10 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

10 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast trip planner

This plan was created by another user.  Make it your plan

Route & dates

10 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Tampa
Fly:  10​h
1
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Avila Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
4
Monterey
— 4 nights
Fly:  10​h 15​min
End: Tampa

2
nights
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 4th (Wed): take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara trip itinerary planning tool .

Tampa to Santa Barbara is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Tampa to Santa Barbara is minus 3 hours. Traveling from Tampa in September, things will get a bit cooler in Santa Barbara: highs are around 79°F and lows about 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) so you can travel to Avila Beach.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Zoo ©
Santa Barbara Zoo

1
night
Avila Beach

Avila Beach is an unincorporated community in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States, located on San Luis Obispo Bay about 160 miles (257 km) northwest of Los Angeles, and about 200 miles south of San Francisco. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): grab your bike and head to Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, visit a coastal fixture at Point San Luis Lighthouse, then get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, and finally stop by Alapay Cellars.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Avila Beach tour itinerary planning tool .

Getting from Santa Barbara to Avila Beach by car takes about 2 hours. In September, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to travel to San Simeon.

Things to do in Avila Beach

Outdoors Trails Parks
Highlights from your plan
Speed Boats Tours
Point San Luis Lighthouse ©
Point San Luis Lighthouse

2
nights
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
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 8th (Sun), step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station. On your second day here, stroll through Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, admire all the interesting features of Moonstone Beach Dr, and then stroll through Moonstone Beach.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read San Simeon route tool .

Getting from Avila Beach to San Simeon by car takes about an hour. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Avila Beach in September: highs in San Simeon hover around 90°F, while lows dip to 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery

4
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Spend the 11th (Wed) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay, take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive, appreciate the extensive heritage of Cannery Row, and get engrossed in the history at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

Plan my day in Monterey using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

You can drive from San Simeon to Monterey in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in September, plan for a bit cooler days in Monterey, with highs around 72°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 56°F. You'll set off for home on the 13th (Fri).

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Dolphin & Whale Watching

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