8 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

8 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast holiday planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Monterey
— 2 nights
Drive
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Santa Maria
— 1 night
Drive
4
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive

S M T W T F S
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12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
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22

Monterey

— 2 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. state of California, on the southern edge of Monterey Bay on California's Central Coast. Monterey is known for zoos & aquariums, scenic drive, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take a memorable drive along 17-Mile Drive, explore the activities along Monterey Bay, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, and meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

To see more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Monterey tour itinerary builder website.

San Diego to Monterey is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. In May, Monterey is a bit cooler than San Diego - with highs of 65°F and lows of 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Wineries

Side Trip

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Fri): trek along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, then surround yourself with nature on Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, then explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, and finally make a trip to San Simeon Pier. Keep things going the next day: kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, then take some stellar pictures from Ragged Point Overlook, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Moonstone Beach.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the San Simeon trip planner.

You can drive from Monterey to San Simeon in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, train, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Monterey in May: highs in San Simeon hover around 82°F, while lows dip to 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Santa Maria.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Santa Maria

— 1 night
Santa Maria is a city near the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara County. On the 16th (Sun), do a tasting at Rancho Sisquoc Winery, then do a tasting at Foxen Vineyard & Winery, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Maria online route planner.

Getting from San Simeon to Santa Maria by car takes about 1.5 hours. Traveling from San Simeon in May, you will find days in Santa Maria are little chillier (71°F), and nights are about the same (50°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Maria

Wineries · Trails · Parks · Outdoors

Side Trip

Santa Barbara

— 2 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.
On the 17th (Mon), steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara and then indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Tue): admire the striking features of Santa Barbara County Courthouse, then do a tasting at Jaffurs Wine Cellars, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Santa Barbara Zoo, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Stearns Wharf.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Santa Barbara vacation builder site.

You can drive from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara in 1.5 hours. In May, plan for daily highs up to 71°F, and evening lows to 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Wineries · Tours · Historic Sites · Parks