12 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

12 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast trip planner

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Route & dates

12 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Guatemala City
Fly + Drive:  12​h 45​min
1
Pismo Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
Monterey
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  11​h
End: Guatemala City

1
night
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 23rd (Tue), explore the striking landscape at Morro Rock, then admire the majestic nature at Montana de Oro State Park, and then enjoy the sea views from Point San Luis Lighthouse. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a leisurely stroll along Pismo Pier, look for gifts at Sextant Wines, then get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, and finally explore the landscape on two wheels at Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail.

To find maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Pismo Beach online trip builder .

Guatemala City, Guatemala to Pismo Beach is an approximately 13-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -2 hour difference. Traveling from Guatemala City in July, Pismo Beach is little chillier at night with lows of 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can drive to Monterey.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Avila Beach, Montana de Oro State Park, Morro Rock, Sextant Wines
Highlights from your plan
Morro Rock ©
Morro Rock
Montana de Oro State Park ©
Montana de Oro State Park
Speed Boats Tours

4
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Go for a jaunt from Monterey to Santa Cruz to see Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk about 54 minutes away. Spend the 26th (Fri) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. And it doesn't end there: explore the activities along Monterey Bay, meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium, learn about winemaking at Carmel Ridge Winery, and take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive.

Discover how to plan a Monterey trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Pismo Beach to Monterey takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. When traveling from Pismo Beach in July, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Monterey: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 15°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Dolphin & Whale Watching

2
nights
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
When you arriveĀ 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 29th (Mon): step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, then look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, and then enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Tue): stroll through Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, then cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the San Simeon trip itinerary planning tool .

Traveling by car from Monterey to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and car. While traveling from Monterey, expect much hotter days and about the same nights in San Simeon, ranging from highs of 40°C to lows of 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

3
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 31st (Wed): indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, take a memorable drive along State Street Underpass, then meet the residents at Santa Barbara Zoo, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

For more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Santa Barbara travel itinerary planner .

You can drive from San Simeon to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. When traveling from San Simeon in July, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Santa Barbara: temperatures range from 28°C by day to 18°C at night. On the 2nd (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

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

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