6 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

6 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast trip builder

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Route & dates

6 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Drive:  1​h 45​min
1
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Monterey
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
End: Los Angeles

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Old Mission Santa Barbara, explore the world behind art at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, then get engrossed in the history at Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and finally do a tasting at Grassini Family Vineyards. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a stroll through State Street Underpass, learn about all things military at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, then see the interesting displays at Reagan Ranch Center, then learn more about the world around you at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Santa Barbara day trip planning tool .

Los Angeles to Santa Barbara is an approximately 2-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Los Angeles in March: high temperatures in Santa Barbara hover around 69°F and lows are around 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Museums Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums
Highlights from your plan
Santa Barbara Museum of Art ©
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Historical Museum ©
Santa Barbara Historical Museum

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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, then identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, then take in nature's colorful creations at Cambria Nursery & Florist, and finally get a new perspective on nature at Greenspace Creekside Reserve. On your second day here, explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, then stroll through Moonstone Beach, and then explore and take pictures at Moonstone Beach Dr.

To find reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the San Simeon day trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to San Simeon takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Santa Barbara in March, plan for a bit cooler nights in San Simeon, with lows around 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Seal Rookery ©
Elephant Seal Rookery
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey is a city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 28th (Thu): take a stroll through Old Fisherman's Wharf, make a trip to Cannery Row, and then explore the activities along Monterey Bay. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Monterey trip planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Monterey by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in March, you will find days in Monterey are little chillier (64°F), and nights are a bit warmer (47°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Cannery Row ©
Cannery Row
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay

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