10 days in Los Angeles, California's Central Coast & Big Sur Itinerary

10 days in Los Angeles, California's Central Coast & Big Sur Itinerary

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Route & dates

10 days in Los Angeles, California's Central Coast & Big Sur Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly:  5​h 30​min
1
Los Angeles
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
3
Solvang
— 1 day
Bus:  1​h
4
Pismo Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
Big Sur
— 1 night
Bus:  45​min
7
Monterey
— 2 nights
Shuttle + Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Minneapolis

3
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Go for a jaunt from Los Angeles to Anaheim to see Disneyland Park about 30 minutes away. Pack the 12th (Fri) with family-friendly diversions at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's much more to do: see the sky in a new way at Griffith Observatory, enjoy the sand and surf at Venice Beach and Boardwalk, see the interesting displays at The Getty Center, and take in the waterfront at Santa Monica Pier.

To find more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles trip planner .

Minneapolis to Los Angeles is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time is minus 2 hours. When traveling from Minneapolis in April, plan for much warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Los Angeles: temperatures range from 75°F by day to 56°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Santa Monica Pier, Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Universal Studios Hollywood ©
Universal Studios Hollywood
The Getty Center ©
The Getty Center

1
night
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 your trip to Santa Barbara by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect little chillier evenings in Santa Barbara when traveling from Los Angeles in April, with lows around 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to drive to Solvang.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries
Highlights from your plan
Margerum Wine Company ©
Margerum Wine Company
Stearns Wharf ©
Stearns Wharf

1
day
Solvang

Solvang ©
Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. On the 14th (Sun), contemplate the long history of La Purisima State Historical Park, awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, then do a tasting at Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, and finally admire the architecture and history at Old Mission Santa Ines.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Solvang road trip planning website .

Drive from Santa Barbara to Solvang in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in April, Solvang is little chillier at night with lows of 44°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Pismo Beach.

Things to do in Solvang

Tours Historic Sites Wineries

Side Trips

Santa Ynez, La Purisima State Historical Park
Highlights from your plan
La Purisima State Historical Park ©
La Purisima State Historical Park
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery ©
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery
Old Mission Santa Ines ©
Old Mission Santa Ines

1
night
Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Monarch Butterfly Grove, then stop by Alapay Cellars, then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and finally take in the waterfront at Pismo Pier.

To find maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Pismo Beach trip itinerary builder tool .

You can drive from Solvang to Pismo Beach in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. In April, daily temperatures in Pismo Beach can reach 72°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Avila Beach
Highlights from your plan
Speed Boats Tours
Monarch Butterfly Grove ©
Monarch Butterfly Grove
Alapay Cellars ©
Alapay Cellars

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, and then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the San Simeon road trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Pismo Beach to San Simeon takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Pismo Beach in April, expect nights in San Simeon to be slightly colder, around 43°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 78°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

1
night
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
On the 17th (Wed), stroll through Pfeiffer State Beach, stroll through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, then take in nature's colorful creations at Hawthorne Gallery, and finally take in the views from Bixby Bridge.

For reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Big Sur trip planner .

Drive from San Simeon to Big Sur in 4 hours. While traveling from San Simeon, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Big Sur, ranging from highs of 64°F to lows of 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can catcht the bus to Monterey.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park ©
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer State Beach ©
Pfeiffer State Beach
Bixby Bridge ©
Bixby Bridge

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 18th (Thu): meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium, appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then wander the streets of Old Fisherman's Wharf.

To see traveler tips, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Monterey trip itinerary maker site .

You can take a bus from Big Sur to Monterey in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 64°F in April, and nighttime lows around 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, Point Lobos
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Old Fisherman's Wharf ©
Old Fisherman's Wharf

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