13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip maker
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

S M T W T F S
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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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Fri): look for gifts at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, 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 next day: steep yourself in history at Nitt Witt Ridge, enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, and finally trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

To see ratings, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our San Simeon itinerary builder.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to San Simeon. In March, daily temperatures in San Simeon can reach 72°F, while at night they dip to 41°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Big Sur.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay Mar 26 — 28:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, then kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Pfeiffer State Beach. Keep things going the next day: admire the natural beauty at Hawthorne Gallery, then take in the views from Bixby Bridge, and then visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Big Sur day trip planning website.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Big Sur takes 2 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in March, you will find days in Big Sur are slightly colder (64°F), and nights are a bit warmer (47°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can go by car to Monterey.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay Mar 28 — 30:

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. Start off your visit on the 30th (Tue): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach. On the 31st (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then cruise along 17-Mile Drive, and finally see the interesting displays at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Monterey trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to Monterey takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 64°F, and evening lows to 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Thu) early enough to drive to Solvang.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Mar 30 — Apr 1:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Get some cultural insight at Rusack Vineyards and Bethania Lutheran Church. Change things up with these side-trips from Solvang: Carrizo Plain National Monument (in Maricopa), Sevtap Winery Tasting Room (in Santa Barbara) and Lompoc Wine Ghetto (in Lompoc). There's lots more to do: see the interesting displays at Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, steep yourself in history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, and awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Solvang trip planner.

Getting from Monterey to Solvang by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Monterey in April, expect nights in Solvang to be about the same, around 44°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 74°F.
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Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Apr 1 — 7:

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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