13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary 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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, then do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach. On the 2nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then don't miss a visit to Nitt Witt Ridge, and finally hike along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the San Simeon online tour planner.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to San Simeon. In May, daytime highs in San Simeon are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can drive to Big Sur.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 1 — 3:

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 3rd (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach, then view the masterpieces at Coast Gallery Big Sur, then admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Point Sur State Historic Park. On the 4th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read Big Sur driving holiday planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Big Sur by car takes about 2 hours. Expect slightly colder 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 5th (Wed) early enough to drive to Monterey.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 3 — 5:

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 5th (Wed): observe the fascinating underwater world at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, and then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. Here are some ideas for day two: get to know the fascinating history of Cannery Row, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then take in the exciting artwork at Photography West Gallery, and finally examine the collection at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Monterey road trip website.

Getting from Big Sur to Monterey by car takes about an hour. Other options: 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 7th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Solvang.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Zoos & Aquariums · Scenic Drive
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Do some cultural sightseeing at 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Rusack Vineyards. Explore Solvang's surroundings by going to Lompoc (Melville Winery, Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines, &more). There's lots more to do: do a tasting at Sunstone Winery, steep yourself in history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, and admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Solvang online route planner.

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.
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Wineries · Parks · Tours · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 7 — 13:

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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