60 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

60 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

60 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: McAllen
Fly + Drive:  9​h 30​min
1
Santa Cruz
— 12 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Carmel Valley
— 12 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Paso Robles
— 12 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Santa Maria
— 11 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 12 nights
Drive + Fly:  7​h 30​min
End: McAllen

12
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 Santa Cruz's surroundings by going to Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (in Moss Landing), Monterey (Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey's Tasty Olive Bar, & more) and Mission San Juan Bautista (in San Juan Bautista). And it doesn't end there: get in on the family fun at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, explore and take pictures at Gizdich Ranch, go for a stroll along the water at Santa Cruz Harbor, and take a leisurely stroll along Santa Cruz Wharf.

To find maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Santa Cruz trip itinerary planner .

McAllen to Santa Cruz is an approximately 9.5-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from McAllen to Santa Cruz. Expect colder temperatures when traveling from McAllen in April; daily highs in Santa Cruz reach 68°F and lows reach 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Carmel Valley.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Monterey, Watsonville, Mission San Juan Bautista, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Eden Rift Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Dolphin & Whale Watching

12
nights
Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley ©
Carmel Valley Village is a census-designated place in Monterey County, California, United States. Get out of town with these interesting Carmel Valley side-trips: Jade Cove (in San Simeon), Paicines (Pinnacles National Park & Bear Gulch Caves) and Soledad (Balconies Cliffs Trails, Hahn Estate Winery, & more). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Garland Ranch Regional Park, learn about winemaking at Holman Ranch, and see the interesting displays at Moto Talbott.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Carmel Valley trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Santa Cruz to Carmel Valley in 1.5 hours. In May, plan for daily highs up to 65°F, and evening lows to 51°F. You will leave for Paso Robles on the 16th (Thu).

Things to do in Carmel Valley

Wineries Parks Nature

Side Trips

Soledad, Paicines, Jade Cove
Highlights from your plan
Parsonage Winery Tasting Room ©
Parsonage Winery Tasting Room
Garland Ranch Regional Park ©
Garland Ranch Regional Park
Cima Collina ©
Cima Collina

12
nights
Paso Robles

Paso Robles ©
A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
Change things up with these side-trips from Paso Robles: Cambria (Cambria Nursery & Florist, Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, & more), San Simeon (Hearst Castle, Elephant Seal Rookery, & more) and Morro Bay (Anchor Memorial Park, Fiona Bleu Gallery, & more). There's still lots to do: admire the majestic nature at Montana de Oro State Park, take in breathtaking views at Cuesta Canyon County Park, indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and learn about winemaking at Tobin James Cellars.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Paso Robles trip itinerary planning website .

Traveling by car from Carmel Valley to Paso Robles takes 2 hours. Traveling from Carmel Valley in May, expect nights in Paso Robles to be about the same, around 48°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 82°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Santa Maria.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Outdoors Wineries

Side Trips

San Luis Obispo, Cambria, San Simeon, Morro Bay, Templeton
Highlights from your plan
Morro Rock ©
Morro Rock
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Wine Tours & Tastings

11
nights
Santa Maria

Santa Maria ©
Santa Maria is a city near the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara County. Get out of town with these interesting Santa Maria side-trips: Margo Dodd Park (in Pismo Beach), Avila Beach (Point San Luis Lighthouse & Speed Boats Tours) and Arroyo Grande (Talley Vineyards, Kynsi Winery, & more). There's much more to do: explore the landscape on two wheels at Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, do a tasting at Rancho Sisquoc Winery, take a leisurely stroll along Pismo Pier, and look for all kinds of wild species at Monarch Butterfly Grove.

To find where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Maria tour planner.

Drive from Paso Robles to Santa Maria in 1.5 hours. When traveling from Paso Robles in May, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Santa Maria: temperatures range from 71°F by day to 50°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Maria

Wineries Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Lompoc, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Los Olivos, Pismo Beach
Highlights from your plan
Rancho Sisquoc Winery ©
Rancho Sisquoc Winery
Foxen Vineyard & Winery ©
Foxen Vineyard & Winery
Rusack Vineyards ©
Rusack Vineyards

12
nights
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Santa Barbara side-trips: Ojai (Sespe Creek & Sulphur Mountain), Rincon Bike Trail (in Carpinteria) and Santa Ynez (Santa Barbara Soaring & Sunstone Vineyards & Winery). Dedicate the 9th (Sun) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, admire the masterpieces at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, enjoy breathtaking views from Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cold Spring Tavern.

To see photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Santa Barbara trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara takes 1.5 hours. In June in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 72°F during the day and 56°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Carpinteria, Ojai, Santa Ynez, Sunny Fields Park, Lotusland
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Zoo ©
Santa Barbara Zoo

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