13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip builder
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San Simeon
— 2 nights
Big Sur
— 2 nights
— 2 nights
— 6 nights


San Simeon — 2 nights

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 13th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, then get a dose of the wild on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, and finally don't miss a visit to Ragged Point Overlook. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Fri): look for gifts at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Piedras Blancas, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, use the San Simeon travel route builder app.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to San Simeon. May in San Simeon sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 48°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.
Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 13 — 15:

Big Sur — 2 nights

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach, then take in the exciting artwork at Coast Gallery Big Sur, then admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park. Here are some ideas for day two: immerse yourself in nature at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Big Sur online trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 2 hours. While traveling from San Simeon, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Big Sur, ranging from highs of 65°F to lows of 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to drive to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:

Monterey — 2 nights

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Mon): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive, and then make a trip to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Keep things going the next day: immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then learn the secrets of beer at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

For traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Monterey trip builder app.

Getting from Big Sur to Monterey by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 65°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can drive to Solvang.
Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Wineries · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 17 — 19:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Get a sense of the local culture at 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Sanford Winery & Vineyards. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Solvang: Lompoc (Babcock Winery & Vineyards, Melville Winery, &more). The adventure continues: do a tasting at Rusack Vineyards and take in the history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.

To find reviews and tourist information, go to the Solvang planning app.

Drive from Monterey to Solvang in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. When traveling from Monterey in May, plan for somewhat warmer days in Solvang, with highs around 76°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 48°F.
Wineries · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 19 — 25:

California travel guide

Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Beaches
The Golden State
The country's most populous state, California includes landscapes that range from the forested northern coast to harsh southern deserts. Sandwiched right in the middle of the state is a fertile valley, home to farms, vineyards, and orchards. California's cities offer diverse attractions, from amusement parks and upscale shops to award-winning restaurants and innovative art galleries. Outside the state's big urban centers, places to visit include some of the nation's most rugged national parks, ancient forests, towering mountain peaks, and ski resorts. More than just a surfing destination famous for its beaches and winding coastal roads, California also boasts one of the world's largest economies, bolstered by the booming tech industries.