18 days in Texas Gulf Coast & California’s Central Coast Itinerary

18 days in Texas Gulf Coast & California’s Central Coast Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Texas Gulf Coast & California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Shenzhen
+3
train + foot + subway + Fly:  29​h
1
Houston
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  3​h
2
Corpus Christi
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
South Padre Island
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  10​h 15​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Monterey
— 4 nights
+3
Fly + subway + foot + train:  23​h
End: Shenzhen

2
nights
Houston

Houston ©
Although urban sprawl remains synonymous with Houston, most of the city's tourist attractions lie within the relatively small downtown area, surrounded by diverse neighborhoods housing the nation's biggest African-American, Asian-American, and Latino communities.
Houston is known for museums, nightlife, childrens museums, zoos & aquariums, and fun & games. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see the interesting displays at Space Center Houston, tour the pleasant surroundings at Houston Zoo, engage your brain at The Houston Museum of Natural Science, and admire all the interesting features of Minute Maid Park.

To see more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Houston tour site .

Shenzhen, China to Houston is an approximately 29-hour flight. Traveling from Shenzhen to Houston, you'll gain 14 hours due to the time zone difference. In July, plan for daily highs up to 41°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Wed) so you can travel to Corpus Christi.

Things to do in Houston

Museums Parks Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
The Escape Game Houston ©
The Escape Game Houston
Houston Zoo ©
Houston Zoo
Water Wall ©
Water Wall

2
nights
Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi ©
A gulf coast town with a semi-tropical climate, Corpus Christi serves as a getaway destination with a life of its own.
On the 18th (Thu), stroll through Padre Island National Seashore. On the next day, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Texas State Aquarium and then stroll through Port Aransas Beach.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Corpus Christi holiday planner .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Houston to Corpus Christi in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Corpus Christi can reach 40°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to drive to South Padre Island.

Things to do in Corpus Christi

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Port Aransas Beach
Highlights from your plan
Padre Island National Seashore ©
Padre Island National Seashore
Port Aransas Beach ©
Port Aransas Beach
Texas State Aquarium ©
Texas State Aquarium

2
nights
South Padre Island

A vibrant resort town, South Padre Island sits on a barrier island of the same name, located just off the Texas Gulf Coast.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Sat): admire nature's wide array of creatures at South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center, then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, then identify plant and animal life at Sea Turtle, Inc., and finally look for all kinds of wild species at South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. On the 21st (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: don't miss a visit to Largest Outdoor Sandcastle in the USA, get interesting insight from Tours, and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

To find traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our South Padre Island trip itinerary builder .

You can drive from Corpus Christi to South Padre Island in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. While traveling from Corpus Christi, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in South Padre Island, ranging from highs of 36°C to lows of 30°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can travel to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in South Padre Island

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Sea Turtle, Inc. ©
Sea Turtle, Inc.

1
night
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 22nd (Mon): indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a sense of history and politics at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Santa Barbara Zoo, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

For reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Santa Barbara trip website .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from South Padre Island to Santa Barbara in 10.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from South Padre Island to Santa Barbara. Traveling from South Padre Island in July, things will get a bit cooler in Santa Barbara: highs are around 28°C and lows about 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Zoos & Aquariums Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Zoo ©
Santa Barbara Zoo

2
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.
On the 24th (Wed), step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, enjoy some diversion at Shamel Park, and then hike along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, and then admire all the interesting features of Moonstone Beach Dr.

You can plan San Simeon trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Simeon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Santa Barbara in July: highs in San Simeon hover around 40°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Shamel Park ©
Shamel Park

4
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Take a break from Monterey with a short trip to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, about 54 minutes away. Spend the 27th (Sat) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay, get to know the fascinating history of Cannery Row, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, use the Monterey trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Monterey takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in July, plan for much colder days in Monterey, with highs around 24°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

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

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