5 days in San Luis Obispo County, Carmel & Santa Cruz Itinerary

5 days in San Luis Obispo County, Carmel & Santa Cruz Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California vacation planner

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Make it your trip
Drive
1
Cambria
— 1 night
Drive
2
Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Santa Cruz
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Cambria

— 1 night
Cambria is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). On the 27th (Sat), view the masterpieces at Amphora Gallery, look for all kinds of wild species at Stepladder Ranch & Creamery, then step into the grandiose world of Hearst Castle, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Santa Rosa Catholic Church. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a trip to Ragged Point Overlook, stop by Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop, then kick back and relax at Moonstone Beach, and finally hike along Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

Plan my day in Cambria using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Los Angeles to Cambria is an approximately 4-hour car ride. You can also fly; or do a combination of train, taxi, and bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Los Angeles in March since evenings lows in Cambria dip to 41°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Carmel.

Things to do in Cambria

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 27 — 28:

Carmel

— 2 nights
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): meet the residents at Monterey Bay Aquarium, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pacific Grove Oceanview Boulevard, and then kick back and relax at Asilomar State Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Tue): immerse yourself in nature at Point Lobos, then kick back and relax at Carmel River State Beach, then admire all the interesting features of 17-Mile Drive, and finally examine the collection at Casa Serrano, Historic Adobe.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Carmel using our trip planner.

Traveling by car from Cambria to Carmel takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. When traveling from Cambria in March, plan for slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Carmel: temperatures range from 64°F by day to 47°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can go by car to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Mar 28 — 30:

Santa Cruz

— 1 night
Santa Cruz remains synonymous with surfing, but this counterculture bastion offers plenty even if you don't plan to catch any waves.
On the 31st (Wed), get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then stroll through Pleasure Point Beach, and then cruise along West Cliff Drive.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Santa Cruz attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Carmel to Santa Cruz takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In March, daily temperatures in Santa Cruz can reach 66°F, while at night they dip to 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Mar 30 — 31:

San Luis Obispo County travel guide

4.2
Wineries & Vineyards · Castles · Gift & Specialty Shops
The Central Coast
Separated from major metropolitan areas, coastal San Luis Obispo County has preserved its rural character. It includes many small communities with a strong agricultural heritage, and preserves a sense of old California. Many visitors on holiday come here to browse the excellent farmers' markets or tour world-class vineyards. The county offers plentiful outdoor vacation ideas, with beaches, rolling hills, and the Santa Lucia mountain range nearby. You can also take side trips to the area's larger towns, with their historical downtown districts, shopping destinations, and museums.