13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California journey builder
Make it your trip
1
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Solvang
— 6 nights

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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.
On the 18th (Thu), visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, then take in the waterfront at San Simeon Pier, then explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then get great views at Ragged Point Overlook, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally look for gifts at Sebastian General Store.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our San Simeon online trip itinerary planner.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to San Simeon. In February, plan for daily highs up to 66°F, and evening lows to 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Beaches · Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 20:

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 20th (Sat): shop like a local with Hawthorne Gallery, shop like a local with Coast Gallery Big Sur, then learn about winemaking at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, then take some stellar pictures from Rocky Creek Bridge, and finally take in the views from Bixby Bridge. On your second day here, hike along Partington Cove, admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, then kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in the spiritual surroundings of New Camaldoli Hermitage, and finally snap pictures at Big Creek Bridge.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Big Sur vacation planning website.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Big Sur takes 2 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in February, expect a bit warmer with lows of 45°F in Big Sur. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can go by car to Monterey.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 22:

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. On the 22nd (Mon), meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. On the 23rd (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, savor the flavors at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To find where to stay, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Monterey road trip planning website.

You can drive from Big Sur to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 63°F, while at night they dip to 45°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can go by car to Solvang.
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Parks · Wineries · Tours · Breweries & Distilleries
Side Trips
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 24:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Get a sense of the local culture at Sunstone Winery and Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Solvang: Zaca Mesa Winery (in Los Olivos), Sevtap Winery Tasting Room (in Santa Barbara) and Babcock Winery & Vineyards (in Lompoc). The adventure continues: do a tasting at Rusack Vineyards, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, and admire the verdant scenery at Santa Ynez Valley.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Solvang trip planning website.

You can drive from Monterey to Solvang in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Monterey in February, plan for slightly colder nights in Solvang, with lows around 39°F.
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Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Feb 24 — Mar 2:

California travel guide

4.2
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.
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