13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California attractions planner
Make it your trip
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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, then get a dose of the wild on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, then explore the historical opulence of 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 enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr.

To find reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon tour itinerary planner.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to San Simeon. In May, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can drive to Big Sur.
Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 6 — 8:

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 8th (Sat): tour the pleasant surroundings at Pfeiffer State Beach, take in the exciting artwork at Coast Gallery Big Sur, then admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, and finally enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

To see photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Big Sur trip itinerary website.

You can drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 2 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in May, you will find days in Big Sur are slightly colder (65°F), and nights are about the same (51°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 8 — 10:

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 10th (Mon): meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium, admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Keep things going the next day: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then let your taste buds guide you at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then admire the masterpieces at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Monterey trip planner.

Drive from Big Sur to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Monterey are 65°F, while nighttime lows are 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Solvang.
Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours · Wineries
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 10 — 12:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Get some cultural insight at 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Rusack Vineyards. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Solvang: Lompoc (Melville Winery & Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines). There's lots more to do: learn about winemaking at Sunstone Winery, steep yourself in history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, and take in the history at Old Mission Santa Ines.

For reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the Solvang online trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Monterey to Solvang by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or fly; or take a bus. When traveling from Monterey in May, plan for a bit warmer days in Solvang, with highs around 76°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 48°F.
Wineries · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 12 — 18:

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.