12 days in St. Helena, California’s Central Coast & Big Sur Itinerary

12 days in St. Helena, California’s Central Coast & Big Sur Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in St. Helena, California’s Central Coast & Big Sur Itinerary

Start: Riverside
+3
train + bus + foot + Fly:  8​h
1
St. Helena
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
2
Monterey
— 1 night
bus:  45​min
3
Big Sur
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Morro Bay
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
End: Riverside

2
nights
St. Helena

St. Helena ©
The city of St.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): learn about winemaking at Tudal Winery, then learn about winemaking at Bremer Family Vineyard, and then tee off at Yocha Dehe Golf Club. On the next day, look for gifts at Napa Valley Olive Oil, learn about winemaking at Storybook Mountain Vineyards, then do a tasting at Hanna Winery, then learn about winemaking at Ramazzotti Wine Tasting, and finally learn about winemaking at Pech Merle Winery.

For reviews, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our St. Helena trip builder .

Riverside to St. Helena is an approximately 8-hour car ride. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Riverside in March: high temperatures in St. Helena hover around 67°F and lows are around 42°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in St. Helena

Wineries Golf Outdoors

Side Trips

Geyserville, Napa Valley Olive Oil, Hanna Winery, Storybook Mountain Vineyards, Yocha Dehe Golf Club
Highlights from your plan
Storybook Mountain Vineyards ©
Storybook Mountain Vineyards
Yocha Dehe Golf Club ©
Yocha Dehe Golf Club
Hanna Winery ©
Hanna Winery

1
night
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. You've now added Big Sur to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): hike along Big Sur, then do a tasting at A Taste of Monterey-Wine Market & Bistro, and then grab your bike and head to Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail. On the 23rd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Natural Bridges State Beach.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Monterey day trip website .

San Diego to Monterey is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from San Diego in March: high temperatures in Monterey hover around 64°F and lows are around 47°F. On the 23rd (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Morro Bay.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Big Sur, Natural Bridges State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Big Sur ©
Big Sur

2
nights
Big Sur

Big Sur ©
A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Tue): shop like a local with Coast Gallery Big Sur, admire the majestic nature at Limekiln State Park, and then do a tasting at Hahn Estate Winery. Here are some ideas for day two: do a tasting at Holman Ranch, do a tasting at Bernardus Winery and Vineyard, then learn about winemaking at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, and finally learn about winemaking at Cowgirl Winery.

To find reviews, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Big Sur holiday planner .

You can take a bus from Monterey to Big Sur in an hour. Another option is to drive. In March, plan for daily highs up to 64°F, and evening lows to 47°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Morro Bay.

Things to do in Big Sur

Wineries Nature Parks

Side Trips

Carmel Valley, Hahn Estate Winery
Highlights from your plan
Holman Ranch ©
Holman Ranch
Limekiln State Park ©
Limekiln State Park
Cowgirl Winery ©
Cowgirl Winery

4
nights
Morro Bay

Morro Bay ©
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. Get outdoors at Speed Boats Tours and Piedras Blancas. For shopping fun, head to Pasolivo Olive Oil or San Luis Obispo County Farmers' Market Association. Get out of town with these interesting Morro Bay side-trips: Cambria (Ephraim Pottery West Gallery & artifacts gallery) and Paso Robles (JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery, Tobin James Cellars, & more). There's lots more to do: take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr, learn about winemaking at Jack Creek Celllars, view the masterpieces at Fiona Bleu Gallery, and admire the majestic nature at Montana de Oro State Park.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Morro Bay online tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Monterey to Morro Bay in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Monterey, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Morro Bay, ranging from highs of 71°F to lows of 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Morro Bay

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Cambria, Paso Robles, Speed Boats Tours, Piedras Blancas, Montana de Oro State Park
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Montana de Oro State Park ©
Montana de Oro State Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Mon): stop by Ventura Harbor Village, then immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach, and then trek along Cabrillo Bike Path. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue): kick back and relax at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cold Spring Tavern, and then browse the eclectic array of goods at Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Santa Barbara trip planner .

Getting from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. In March in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 69°F during the day and 48°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Ventura Harbor Village, Carpinteria State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Cold Spring Tavern ©
Cold Spring Tavern
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Ventura Harbor Village ©
Ventura Harbor Village

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