8 days in Monterey & Santa Cruz Itinerary

8 days in Monterey & Santa Cruz Itinerary

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Route & dates

8 days in Monterey & Santa Cruz Itinerary

Start: Monterey
1
Monterey
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h
2
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
End: Monterey

4
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Step out of Monterey to go to Big Sur and see Bixby Bridge, which is approximately 30 minutes away. The adventure continues: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium, admire the majestic nature at Point Lobos, enjoy the sand and surf at Asilomar State Beach, and explore the landscape on two wheels at Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Monterey tour planning site .

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Monterey. In August in Monterey, expect temperatures between 70°F during the day and 57°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Parks Nature

Side Trips

Carmel, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Bixby Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos

3
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then find something for the whole family at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and then go for a walk through Shark Fin Cove. On the 4th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: experience rural life at Swanton Berry Farm, delve into the mystery of Mystery Spot, then cruise along West Cliff Drive, and finally take a leisurely stroll along Santa Cruz Wharf.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Cruz day trip tool .

Traveling by car from Monterey to Santa Cruz takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Monterey in September, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Santa Cruz: temperatures range from 78°F by day to 55°F at night. On the 5th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Swanton Berry Farm, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Shark Fin Cove
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk ©
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park ©
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

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