10 days in California’s Central Coast & Carmel Itinerary

10 days in California’s Central Coast & Carmel Itinerary

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Route & dates

10 days in California’s Central Coast & Carmel Itinerary

Start: Little Rock
Fly:  8​h
1
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  15​min
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Cambria
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Little Rock

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 23rd (Sun), get to know the fascinating history of Cannery Row. Keep things going the next day: get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, then admire the majestic nature at Asilomar State Beach, and then explore and take pictures at 17-Mile Drive.

To find traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Monterey online tour itinerary planner .

Little Rock to Monterey is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Little Rock to Monterey due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Little Rock, expect colder days and slightly colder nights in Monterey, ranging from highs of 68°F to lows of 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Carmel.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Pacific Grove
Highlights from your plan
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Asilomar State Beach ©
Asilomar State Beach

2
nights
Carmel

Carmel ©
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): take in the spiritual surroundings of Carmel Mission, kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Point Lobos. On the 27th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the history at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, explore and take pictures at Point Sur State Historic Park, and then stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Carmel trip builder .

Carmel is very close to Monterey. Expect a daytime high around 68°F in June, and nighttime lows around 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Cambria.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trip

Big Sur
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach

2
nights
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Kick off your visit on the 28th (Fri): view the masterpieces at artifacts gallery, then do a tasting at Moonstone Cellars, then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and finally kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sat): take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, then enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach, then view the masterpieces at Fiona Bleu Gallery, and finally see the interesting displays at Morro Bay State Park.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Cambria online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from Carmel to Cambria by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus and car. While traveling from Carmel, expect much warmer days and about the same nights in Cambria, ranging from highs of 93°F to lows of 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Cambria

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

San Simeon, Morro Bay
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

3
nights
Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara ©
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is a solid vacation destination with its wide beaches, renowned wineries, and some of California's finest shopping and dining options.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sun): contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, then get some fabulous bargains at Camarillo Premium Outlets, then see the interesting displays at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, and finally cruise along State Street Underpass. On the 1st (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at El Matador State Beach and then enjoy the sand and surf at Nicholas Canyon Beach.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Santa Barbara travel planning site .

Drive from Cambria to Santa Barbara in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Cambria in June, you will find days in Santa Barbara are much colder (72°F), and nights are about the same (56°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Malibu, Carpinteria State Beach, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Camarillo Premium Outlets
Highlights from your plan
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach

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