In this section we are going to detail a 10-Day Road Trip, a route around Los Angeles and beyond in which we are going to visit: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park and the San Bernardino forest. You will find all the information to carry out this itinerary through Los Angeles, San Francisco and Yosemite.
If you want to discover all the charms of the state of California, both cities and natural parks, do not hesitate to take this California road trip itinerary 10 Days:
Table of Contents
This 10-day itinerary through Los Angeles and surroundings that we propose below is designed to be done by car , as we believe that it is the most comfortable, practical and fastest way to get around. In any case, it is also possible to do this route with public transport , however, you will have to take into account that you will surely need more one day , since public transport is usually slower and one has to adapt to the schedules of the company.
In the same way that it is important to reserve the car before your arrival , it is even more important to reserve the accommodation , since both Los Angeles and its surroundings are very touristy places and it can be difficult for you to find places to sleep. We recommend that you make reservations directly from Booking.com , since it is one of the most secure hotel reservation platforms and with the best price . If you are interested in knowing which are the best places to stay in Los Angeles, you can enter the section: where to stay in Los Angeles .
During this 10-day tour we will visit:
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park, Death Valley National Park and the San Bernardino Forest . In any case, we want to warn you that the distances in the USA are quite long, so you may spend many hours driving ; but the landscapes that you are going to see will surely compensate you for the long journeys.
CALIFORNIA TOUR FROM LOS ANGELES
1. LOS ANGELES: DOWNTOWN AND CHINATOWN
On the first day of the route through Los Angeles we suggest you to visit Downtown. The first stop you can make is to visit the Town Hall , an emblematic building that has appeared in countless movies. Nearby you can go to visit the Cathedral , a building of modern construction since the old one was destroyed by an earthquake in 1994. Next you can visit the Music Center , one of the most renowned art galleries in the city. Inside the Music Center you’ll find the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion , the first venue where the Oscars were handed out . We recommend you walk along Grand Avenue, a large pedestrian area where you can enjoy the charm of the city.
In the afternoon you can visit the Chinatown in Los Angeles. In this neighborhood, in the Mexican-style houses , you will find the vestiges of the birth of the city, since in the past the center of Los Angeles was located in this area. Some streets in Chinatown have absorbed bits of the Little Italy neighborhood , so in some corners you’ll see Italianate-style construction . We recommend you walk through this picturesque neighborhood , eat some delicacies in its restaurants, a good experience to end the first day of the itinerary.
2.LOS ANGELES: BEVERLY HILLS, HOLLYWOOD AND GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
On the second day of your itinerary through Los Angeles, we suggest you visit Beverly Hills in the morning . In the morning you can walk around the neighborhood and go shopping on Rodeo Drive . Next we recommend you go to Hollywood and walk along the famous Walk of Fame , we recommend you spend time looking for, looking at and photographing yourself with the footprints of the different celebrities. Near the promenade you will find the Grauman Chinese Theater , a building of spectacular architecture. If you are passionate about cinema, you can visit the Hollywood History Museum. In this museum, all the most important costumes and objects used throughout the cinematographic career are on display.
At sunset, and if you have time, we suggest you to visit the Griffith Observatory. In this observatory you will find one of the best views of Los Angeles and you will also be able to enjoy a fabulous green area ; a great way to end the day of touring around the city.
3. LOS ANGELES: SANTA MONICA AND VENICE BEACH
On this third day of itinerary through Los Angeles in the morning you can enjoy the beaches of Santa Monica. Once you have freshened up you can visit the famous Pacific Park , well known thanks to Hollywood movies and some video games. This amusement park is located on the Santa Monica pier and access is free; You will have to pay for access only to the attractions you want to go on.
After having fun at Pacific Park , not forgetting to ride the Ferris wheel, you can stroll along the Ocean Drive boardwalk to Venice Blue . During the journey you will be able to appreciate the change of beaches and try the one that you most want, in addition to appreciating the Art Deco architecture. We remind you that this walk is approximately one hour on foot, so if you wish you can go by public transport . When you get to Venice Beach, we advise you to enjoy the street performances . These shows are very interesting and you will be able to appreciate the essence of the different urban cultures of California.
4. SAN FRANCISCO
On our fourth day of the Los Angeles tour we will leave the big city to go to another famous city in the USA, San Francisco. Visiting San Francisco is getting to know one of the most beautiful cities, for this reason we suggest getting up early and allocating the whole morning to make the 6 and a half hours by car that it takes to get from one city to the other. In this way we can spend the whole afternoon walking through this wonderful city, its Downtown and its port area. You’ll find all you would like to know about San Francisco here.
5. SAN FRANCISCO-Alcatraz
During the fifth day of the circuit, already outside of LA , with a stay in San Francisco, we recommend going to visit Alcatraz , the famous prison where no one could escape. If you want to visit this impressive prison you will have to make a reservation in advance, since it is one of the most visited places in the city. In the afternoon you can take the opportunity to go for a walk across the famous San Francisco bridge, the Golden Gate, and at night experience the essence of San Francisco in its port: Fisherman’s Wharf .
On the sixth day of the itinerary we suggest you visit one of the most impressive national parks in the United States: Yosemite . The route by car from San Francisco to Yosemite lasts approximately 4 hours , during this route we will leave the big cities to reach one of the most extraordinary natural parks in the world.
In Yosemite you can visit the Valley of the Butterflies , where there are specimens of large California Sequoias , or take a car route through the park. During the visit you will be able to see imposing mountains and unique waterfalls in the world.
We propose that the night of the sixth day of the route be done in Oakhurst, since it is quite close to Yosemite and it is easy to find a hotel.
7. KINGS CANYON AND SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK
During the seventh day of the route you can take an excursion to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park.
These two parks are separate but managed as one. Sequoia National Park features a landscape of towering Sequoia trees reaching up to the sky, their massive tan trunks making you feel like a dwarf. Kings Canyon Park gets its name from having the deepest canyon in North America, surpassing even the Grand Canyon of the Colorado . Highway 180 , known as the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, runs through the canyon descending about four thousand feet (about 1,200 meters).
To be able to visit these very different landscapes, you can achieve more by using a car. We also recommend taking a break from the car and visiting the different Visitor Centers to learn more about the fauna and flora of the environment.
When you finish your tour, and decide to rest, we recommend you spend the night in Bakersfield . This town is located about two hours from the Sequoia National Park but is passing through to visit the eighth day of the route.
8. DEATH VALLEY AND LAS VEGAS
On this eighth day of itinerary through Los Angeles, San Francisco and Yosemite we suggest visiting Death Valley . From Bakersfield to the Panamint Springs point of the park is about a three hour drive; We recommend you fill up the gas tank well and bring plenty of water , since it will be difficult to find supplies in the interior area of the national park.
Death Valley is a desert with very harsh weather conditions . The natural park is open all year and the closest facilities are located on the outskirts, for this reason we recommend that you bring supplies before venturing into the enclosure. The first stop you will find is the Father Crowley Overlook , then you will find the famous Panamint dunes and the entrance to the National Park. Follow the route to Furnace Creek, where you can take the opportunity to rest.
9. BIG BEAR LAKE
On the ninth day of the route, you can head towards the San Bernardino forest , about three and a half hours from Las Vegas, and take the opportunity to visit the famous Big Bear Lake . Big Bear Lake is the only high mountain resort located in Southern California that is in season year-round.
The park is normally frequented by families taking mini-vacations or couples on romantic outings , but what makes the place especially popular is the number of outdoor activities that can be done. The climate of the park is mostly sunny almost every day of the year , this makes it possible to carry out many activities that will vary depending on the season of the year; from walking through the woods in the summer and kayaking or skiing in the winter .
You will see that after several days on the road , and visiting different natural parks, you will have seen different varieties of climate, flora and fauna in a few days. At the end of the day, you can choose between staying in bungalows , in some accommodation inside the park, or heading to Los Angeles . Los Angeles is an hour away from San Bernardino so you can take the opportunity to go out and party before ending your vacation in California. Don’t forget to make your booking for the night.
10. RETURN TO LOS ANGELES
The last day of the itinerary , whether you slept in San Bernardino or Los Angeles, you can dedicate it to resting on the city’s beaches . After an intense route through the cities and parks of California, going to the beach, or revisiting something you liked about the city, are good options to rest before getting on the plane back home .