth Lakes, and finally have some family-friendly fun at Mammoth Adventure Center. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Mon): take in the dramatic natural features at Minaret Vista and then make a trip to Half Dome.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Mammoth Lakes day trip app .

You can fly from San Francisco to Mammoth Lakes in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from San Francisco in December, plan for little chillier days in Mammoth Lakes, with highs around 9°C, while nights are cooler with lows around -11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Death Valley National Park.

Things to do in Mammoth Lakes

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Half Dome
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Half Dome ©
Half Dome
Mammoth Mountain Bike Park ©
Mammoth Mountain Bike Park
Mammoth Adventure Center ©
Mammoth Adventure Center

2
nights
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park ©
Extreme heat and dryness create extreme landscapes in Death Valley National Park.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Tue): contemplate the waterfront views at Salt Creek Interpretive Trail, explore the stunning scenery at Titus Canyon, then get engrossed in the history at The Ranch at Furnace Creek, and finally go deep underground at Eureka Mine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Wed): explore the stunning scenery at Twenty Mule Team Canyon and then take in breathtaking views at Mosaic Canyon.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Death Valley National Park road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Mammoth Lakes to Death Valley National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Mammoth Lakes in December; daily highs in Death Valley National Park reach 15°C and lows reach 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to go by car to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Death Valley National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Titus Canyon ©
Titus Canyon
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail ©
Salt Creek Interpretive Trail
Twenty Mule Team Canyon ©
Twenty Mule Team Canyon

1
night
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.
On the 2nd (Thu), make an unforgettable trip to Disneyland Park and then see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Los Angeles trip planner .

Getting from Death Valley National Park to Los Angeles by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Death Valley National Park in January, with highs in Los Angeles at 24°C and lows at 11°C. You will have some time to spend on the 3rd (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland Park
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Griffith Observatory ©
Griffith Observatory
Santa Monica Pier ©
Santa Monica Pier

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