15 days in California's Central Coast & North Coast California Itinerary

15 days in California's Central Coast & North Coast California Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California trip planner

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Route & dates

Start: Sydney
Fly + Shuttle:  18 h 45 min
1
Santa Cruz
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
2
Fort Bragg
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
3
Orick
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  6 h 45 min
4
Morro Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
5
Santa Barbara
— 4 nights
+3
Train + Foot + Bus + Fly:  20 h 45 min
End: Sydney

3
nights
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz ©
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Cruz: Monterey (Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe, Monterey Bay, &more). And it doesn't end there: get in on the family fun at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, take in the waterfront at Santa Cruz Wharf, take an unorthodox tour of Mystery Spot, and explore and take pictures at West Cliff Drive.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Santa Cruz trip itinerary planning site.

Sydney, Australia to Santa Cruz is an approximately 19- hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also fly; or do a combination of flight and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 18 hours traveling from Sydney to Santa Cruz. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Sydney in November; daily highs in Santa Cruz reach 23°C and lows reach 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to drive to Fort Bragg.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors Parks Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Monterey
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
17-Mile Drive ©
17-Mile Drive
Cannery Row ©
Cannery Row
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk ©
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

2
nights
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg ©
Fort Bragg is a coastal city along State Route 1 in Mendocino County, California. Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): go for a walk through Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, stop by Mendocino Jams & Preserves, take a memorable drive along Mendocino Coast, then walk around Mendocino Area Parks Association, and finally take in the views from Albion River Bridge. On your second day here, kick back and relax at Glass Beach, then see the interesting displays at Sea Glass Museum, then immerse yourself in nature at Mendocino Headlands State Park, and finally immerse yourself in nature at MacKerricher State Park.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Fort Bragg trip builder.

Getting from Santa Cruz to Fort Bragg by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of shuttle, flight, and car. November in Fort Bragg sees daily highs of 21°C and lows of 5°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) so you can travel to Orick.

Things to do in Fort Bragg

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Mendocino, Albion River Bridge
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Mendocino Coast ©
Mendocino Coast
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens ©
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Glass Beach ©
Glass Beach

2
nights
Orick

Orick ©
Orick is a census-designated place situated on the banks of the Redwood Creek in Humboldt County, California. Start off your visit on the 20th (Fri): hike along Lady Bird Johnson Grove and then explore the striking landscape of Redwood National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Wilson Creek Beach, then trek along California Coastal Trail, and then cruise along Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Orick vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Fort Bragg to Orick in 4 hours. Traveling from Fort Bragg in November, you will find days in Orick are a bit cooler (17°C), and nights are about the same (7°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Morro Bay.

Things to do in Orick

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Redwood National Park, Wilson Creek Beach
Find places to stay Nov 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Redwood National Park ©
Redwood National Park
California Coastal Trail ©
California Coastal Trail
Lady Bird Johnson Grove ©
Lady Bird Johnson Grove

2
nights
Morro Bay

Morro Bay ©
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. On the 22nd (Sun), kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, then examine the collection at Morro Bay Skateboard Museum, then take in the dramatic natural features at Morro Rock, and finally admire the majestic nature at Montana de Oro State Park. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Friends of the Elephant Seal, then explore the historical opulence of Hearst Castle, and then hike along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

For other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Morro Bay trip itinerary planning site.

Explore your travel options from Orick to Morro Bay with the Route module. When traveling from Orick in November, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Morro Bay: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to drive to Santa Barbara.

Things to do in Morro Bay

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

San Simeon, Cambria, Montana de Oro State Park
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Hearst Castle ©
Hearst Castle
Morro Rock ©
Morro Rock
Friends of the Elephant Seal ©
Friends of the Elephant Seal

4
nights
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Santa Barbara: Sunstone Vineyards & Winery (in Santa Ynez) and Rusack Vineyards (in Solvang). There's lots more to do: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, steep yourself in history at Old Mission Santa Barbara, enjoy breathtaking views from Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Santa Barbara Zoo.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Santa Barbara trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In November, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Tours Wineries Historic Sites

Side Trips

Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, Rusack Vineyards
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Wine Tours & Tastings
Stearns Wharf ©
Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara County Courthouse ©
Santa Barbara County Courthouse

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