9 days in Los Angeles, California's Central Coast & San Francisco Itinerary

9 days in Los Angeles, California's Central Coast & San Francisco Itinerary

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9 days in Los Angeles, California's Central Coast & San Francisco Itinerary

Start: Hawthorne
Drive:  30​min
1
Los Angeles
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Santa Barbara
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Pismo Beach
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
San Simeon
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Monterey
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
San Francisco
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h
End: Hawthorne

2
nights
Los Angeles

Los Angeles ©
Surrounded by mountain ranges, forests, valleys, beaches, and deserts, the metropolitan area of Los Angeles is home to over 17 million people.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Wed): find something for the whole family at Disneyland Park. On your second day here, examine the collection at The Getty Center, trek along Temescal Gateway Park, and then kick back and relax at Venice Beach and Boardwalk.

For photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Los Angeles journey planner .

Hawthorne to Los Angeles is an approximately half hour car ride. January in Los Angeles sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 49°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Theme Parks Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Disneyland Park
Highlights from your plan
Disneyland Park ©
Disneyland Park
Temescal Gateway Park ©
Temescal Gateway Park
Venice Beach and Boardwalk ©
Venice Beach and Boardwalk

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): get a sense of history and politics at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, take a stroll through State Street Underpass, then stroll through Santa Barbara Zoo, and finally do a tasting at Grassini Family Vineyards.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Santa Barbara day trip planning app .

Drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Los Angeles in February since evenings lows in Santa Barbara dip to 44°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can go by car to Pismo Beach.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Santa Barbara Zoo ©
Santa Barbara Zoo
Old Mission Santa Barbara ©
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Courthouse ©
Santa Barbara County Courthouse

1
night
Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach ©
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Sat): grab your bike and head to Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monarch Butterfly Grove.

For photos, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Pismo Beach online itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Santa Barbara to Pismo Beach takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 68°F in February, and nighttime lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Simeon.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Avila Beach
Highlights from your plan
Monarch Butterfly Grove ©
Monarch Butterfly Grove
Speed Boats Tours

1
night
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.
On the 3rd (Sun), take in nature's colorful creations at Cambria Nursery & Florist, look for all kinds of wild species at Elephant Seal Rookery, then kick back and relax at Piedras Blancas, and finally take in the waterfront at San Simeon Pier.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the San Simeon trip itinerary builder .

Drive from Pismo Beach to San Simeon in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in San Simeon when traveling from Pismo Beach in February, with lows around 38°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to drive to Monterey.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Cambria Nursery and Florist
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal
Cambria Nursery and Florist ©
Cambria Nursery and Florist

1
night
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 4th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Carmel River State Beach, then immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, and then get to know the fascinating history of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Monterey trip planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Monterey takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from San Simeon in February, expect a bit warmer with lows of 45°F in Monterey. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can drive to San Francisco.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Carmel, Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard
Highlights from your plan
Point Lobos ©
Point Lobos
Carmel River State Beach ©
Carmel River State Beach
Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard ©

2
nights
San Francisco

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): take in the views from Golden Gate Bridge, then don't miss a visit to Lombard Street, then go for a walk through Fisherman's Wharf, and finally step off the mainland to explore Alcatraz Island. Here are some ideas for day two: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Twin Peaks, then make a trip to Golden Gate Park, and then make a trip to Ferry Building Marketplace.

For more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the San Francisco road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Monterey to San Francisco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of bus and train. February in San Francisco sees daily highs of 62°F and lows of 48°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Francisco

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
San Francisco Bay ©
San Francisco Bay
Golden Gate Bridge ©
Golden Gate Bridge

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