13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip 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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, and finally get great views at Ragged Point Overlook. On your second day here, get all the information you need at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the San Simeon trip itinerary maker tool.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to San Simeon. Expect a daytime high around 82°F in May, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 3 — 5:

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.
On the 5th (Wed), kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, then shop like a local with Hawthorne Gallery, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then learn about winemaking at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Big Sur holiday planner.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Big Sur takes 2 hours. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from San Simeon in May: highs in Big Sur hover around 65°F, while lows dip to 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) early enough to drive to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:

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 7th (Fri), get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive, and then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Keep things going the next day: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, sample some tasty brews at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then admire the masterpieces at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To find ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Monterey online trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Big Sur to Monterey in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 65°F in May, and nighttime lows around 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Solvang.
Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours · Wineries
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:

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 Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Solvang: Lompoc (Babcock Winery & Vineyards, Melville Winery, &more). There's much more to do: learn about winemaking at Rusack Vineyards, admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, and contemplate the long history of La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Solvang route maker website.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Solvang takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Monterey in May, you will find days in Solvang are somewhat warmer (76°F), and nights are about the same (48°F).
Wineries · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 9 — 15:

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.