10 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

10 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast travel planner

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Route & dates

10 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Phoenix
Fly:  4​h 15​min
1
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Lompoc
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Avila Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Monterey
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
End: Phoenix

2
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Carpinteria State Beach and Cold Spring Tavern. Visiting State Street Underpass and Arroyo Burro County Beach Park will get you outdoors. Venture out of the city with trips to Sunstone Vineyards & Winery (in Santa Ynez) and Old Mission Santa Ines (in Solvang). It doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara and enjoy breathtaking views from Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara route builder tool .

Phoenix to Santa Barbara is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Phoenix to Santa Barbara is minus 1 hour. In April, Santa Barbara is little chillier than Phoenix - with highs of 71°F and lows of 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to travel to Lompoc.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Carpinteria State Beach, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, Old Mission Santa Ines
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Arroyo Burro County Beach Park ©
Arroyo Burro County Beach Park
Cold Spring Tavern ©
Cold Spring Tavern

1
night
Lompoc

Lompoc ©
Lompoc is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, on the west coast of the United States. Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): savor the flavors at Food & Drink, then admire the architecture and history at La Purisima State Historical Park, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Surf Beach.

To see photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Lompoc trip planning website .

Drive from Santa Barbara to Lompoc in an hour. In April, plan for daily highs up to 68°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to travel to Avila Beach.

Things to do in Lompoc

Tours Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Wine Tours & Tastings
Highlights from your plan
La Purisima State Historical Park ©
La Purisima State Historical Park
Surf Beach ©
Surf Beach

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. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Tue): grab your bike and head to Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, then visit a coastal fixture at Point San Luis Lighthouse, and then race across the water with a speed boat tour.

To see reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Avila Beach holiday planning app .

Traveling by car from Lompoc to Avila Beach takes an hour. April in Avila Beach sees daily highs of 72°F and lows of 49°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Tue) 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

3
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.
Head to Cambria Nursery & Florist and artifacts galleryfor plenty of shopping. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Moonstone Beach Dr and Piedras Blancas. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, learn about winemaking at Hearst Ranch Winery, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon itinerary planning website .

Traveling by car from Avila Beach to San Simeon takes an hour. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Avila Beach in April: highs in San Simeon hover around 78°F, while lows dip to 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. On the 4th (Sat), immerse yourself in nature at Mission San Juan Bautista and then kick back and relax at Natural Bridges State Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, explore the landscape on two wheels at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, and then pause for some serene contemplation at San Carlos Cathedral.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Monterey trip app .

You can drive from San Simeon to Monterey in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Monterey: temperatures range from 65°F by day to 51°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mission San Juan Bautista, Natural Bridges State Beach
Highlights from your plan

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