9 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

9 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California's Central Coast trip planner

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Route & dates

9 days in California's Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Newark
Fly + Drive:  10​h 45​min
1
Avila Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
San Simeon
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Monterey
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  13​h 15​min
End: Newark

1
night
Avila Beach

Avila Beach is an unincorporated community in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States, located on San Luis Obispo Bay about 160 miles (257 km) northwest of Los Angeles, and about 200 miles south of San Francisco. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sat): stop by Alapay Cellars.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Avila Beach online attractions planner .

Newark to Avila Beach is an approximately 11-hour flight. You can also drive. You'll gain 3 hours traveling from Newark to Avila Beach due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newark in July, things will get little chillier in Avila Beach: highs are around 80°F and lows about 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel to San Simeon.

Things to do in Avila Beach

Outdoors Parks Trails
Highlights from your plan
Speed Boats Tours
Alapay Cellars ©
Alapay Cellars

2
nights
San Simeon

San Simeon ©
When you arrive 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 22nd (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Piedras Blancas, and then visit a coastal fixture at Piedras Blancas Light Station. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Hearst Castle, kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, and then take a memorable drive along Moonstone Beach Dr.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the San Simeon travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Avila Beach to San Simeon takes an hour. When traveling from Avila Beach in July, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 94°F by day to 56°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) so you can drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Cambria
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach

3
nights
Monterey

Monterey is a city in the U.S. Cannery Row and Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get in touch with nature at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Monterey Bay. Next up on the itinerary: cruise along 17-Mile Drive, take in the waterfront at Old Fisherman's Wharf, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Monterey trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Monterey takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of car and bus. Expect cooler weather when traveling from San Simeon in July: highs in Monterey hover around 69°F, while lows dip to 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Monterey

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Cannery Row ©
Cannery Row

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sat): shop like a local with State Street Underpass, then steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, then admire the majestic nature at Carpinteria State Beach, and finally explore the landscape on two wheels at Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve.

To find photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Santa Barbara day trip planning tool .

Getting from Monterey to Santa Barbara by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of shuttle and flight. Traveling from Monterey in July, you will find days in Santa Barbara are somewhat warmer (75°F), and nights are about the same (60°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Carpinteria
Highlights from your plan
Carpinteria State Beach ©
Carpinteria State Beach
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve ©

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