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Palm Desert to Carmel Valley drive

driving   /   4 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

Palm Desert to Carmel Valley road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Palm Desert to Carmel Valley. If you're planning a road trip to Carmel Valley, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather. Traveling with a dog or cat? Find pet-friendly stops. Camping along the way? Search for RV campgrounds. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip
 Day 1

10:00 am  start in Palm Desert
drive for about 2 hours

12:06 pm  Big Bear Lake
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 1:06 pm
drive for about 1.5 hours

2:51 pm  Pasadena
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 3:51 pm
drive for about 1.5 hours

5:10 pm  Grapevine
stay overnight and leave the next day around 8:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

8:00 am  leave from Grapevine
drive for about 21.5 hours

5:32 am (next morning)  Buttonwillow
stay overnight and leave the next day around 11:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 21.5 hours

 Day 3

11:00 am  leave from Buttonwillow
drive for about 1.5 hours

12:23 pm  Cass Winery
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 1:23 pm
drive for about 1.5 hours

2:56 pm  Esalen
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 3:56 pm
drive for about 39 minutes

4:35 pm  arrive in Carmel Valley
stay at Mission Ranch Hotel

day 3 driving ≈ 3.5 hours

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Where should I stop along the way?

Big Bear Lake  (10 answers)
    Snow Summit  (3 mentions)
    Big Bear Mountain  (2 mentions)
    Big Bear Mountain Brewery  (2 mentions)

Pasadena  (31 answers)
    The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens  (17 mentions)
    Echo Park  (10 mentions)
    Rose Bowl Stadium  (10 mentions)
    Dodger Stadium  (9 mentions)
    Descanso Gardens  (6 mentions)
    restaurants around Pasadena:
        Cacao Mexicatessen
        El Tepeyac CafĂ©
        King Taco Restaurant
        The Oinkster
        Tops
    questions about Pasadena:
        What is your favorite restaurant in Pasadena?
        Best free things to do in Pasadena?

Grapevine  (4 answers)

Buttonwillow

Cass Winery

Esalen  (11 mentions)


Where's the best place to stay in Carmel Valley?

Are you going straight to a hotel, or looking for a vacation rental or Airbnb?

The best resource on neighborhoods, areas, and hotels is the Trippy page on where to stay in Carmel Valley.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Mission Ranch Hotel, which was mentioned 4 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

Want to research more popular hotels in Carmel Valley? Click the blue button below.




Where's the best place to eat in Carmel Valley?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Katy's Place, which was mentioned 7 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Forge in the Forest  (3 mentions)
Dametra Cafe  (3 mentions)
Sunset Lounge  (3 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in Carmel Valley? Click the blue button below.




What are some things to do in Carmel Valley?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

Dennis the Menace Park  (2 mentions)
Carmel Beach City Park  (2 mentions)
Pastries and Petals  (2 mentions)

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Carmel Valley.




Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Carmel Valley to Palm Desert drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Palm Desert to Carmel Valley. Or get a full Palm Desert to Carmel Valley flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Palm Desert well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Palm Desert!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 439 miles
driving time of 7 hours, 25 minutes
9 Palm Desert travel answers
10 Big Bear Lake travel answers
31 Pasadena travel answers
4 Grapevine travel answers
2 Carmel Valley travel answers





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