8 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

8 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast trip planner

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Route & dates

8 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Calgary
Fly:  8​h
1
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Santa Barbara
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Calgary

2
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): learn about winemaking at Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the world behind art at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then stop by Monterey's Tasty Olive Bar, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Monterey Bay.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Monterey online trip itinerary builder .

Calgary, Canada to Monterey is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) is minus 1 hour. Plan for warmer temperatures traveling from Calgary in March, with highs in Monterey at 20°C and lows at 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Monterey Bay ©
Monterey Bay

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 5th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, then make a trip to San Simeon Pier, then stop by Sebastian General Store, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery. Keep things going the next day: hike along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Moonstone Beach, and then cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr.

To find maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the San Simeon road trip planning app .

You can drive from Monterey to San Simeon in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of bus and car. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Monterey in March: highs in San Simeon hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in San Simeon

Outdoors Parks Scenic Drive

Side Trip

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

3
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.
Dedicate the 7th (Thu) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, admire the masterpieces at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, admire the natural beauty at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, and take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Santa Barbara trip planner.

You can drive from San Simeon to Santa Barbara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from San Simeon in March, Santa Barbara is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Parks Zoos & Aquariums
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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