13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California journey 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 6th (Thu), kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, surround yourself with nature on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, and finally get great views at Ragged Point Overlook. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally explore and take pictures at Moonstone Beach Dr.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our San Simeon trip itinerary website.

The Route module shows 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 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.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Sat): kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, then take in the exciting artwork at Coast Gallery Big Sur, then admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Big Sur trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Big Sur takes 2 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in May, expect nights in Big Sur to be about the same, around 51°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
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. On the 10th (Mon), get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Monterey Bay Aquarium, take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, sample some tasty brews at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then see the interesting displays at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Monterey online itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Big Sur to Monterey takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 65°F in May, and nighttime lows around 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Solvang.
Parks · Wineries · Tours · Breweries & Distilleries
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 10 — 12:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Do some cultural sightseeing at 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines. When in Solvang, make a side trip to see Melville Winery in Lompoc, approximately Lompoc away. It doesn't end there: do a tasting at Rusack Vineyards and steep yourself in history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Solvang trip planning website.

Drive from Monterey to Solvang in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Monterey, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Solvang, ranging from highs of 76°F to lows of 48°F.
Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites · Tours
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.