10 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

10 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

10 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Dallas
Fly:  8​h
1
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Pismo Beach
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
End: Dallas

3
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Visit Cannery Row and San Carlos Cathedral for their historical value. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Natural Bridges State Beach and Dennis the Menace Park. Change things up with a short trip to Dolphin & Whale Watching in Santa Cruz (about 52 minutes away). And it doesn't end there: admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, savor the flavors at The Wharf Marketplace, indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and kick back and relax at Del Monte Beach.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Monterey using our trip planner.

Dallas to Monterey is an approximately 8-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of flight, subway, and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 2 hours. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Dallas in May; daily highs in Monterey reach 65°F and lows reach 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Pismo Beach.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Santa Cruz
Highlights from your plan
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Del Monte Beach ©
Del Monte Beach
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach

2
nights
Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach ©
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. On the 29th (Wed), experience rural life at Avila Valley Barn, then take in the history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, then browse the eclectic array of goods at San Luis Obispo County Farmers' Market Association, and finally take some stellar pictures from Bishop Peak. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Monarch Butterfly Grove, identify plant and animal life at Los Flores Ranch Park, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Eldwaylen Ocean Park.

For more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Pismo Beach trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monterey to Pismo Beach takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Monterey in May: highs in Pismo Beach hover around 73°F, while lows dip to 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

San Luis Obispo, Los Flores Ranch Park
Highlights from your plan
Los Flores Ranch Park ©
Los Flores Ranch Park
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa ©
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Bishop Peak ©
Bishop Peak

4
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.
Get in touch with nature at Cold Spring Tavern and Douglas Family Preserve. Popular historic sites such as Old Mission Santa Barbara and Casa del Herrero are in your itinerary. Dedicate the 2nd (Sun) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, trek along Cabrillo Bike Path, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Shoreline Park.

For photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Santa Barbara online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. May in Santa Barbara sees daily highs of 71°F and lows of 52°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Cold Spring Tavern ©
Cold Spring Tavern
Casa del Herrero ©
Casa del Herrero
Arroyo Burro County Beach Park ©
Arroyo Burro County Beach Park