13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner
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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Wed): look for gifts at Sebastian General Store, then do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, then steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, look for gifts at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, then take some stellar pictures from Ragged Point Overlook, and finally take in the waterfront at San Simeon Pier.

To find photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary builder.

The Route module shows you travel options from your home to San Simeon. In February, daytime highs in San Simeon are 66°F, while nighttime lows are 38°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Big Sur.
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Parks · Shopping · Beaches · Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 24 — 26:

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 26th (Fri): view the masterpieces at Hawthorne Gallery, view the masterpieces at Coast Gallery Big Sur, then do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, then get great views at Rocky Creek Bridge, and finally take in the views from Bixby Bridge. Here are some ideas for day two: trek along Partington Cove, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in the spiritual surroundings of New Camaldoli Hermitage, and finally take in the views from Big Creek Bridge.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Big Sur tour planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 2 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Big Sur, with lows of 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monterey.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 28:

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 28th (Sun): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium, cruise along 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: immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then learn the secrets of beer at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then see the interesting displays at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Monterey day trip website.

Getting from Big Sur to Monterey by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In February, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 63°F, while at night they dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can drive to Solvang.
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Parks · Wineries · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 2:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Sunstone Winery and Rusack Vineyards. Venture out of the city with trips to Zaca Mesa Winery (in Los Olivos), Sevtap Winery Tasting Room (in Santa Barbara) and Lompoc Wine Ghetto (in Lompoc). There's much more to do: admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, do a tasting at Stolpman Vineyards, examine the collection at Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, and indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Solvang trip planner.

Getting from Monterey to Solvang by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Monterey, expect somewhat warmer days and a bit cooler nights in Solvang, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 42°F.
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Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 8:

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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