8 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

8 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast travel route planner

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Route & dates

8 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Ontario
Drive:  3​h
1
Santa Barbara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
San Luis Obispo
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h
End: Ontario

2
nights
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.
You'll get in some beach time at Arroyo Burro County Beach Park and East Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shoreline Park and Reagan Ranch Center. There's still lots to do: cruise along Santa Barbara Scenic Drive, learn about winemaking at Jaffurs Wine Cellars, and make a trip to Moreton Bay Fig Tree.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara tour planner.

Ontario to Santa Barbara is an approximately 2.5-hour car ride. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Ontario in September: high temperatures in Santa Barbara hover around 79°F and lows are around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to San Luis Obispo.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
East Beach ©
East Beach
Arroyo Burro County Beach Park ©
Arroyo Burro County Beach Park
Reagan Ranch Center ©
Reagan Ranch Center

2
nights
San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo ©
San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a city in the U.S. On the 18th (Tue), savor the flavors at Food & Drink. On your second day here, relax in the rural setting at Avila Valley Barn, enjoy the sand and surf at Eldwaylen Ocean Park, and then take in the history at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our San Luis Obispo trip itinerary planning website .

Drive from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 83°F in September, and nighttime lows around 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trip

Eldwaylen Ocean Park
Highlights from your plan
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa ©
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Avila Valley Barn ©
Avila Valley Barn

3
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Visit Natural Bridges State Beach and Del Monte Beach for some beach relaxation. Explore hidden gems such as Wine Tours & Tastings and Spas & Wellness. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Dennis the Menace Park, appreciate the history behind The Cannery Row Monument, and enjoy the sand and surf at Breakwater.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Monterey online trip itinerary builder .

Getting from San Luis Obispo to Monterey by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and bus; or do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from San Luis Obispo in September, you will find days in Monterey are little chillier (72°F), and nights are about the same (56°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Natural Bridges State Beach
Highlights from your plan
Natural Bridges State Beach ©
Natural Bridges State Beach
Del Monte Beach ©
Del Monte Beach
Wine Tours & Tastings