23 days in California Itinerary

23 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California travel planner

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Route & dates

23 days in California Itinerary

Start: Rio de Janeiro
Fly:  18​h
1
San Francisco
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Rutherford
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 15​min
6
Los Angeles
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
San Diego
— 5 nights
Fly:  17​h 30​min
End: Rio de Janeiro

4
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. For shopping fun, head to Exploratorium or Ferry Building Marketplace. Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of Union Square, browse the exhibits of Chinese Culture Center, make a trip to Nob Hill, and go for a walk through Fisherman's Wharf.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Francisco trip planner.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to San Francisco is an approximately 18-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. The time zone changes from Brasilia Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -5 hour difference. Plan for cooler temperatures traveling from Rio de Janeiro in December, with highs in San Francisco at 17°C and lows at 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to drive to Rutherford.

Things to do in San Francisco

Neighborhoods Shopping Museums
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 4:
Highlights from your plan
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Fisherman's Wharf ©
Fisherman's Wharf

2
nights
Rutherford

Rutherford ©
Rutherford is a census-designated place (CDP) in Napa County, California, United States. On the 5th (Sun), learn about winemaking at Beaulieu Vineyard, then learn about winemaking at Honig Vineyard & Winery, then take in the exciting artwork at Mumm Napa, and finally do a tasting at B Cellars Vineyards and Winery. On the 6th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for gifts at Oakville Grocery, do a tasting at Robert Mondavi Winery, and then learn about winemaking at Inglenook.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Rutherford day trip tool .

You can drive from San Francisco to Rutherford in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of subway and bus. Expect little chillier evenings in Rutherford when traveling from San Francisco in January, with lows around 3°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Rutherford

Wineries Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Oakville
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Mumm Napa ©
Mumm Napa
Robert Mondavi Winery ©
Robert Mondavi Winery
Inglenook ©
Inglenook

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 7th (Tue): stroll through Moonstone Beach, take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, and finally view the masterpieces at Amphora Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, look for all kinds of wild species at Friends of the Elephant Seal, and then indulge your thirst for a good beer at 927 Beer Company.

For ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Simeon online road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Rutherford to San Simeon takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus, subway, and flight. In January, daily temperatures in San Simeon can reach 20°C, while at night they dip to 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
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. On the 9th (Thu), kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, stroll through Carmel River State Beach, then kick back and relax at Point Lobos, and finally stop by AiX. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay, enjoy the sand and surf at Asilomar State Beach, then get a taste of the local shopping with Gallery by the Sea Carmel, and finally take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

For ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Carmel trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Carmel takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from San Simeon in January since evenings lows in Carmel dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can drive to Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Big Sur, AiX, Monterey Bay, Asilomar State Beach
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

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.
Explore hidden gems such as Bodie State Historic Park and Yosemite, Tunnel View. The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at Yosemite Museum Gallery, hit the slopes at Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, take some stellar pictures from Washburn Point, and stroll through Curry Village Ice Rink.

For traveler tips, photos, reviews, and tourist information, use the Yosemite National Park planning app .

You can drive from Carmel to Yosemite National Park in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. Traveling from Carmel in January, you will find days in Yosemite National Park are slightly colder (7°C), and nights are cooler (-12°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to travel to Los Angeles.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trip

Bodie State Historic Park
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Point ©
Glacier Point
Bodie State Historic Park ©
Bodie State Historic Park
Yosemite Museum Gallery ©
Yosemite Museum Gallery

4
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Hammer Museum. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at The Grove and Montana Avenue. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, get a taste of the local shopping with Annenberg Community Beach House, take a stroll through El Pueblo de Los Angeles, and hunt for treasures at Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Plan a trip to Los Angeles easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can do a combination of car and flight from Yosemite National Park to Los Angeles in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in January: high temperatures in Los Angeles hover around 24°C and lows are around 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to go by car to San Diego.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Shopping Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Santa Monica
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Abbot Kinney Boulevard ©
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center
California Science Center ©
California Science Center

5
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Old Town Temecula and Spanish Village Art Center. Do your shopping at Seaport Village and Gaslamp Quarter. Step out of San Diego to go to Carlsbad and see South Carlsbad State Beach, which is approximately 36 minutes away. The adventure continues: get to know the fascinating history of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, walk around La Jolla Cove, and see the interesting displays at Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Planning San Diego trip won't be overwheling when you use's Insprock itinerary maker.

You can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in January, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Diego

Parks Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Old Town Temecula, South Carlsbad State Beach
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
La Jolla Cove ©
La Jolla Cove
Old Town Temecula ©
Old Town Temecula
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park ©

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