8 days in Monterey & Santa Cruz Itinerary

8 days in Monterey & Santa Cruz Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary planner

Make it your trip
1
Monterey
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Drive

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Monterey

— 4 nights
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Take a break from Monterey with a short trip to Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, about 30 minutes away. There's much more to do: observe the fascinating underwater world at Monterey Bay Aquarium, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, and hike along Scenic Road Walkway.

Plan trip to Monterey with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

The Route module shows you all the different ways you can get to Monterey. In August, daytime highs in Monterey are 70°F, while nighttime lows are 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Beaches

Side Trips

Santa Cruz

— 3 nights
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, get in on the family fun at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and then take in the pleasant sights at Shark Fin Cove. On the next day, experience rural life at Swanton Berry Farm, take an unorthodox tour of Mystery Spot, then take a memorable drive along West Cliff Drive, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Santa Cruz Wharf.

For reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Santa Cruz trip planner.

You can drive from Monterey to Santa Cruz in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. When traveling from Monterey in September, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Santa Cruz: temperatures range from 78°F by day to 55°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride back home.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Theme Parks

Side Trips