13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California visit 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 20th (Sat): visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station, then see the interesting displays at Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), 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: enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then look for gifts at Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then do a tasting at Hearst Ranch Winery, and finally kick back and relax at William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach.

To see maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our San Simeon trip itinerary planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to San Simeon. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in March, and nighttime lows around 41°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Big Sur.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 22:

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.
On the 22nd (Mon), stroll through Partington Cove, take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, then kick back and relax at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then shop like a local with Hawthorne Gallery, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. On the 23rd (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the views from Bixby Bridge, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Sur State Historic Park, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Pfeiffer State Beach.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Big Sur holiday planning app.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Big Sur takes 2 hours. When traveling from San Simeon in March, plan for a bit cooler days and somewhat warmer nights in Big Sur: temperatures range from 64°F by day to 47°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Monterey.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Find places to stay Mar 22 — 24:

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 24th (Wed): observe the fascinating underwater world at Monterey Bay Aquarium, make a trip to Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, then cruise along 17-Mile Drive, and finally explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Monterey holiday planning tool.

You can drive from Big Sur to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March in Monterey, expect temperatures between 64°F during the day and 47°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Solvang.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 26:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Get a sense of the local culture at Sanford Winery & Vineyards and Wine Tours & Tastings. Explore Solvang's surroundings by going to Sevtap Winery Tasting Room (in Santa Barbara) and Lompoc Wine Ghetto (in Lompoc). Next up on the itinerary: do a tasting at Rusack Vineyards, examine the collection at Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Bethania Lutheran Church.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Solvang journey planner.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Solvang takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. While traveling from Monterey, expect somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Solvang, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 42°F.
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Wineries · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Mar 26 — Apr 1:

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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