13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California tour 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.
On the 10th (Mon), explore and take pictures at Moonstone Beach Dr, tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, then contemplate the long history 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: shop like a local with Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

Planning San Simeon trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to San Simeon. In May, daily temperatures in San Simeon can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can drive to Big Sur.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 10 — 12:

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 12th (Wed): enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, then take in the exciting artwork at Hawthorne Gallery, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, learn about winemaking at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

Before you visit Big Sur, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 2 hours. When traveling from San Simeon in May, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Big Sur: temperatures range from 65°F by day to 51°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can go by car to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 12 — 14:

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 14th (Fri): get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, explore and take pictures at 17-Mile Drive, and then don't miss a visit to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Sat): immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then sample some tasty brews at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then examine the collection at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To see more things to do, photos, where to stay, 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, daily temperatures in Monterey can reach 65°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to drive to Solvang.
Parks · Wineries · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 14 — 16:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Do some cultural sightseeing at 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Sunstone Winery. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Solvang: Lompoc (Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines & Melville Winery). Next up on the itinerary: learn about winemaking at Rusack Vineyards and admire the architecture and history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Solvang vacation builder website.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Solvang takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Monterey in May: highs in Solvang hover around 76°F, while lows dip to 48°F.
Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 16 — 22:

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.