8 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

8 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly to Los Angeles International Airport, Drive to Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
San Simeon
— 2 nights
— 3 nights
Drive to San Francisco International Airport, Fly to Laredo


Santa Barbara — 2 nights

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.
On the 15th (Mon), savor the flavors at Food & Drink. On your second day here, steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, do a tasting at Jaffurs Wine Cellars, then learn more about the world around you at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, and finally take in the waterfront at Stearns Wharf.

For maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Santa Barbara driving holiday planning tool.

Laredo to Santa Barbara is an approximately 12-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Laredo to Santa Barbara due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Laredo in August, expect nights in Santa Barbara to be a bit cooler, around 60°F, while days are colder, around 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.
Wineries · Tours · Historic Sites · Museums

San Simeon — 2 nights

When you arriveĀ 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 17th (Wed): stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, enjoy the sand and surf at Piedras Blancas, and then cruise along Moonstone Beach Dr. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Hearst Castle, then get a dose of the wild on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, and then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach.

To find photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read San Simeon journey website.

You can drive from Santa Barbara to San Simeon in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. When traveling from Santa Barbara in August, plan for somewhat warmer days in San Simeon, with highs around 94°F, while nights are a bit cooler with lows around 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to drive to Monterey.
Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip

Monterey — 3 nights

Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. On the 19th (Fri), admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium and then take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive. Here are some ideas for day two: sample some tasty brews at Monterey Bay Food Tours and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Monterey trip itinerary planning app.

Drive from San Simeon to Monterey in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from San Simeon in August, plan for much colder days and about the same nights in Monterey: temperatures range from 70°F by day to 57°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can travel back home.
Tours · Outdoors · Breweries & Distilleries · Wineries