17 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

17 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast route planner

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Route & dates

17 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Buenos Aires
Fly + shuttle:  18​h 45​min
1
Monterey
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Pismo Beach
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 5 nights
bus + Fly:  18​h
End: Buenos Aires

4
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Escape the urban bustle at Pinnacles National Park and Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail. Get some cultural insight at Mission San Juan Bautista and A Taste of Monterey-Wine Market & Bistro. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Monterey: Third Street (in San Juan Bautista), Natural Bridges State Beach (in Santa Cruz) and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (in Moss Landing). Spend the 27th (Mon) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. There's lots more to do: explore the activities along Monterey Bay, admire the masterpieces at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at San Carlos Cathedral.

To see other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Monterey journey builder website .

Buenos Aires, Argentina to Monterey is an approximately 19-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also fly; or do a combination of ferry and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 5 hours traveling from Buenos Aires to Monterey. May in Monterey sees daily highs of 21°C and lows of 12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

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

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Moonstone Beach Dr and Piedras Blancas Light Station. Visiting Piedras Blancas and William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle, shop like a local with Ephraim Pottery West Gallery, and look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery.

To see traveler tips and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon road trip planning site .

You can drive from Monterey to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and car. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Monterey in May: highs in San Simeon hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 10°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can go by car to Pismo Beach.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle

2
nights
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 2nd (Sun): take a memorable tour with Tours, then browse the eclectic array of goods at San Luis Obispo County Farmers' Market Association, then take in the exciting artwork at Fiona Bleu Gallery, and finally kick back and relax at Morro Strand State Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: grab your bike and head to Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, admire the majestic nature at Montana de Oro State Park, and then admire the architecture and history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Pismo Beach trip planning app .

Getting from San Simeon to Pismo Beach by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in June, expect nights in Pismo Beach to be about the same, around 13°C, while days are slightly colder, around 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Avila Beach, Montana de Oro State Park
Highlights from your plan
Speed Boats Tours
Montana de Oro State Park ©
Montana de Oro State Park
Morro Strand State Beach ©
Morro Strand State Beach

5
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.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like La Purisima State Historical Park and Old Mission Santa Ines. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at State Street Underpass and Visitor Center. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Santa Barbara: Solvang (Solvang Antiques & Wildling Museum of Art and Nature). Dedicate the 7th (Fri) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. There's much more to do: immerse yourself in nature at Carpinteria State Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cold Spring Tavern, and look for all kinds of wild species at Douglas Family Preserve.

For other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Barbara online tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Pismo Beach in June: highs in Santa Barbara hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Museums Tours

Side Trips

Solvang, Carpinteria State Beach, La Purisima State Historical Park
Highlights from your plan
Reagan Ranch Center ©
Reagan Ranch Center
La Purisima State Historical Park ©
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach

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