13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California visit 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 4th (Tue), explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, then learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, then explore and take pictures at Moonstone Beach Dr, and finally stroll through Moonstone Beach. On the next day, identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas, stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then make a trip to Nitt Witt Ridge, and finally stroll through Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon road trip site.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to San Simeon. May in San Simeon sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 48°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can drive to Big Sur.
Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 4 — 6:

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 6th (Thu): kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, then shop like a local with Coast Gallery Big Sur, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and finally enjoy the sea views from Point Sur State Historic Park. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, learn about winemaking at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then snap pictures at Bixby Bridge.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Big Sur road trip planning app.

Drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 2 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in May, you will find days in Big Sur are little chillier (65°F), and nights are about the same (51°F). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can go by car to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 6 — 8:

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 8th (Sat), observe the fascinating underwater world at Monterey Bay Aquarium, explore and take pictures at 17-Mile Drive, and then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard. On the next day, admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, sample some tasty brews at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then get engrossed in the history at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read Monterey trip planning tool.

Getting from Big Sur to Monterey by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 65°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Solvang.
Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours · Wineries
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 8 — 10:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Rusack Vineyards. Change things up with these side-trips from Solvang: Lompoc (Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines, Babcock Winery & Vineyards, &more). There's lots more to do: learn about winemaking at Sunstone Winery, admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, and steep yourself in history at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park.

To find where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Solvang tour itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Monterey to Solvang in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Monterey, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Solvang, ranging from highs of 76°F to lows of 48°F.
Wineries · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 10 — 16:

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.