13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary planner
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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.
On the 5th (Wed), cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, then steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, and finally take some stellar pictures from Ragged Point Overlook. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then look for all kinds of wild species at Piedras Blancas, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally hike along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary maker site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to San Simeon. In May in San Simeon, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 48°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Big Sur.
Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:

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 7th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Pfeiffer State Beach, get a taste of the local shopping with Coast Gallery Big Sur, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and finally enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park. On the next day, kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

To see maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Big Sur tour planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Big Sur by car takes about 2 hours. When traveling from San Simeon in May, plan for slightly colder days in Big Sur, with highs around 65°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:

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 9th (Sun), admire nature's wide array of creatures 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. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Cannery Row, learn about winemaking at Dawn's Dream Winery, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at San Carlos Cathedral, and finally admire the masterpieces at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

For reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Monterey trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to Monterey takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 65°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Solvang.
Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 9 — 11:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Lompoc (Montemar Wines & Melville Winery). There's lots more to do: learn about winemaking at Rusack Vineyards, admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, and steep yourself in history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.

To find maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Solvang trip itinerary builder tool.

Getting from Monterey to Solvang by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Monterey in May, expect nights in Solvang to be about the same, around 48°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 76°F.
Wineries · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 11 — 17:

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.