29 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

29 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California’s Central Coast planner

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Route & dates

29 days in California’s Central Coast Itinerary

Start: Ottawa
Fly + shuttle:  12​h 30​min
1
Monterey
— 10 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
San Simeon
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Pismo Beach
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Santa Barbara
— 9 nights
Fly:  13​h
End: Ottawa

10
nights
Monterey

Monterey ©
Monterey is a city in the U.S. Popular historic sites such as Mission San Antonio de Padua and Cannery Row are in your itinerary. Step off the beaten path and head to Mission San Juan Bautista and Pinnacles National Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Monterey: Carmel Valley (Talbott Vineyards & Joyce Vineyards), Soledad (Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad & Wrath Winery) and Natural Bridges State Beach (in Santa Cruz). There's still lots to do: grab your bike and head to Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail, explore and take pictures at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park, get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, and explore the activities along Monterey Bay.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Monterey visit planner.

Ottawa, Canada to Monterey is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -3 hour difference. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Ottawa in April, with highs in Monterey at 20°C and lows at 10°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can go by car to San Simeon.

Things to do in Monterey

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Carmel Valley, Soledad, San Juan Bautista, Natural Bridges State Beach, Mission San Antonio de Padua
Find places to stay Apr 22 — May 2:
Highlights from your plan
Monterey Bay Aquarium ©
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Mission San Antonio de Padua ©
Mission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Juan Bautista ©
Mission San Juan Bautista

4
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Moonstone Beach Dr and Piedras Blancas. Popular historic sites such as Hearst Castle and Piedras Blancas Light Station are in your itinerary. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Elephant Seal Rookery, take in nature's colorful creations at Cambria Nursery & Florist, steep yourself in history at The Old Santa Rosa Creek Chapel, and work some fitness into your day at Bluff Trail.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the San Simeon journey planning site .

You can drive from Monterey to San Simeon in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, train, and taxi; or do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Monterey in May, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in San Simeon: temperatures range from 32°C by day to 10°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can go by car to Pismo Beach.

Things to do in San Simeon

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cambria
Find places to stay May 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Piedras Blancas Light Station ©
Piedras Blancas Light Station
Cambria Cemetery ©
Cambria Cemetery

4
nights
Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. Your inner history buff will appreciate La Purisima State Historical Park and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Mission San Miguel Arcangel and Morro Bay State Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Pismo Beach: Paso Robles (Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden, JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery, & more), Montana de Oro State Park (in Los Osos) and Ancient Peaks Winery (in Santa Margarita). The adventure continues: visit a coastal fixture at Point San Luis Lighthouse, get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour, indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, and experience rural life at The Luffa Farm.

To find maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Pismo Beach online road trip planner .

Traveling by car from San Simeon to Pismo Beach takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from San Simeon in May, you will find days in Pismo Beach are little chillier (26°C), and nights are about the same (12°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can go by car to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Pismo Beach

Tours Historic Sites Wineries

Side Trips

Paso Robles, Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo, Ancient Peaks Winery, Morro Bay State Park
Find places to stay May 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Speed Boats Tours
La Purisima State Historical Park ©
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa ©
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

9
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Old Mission Santa Barbara and Old Mission Santa Ines. Discover out-of-the-way places like Meditation Mount and Casa del Herrero. Get out of town with these interesting Santa Barbara side-trips: Labyrinth at St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church (in Los Olivos), Solvang (Bethania Lutheran Church & Hans Christian Andersen Park) and Ojai Olive Oil (in Ojai). Dedicate the 13th (Mon) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. And it doesn't end there: go for a walk through Santa Barbara Harbor, take in nature's colorful creations at Lotusland, explore the world behind art at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Cold Spring Tavern.

You can plan Santa Barbara trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Traveling by car from Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In May, daytime highs in Santa Barbara are 25°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Parks Historic Sites Tours

Side Trips

Solvang, Ojai, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, Lotusland, Carpinteria State Beach
Find places to stay May 10 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Cold Spring Tavern ©
Cold Spring Tavern
Old Mission Santa Ines ©
Old Mission Santa Ines
Meditation Mount ©
Meditation Mount

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