27 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

27 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast trip maker

©
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Santa Cruz
— 7 nights
Drive
2
Paicines
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Morro Bay
— 6 nights
Drive
4
Santa Barbara
— 11 nights
Fly

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Santa Cruz

— 7 nights
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to West Cliff Drive and Mission San Juan Bautista. Get outdoors at Natural Bridges State Beach and 17-Mile Drive. Explore Santa Cruz's surroundings by going to Monterey (Perry House, Stevenson House, &more) and Moss Landing (Moss Landing State Beach & Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve). And it doesn't end there: take in the waterfront at Santa Cruz Wharf, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, see the interesting displays at Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, and don't miss a visit to S.S. Palo Alto Concrete Ship.

To find other places to visit and more tourist information, go to the Santa Cruz trip itinerary app.

Milwaukee to Santa Cruz is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Milwaukee to Santa Cruz. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Milwaukee in June since evenings lows in Santa Cruz dip to 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can go by car to Paicines.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trips

Paicines

— 2 nights
The unincorporated community of Paicines, formerly Tres Pinos, is located at 680ft above mean sea level (AMSL) in San Benito County, California along State Route 25. On the 29th (Tue), explore the striking landscape of Pinnacles National Park. On the 30th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the long history of Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad and then trek along Balconies Cliffs Trails.

For other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Paicines tour planning website.

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz to Paicines takes 1.5 hours. Traveling from Santa Cruz in June, expect nights in Paicines to be about the same, around 52°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 81°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can travel to Morro Bay.

Things to do in Paicines

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Trails

Side Trip

Morro Bay

— 6 nights
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. Kids will enjoy Morro Rock and Piedras Blancas. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Moonstone Beach and Montana de Oro State Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Morro Bay: Pismo Beach (Pismo Pier & Monarch Butterfly Grove), Speed Boats Tours (in Avila Beach) and San Simeon (Hearst Castle & Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop). Next up on the itinerary: trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, see the interesting displays at Morro Bay State Park, stroll through Morro Bay National Estuary, and take in the exciting artwork at Fiona Bleu Gallery.

To find maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Morro Bay sightseeing website.

Getting from Paicines to Morro Bay by car takes about 2.5 hours. June in Morro Bay sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 53°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Morro Bay

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trips

Santa Barbara

— 11 nights

The American Riviera

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.
Visit Carpinteria State Beach and Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve for some beach relaxation. Get in touch with nature at Cold Spring Tavern and Boat Tours & Water Sports. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Barbara: Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery (in Carpinteria), Lompoc (Artesia School Museum & La Purisima State Historical Park) and Labyrinth at St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church (in Los Olivos). There's still lots to do: hike along Cabrillo Bike Path, cruise along Santa Barbara Scenic Drive, see the interesting displays at Reagan Ranch Center, and walk around Shoreline Park.

To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Santa Barbara day trip planning app.

Getting from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Morro Bay in July: highs in Santa Barbara hover around 75°F, while lows dip to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Sat) to allow time for the flight back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips