13 days in California Itinerary

13 days in California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip itinerary 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 11th (Tue), explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, and finally stroll through Moonstone Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center, then don't miss a visit to Nitt Witt Ridge, and finally stroll through Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip planning site.

Use the Route module to find travel options from your starting location to San Simeon. Expect a daytime high around 82°F in May, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Big Sur.
Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 11 — 13:

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 13th (Thu), kick back and relax at Pfeiffer State Beach, then view the masterpieces at Coast Gallery Big Sur, then take in the dramatic scenery at McWay Falls, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Point Sur State Historic Park. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then do a tasting at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and then take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Big Sur trip maker site.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Big Sur takes 2 hours. When traveling from San Simeon in May, plan for little chillier days in Big Sur, with highs around 65°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to drive to Monterey.
Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 13 — 15:

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 15th (Sat), meet the residents 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. Keep things going the next day: admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, learn the secrets of beer at Monterey Bay Food Tours, and then admire the masterpieces at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Monterey trip planner.

You can 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 17th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Solvang.
Parks · Wineries · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 15 — 17:

Solvang — 6 nights

Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. 246 Wine & Brew Tours and Sunstone Winery are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Solvang's surroundings by going to Lompoc (Melville Winery, Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines, &more). There's much more to do: do a tasting at Rusack Vineyards, contemplate the long history of La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, and take in the history at Old Mission Santa Ines.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Solvang tour planning website.

Drive from Monterey to Solvang in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. Traveling from Monterey in May, expect nights in Solvang to be about the same, around 48°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 76°F.
Wineries · Tours · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 17 — 23:

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.