14 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

14 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast trip planner

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Route & dates

14 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Huntsville
Fly:  8​h 30​min
1
Santa Cruz
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Carmel Valley
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
Paso Robles
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Santa Maria
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
Fly:  8​h 30​min
End: Huntsville

2
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.
Keep things going the next day: make a trip to The Shakespeare Society of America, then kick back and relax at Manresa State Beach, and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Santa Cruz trip itinerary planning site .

Huntsville to Santa Cruz is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -2 hour difference. In October, daytime highs in Santa Cruz are 76°F, while nighttime lows are 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Carmel Valley.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Moss Landing, Monterey, Aptos
Find places to stay Oct 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe ©
Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe
The Shakespeare Society of America ©

1
night
Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley ©
Carmel Valley Village is a census-designated place in Monterey County, California, United States. On the 6th (Sun), learn about winemaking at Joullian Vineyards & Winery, do a tasting at Parsonage Winery Tasting Room, then do a tasting at Cima Collina, then learn about winemaking at Joyce Vineyards, and finally stroll around Garland Ranch Regional Park.

To see maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Carmel Valley trip maker site .

You can drive from Santa Cruz to Carmel Valley in 1.5 hours. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Santa Cruz in October: highs in Carmel Valley hover around 70°F, while lows dip to 52°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to travel to Paso Robles.

Things to do in Carmel Valley

Wineries Parks
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Cima Collina ©
Cima Collina
Garland Ranch Regional Park ©
Garland Ranch Regional Park
Parsonage Winery Tasting Room ©
Parsonage Winery Tasting Room

3
nights
Paso Robles

Paso Robles ©
A town of hot springs and wine, Paso Robles (or "Pass of the Oaks") feels like a desert paradise to those who travel here.
You'll get in some beach time at Moonstone Beach and Piedras Blancas. Get outdoors at Elephant Seal Rookery and Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Next up on the itinerary: savor the flavors at Food & Drink and learn about winemaking at McPrice Myers Winery.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Paso Robles sightseeing website .

You can drive from Carmel Valley to Paso Robles in 2 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Carmel Valley in October: highs in Paso Robles hover around 83°F, while lows dip to 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can drive to Santa Maria.

Things to do in Paso Robles

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Cambria, San Simeon, Templeton
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ©
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve
Moonstone Beach ©
Moonstone Beach
Piedras Blancas ©
Piedras Blancas

3
nights
Santa Maria

Santa Maria ©
Santa Maria is a city near the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara County. Step out of the city life by going to Jalama Beach and Bob Jones City to Sea Bike Trail. Relax by the water at Eldwaylen Ocean Park and Avila Main Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Santa Maria: Rusack Vineyards (in Solvang), Avila Beach (Alapay Cellars & Point San Luis Lighthouse) and Artiste Winery & Tasting Studio (in Los Olivos). There's more to do: do a tasting at Foxen Vineyard & Winery.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Santa Maria online vacation planner .

Drive from Paso Robles to Santa Maria in 1.5 hours. When traveling from Paso Robles in October, plan for little chillier days and somewhat warmer nights in Santa Maria: temperatures range from 78°F by day to 52°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Santa Maria

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Avila Beach, Artiste Winery & Tasting Studio, Eldwaylen Ocean Park, Rusack Vineyards, Jalama Beach
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Foxen Vineyard & Winery ©
Foxen Vineyard & Winery
Rancho Sisquoc Winery ©
Rancho Sisquoc Winery
Rusack Vineyards ©
Rusack Vineyards

4
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.
Visiting Thousand Steps Beach and Silver Strand Beach will get you outdoors. We've included these beaches for you: Butterfly Beach and Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve. Step out of Santa Barbara with an excursion to Sunstone Vineyards & Winery in Santa Ynez--about 44 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, explore and take pictures at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, contemplate the long history of Old Mission Santa Barbara, and learn about winemaking at Jaffurs Wine Cellars.

To see where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Barbara attractions planner .

Getting from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara by car takes about 1.5 hours. In October in Santa Barbara, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 53°F at night. On the 16th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Silver Strand Beach, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, Butterfly Beach
Find places to stay Oct 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Silver Strand Beach ©
Silver Strand Beach
Carpenteria Bluffs Nature Preserve ©
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery ©
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery

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