18 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

18 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast vacation planner

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This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: London
Train + Fly:  16 h 30 min
1
Santa Barbara
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
2
Cambria
— 5 nights
Drive:  4 h
3
Ponderosa
— 1 night
Drive:  4 h 45 min
4
Santa Cruz
— 6 nights
Fly + Train:  14 h
End: London

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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Santa Barbara: Rusack Vineyards (in Solvang) and Jalama Beach (in Lompoc). There's still lots to do: awaken your taste buds at some of the top wineries in the area, get to know the resident critters at Santa Barbara Zoo, trek along Rattlesnake Canyon Trail, and take in panoramic vistas at Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Santa Barbara road trip planner.

London, UK to Santa Barbara is an approximately 16.5- hour combination of train and flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from London to Santa Barbara, you'll gain 8 hours due to the time zone difference. In July, daytime highs in Santa Barbara are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to drive to Cambria.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Butterfly Beach, Rusack Vineyards, Jalama Beach, Rincon Bike Trail
Highlights from your plan
Santa Barbara Zoo ©
Santa Barbara Zoo
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Stearns Wharf ©
Stearns Wharf

5
nights
Cambria

Cambria ©
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). Venture out of the city with trips to Fisherman's Beach (in San Luis Obispo), Eldwaylen Ocean Park (in Pismo Beach) and Morro Rock (in Morro Bay). And it doesn't end there: trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle, grab your bike and head to Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, and identify plant and animal life at Piedras Blancas.

To find photos and other tourist information, refer to the Cambria online holiday planner.

Getting from Santa Barbara to Cambria by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in July, expect nights in Cambria to be about the same, around 15°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 40°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Ponderosa.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

San Simeon, Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Fisherman's Beach, Eldwaylen Ocean Park
Highlights from your plan
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Montana de Oro State Park ©
Montana de Oro State Park
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

1
night
Ponderosa

Ponderosa
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): hike along Trail of 100 Giants.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Ponderosa road trip planner.

You can drive from Cambria to Ponderosa in 4 hours. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Cambria in July since evenings lows in Ponderosa dip to 22°C. On the 25th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Ponderosa

Trails Parks Outdoors

6
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Santa Cruz: Monterey (Monterey Bay Aquarium, 17-Mile Drive, &more) and Garland Ranch Regional Park (in Carmel Valley). There's lots more to do: get in on the family fun at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, take a leisurely stroll along Boardwalk's Cocoanut Grove, observe the fascinating underwater world at Seymour Marine Discovery Center, and cruise along West Cliff Drive.

For photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Santa Cruz attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Ponderosa to Santa Cruz takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Traveling from Ponderosa in July, expect nights in Santa Cruz to be little chillier, around 15°C, while days are much colder, around 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Monterey, Garland Ranch Regional Park
Highlights from your plan
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail ©
Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail

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