19 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

19 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast trip planner

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Route & dates

19 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+3
train + bus + Fly + shuttle:  10​h
1
Monterey
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
San Simeon
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Pismo Beach
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 7 nights
Fly:  9​h 45​min
End: Washington DC

5
nights
Monterey

Monterey is a city in the U.S. Get some cultural insight at Mission San Juan Bautista and Old Fisherman's Wharf. Relax by the water at Natural Bridges State Beach and Del Monte Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Monterey: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (in Moss Landing) and Pinnacles National Park (in Paicines). Spend the 4th (Tue) observing fascinating marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, explore the activities along Monterey Bay, examine the collection at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe, and kick back and relax at Breakwater.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Monterey online trip builder .

Washington DC to Monterey is an approximately 10-hour combination of train, flight, and shuttle. You can also fly; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 3 hours traveling from Washington DC to Monterey. Traveling from Washington DC in June, expect Monterey to be little chillier, temps between 68°F and 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Pinnacles National Park, Natural Bridges State Beach, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mission San Juan Bautista
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
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 Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. Visit Piedras Blancas and Moonstone Beach for some beach relaxation. Next up on the itinerary: explore and take pictures at Moonstone Beach Dr, enjoy the sea views from Piedras Blancas Light Station, step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, and take in the spiritual surroundings of The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel.

For photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the San Simeon day trip 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. When traveling from Monterey in June, plan for much hotter days in San Simeon, with highs around 93°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) 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
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

3
nights
Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach ©
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. Your inner history buff will appreciate La Purisima State Historical Park and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Step out of the city life by going to Speed Boats Tours and Morro Bay National Estuary. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Pismo Beach: Montana de Oro State Park (in Los Osos), Tobin James Cellars (in Paso Robles) and Morro Strand State Beach (in Morro Bay). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail and learn about winemaking at Laetitia Vineyard and Winery.

To see maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Pismo Beach route planner.

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Pismo Beach takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in June, expect nights in Pismo Beach to be about the same, around 53°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 78°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Laetitia Vineyard and Winery, La Purisima State Historical Park, Montana de Oro State Park
Highlights from your plan
Morro Strand State Beach ©
Morro Strand State Beach
Speed Boats Tours
Montana de Oro State Park ©
Montana de Oro State Park

7
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Carpinteria State Beach and Old Mission Santa Ines. Get in touch with nature at Cold Spring Tavern and Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Barbara: Fess Parker (in Los Olivos), Meditation Mount (in Ojai) and Sunstone Vineyards & Winery (in Santa Ynez). Dedicate the 18th (Tue) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Douglas Family Preserve, ponder the world of politics at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and enjoy the sand and surf at Mandalay State Beach.

To see reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read Santa Barbara road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Pismo Beach in June, expect nights in Santa Barbara to be about the same, around 56°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 72°F. You will leave for home on the 21st (Fri).

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Carpinteria, Mandalay State Beach, Old Mission Santa Ines, Meditation Mount, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Cold Spring Tavern ©
Cold Spring Tavern
Meditation Mount ©
Meditation Mount

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