Thursday, June 13, 2024

6-Day California Central Coast Highway Journey Itinerary – Bearfoot Concept

A California Coast highway journey is a ceremony of passage for any outside journey traveler, and the central coast of California is especially iconic. This stretch of the Pacific Coast Freeway offers unimaginable ocean views, lovely sights, easy accessibility to quaint California seashore cities, and naturally, limitless alternatives for outside journey.

A number of years in the past, I joined forces with Go to California looking for the very best adventures alongside the Central California Coast. I’ve compiled what I found into this itinerary together with suggestions from the remainder of the Bearfoot Concept group who’ve spent a number of time exploring this area.

This itinerary combines outside adventures with top-notch alternatives to expertise the native tradition of the Central California Coast from Ventura to Cambria, with info on visiting further locations like Massive Sur, Monterey, and Santa Cruz when you have the time.

From sea-to-spoon and farm-to-fork meals to hikes with sweeping views, boutique lodges, and hidden gems which can be simply off the crushed path, this itinerary won’t disappoint.

Make sure you take a look at the video of my Central California Coast Highway Journey beneath as properly.

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Central California Coast Highway Journey Fundamentals

What’s the Central California Coast?

Most individuals are acquainted with Northern California (San Francisco and above) and Southern California (Los Angeles south), however what’s the Central California coast?

Whereas there’s no precise definition of what makes up the Central California Coast, it’s generally accepted that this part stretches between Ventura County within the south to Santa Cruz within the north.

In between Ventura and Santa Cruz, there’s a tremendous array of beautiful seashores, wild mountainsides, small coastal cities, nice eating places, the well-known Massive Sur, and a lot extra.

Listed below are the highest locations on the central coast of California at a look from south to north:

  • Ventura
  • Ojai
  • Santa Barbara
  • Avila Seaside
  • Pismo Seaside
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Montaña del Oro State Park
  • Morro Bay
  • Cambria/San Simeon
  • Massive Sur
  • Carmel by the Sea
  • Monterey
  • Santa Cruz
Landscape photo of Sand Dollar Beach in Big Sur California
San Greenback Seaside in Massive Sur | The Central California Coast has loads of vast open areas to reconnect with nature

How a lot time do it’s worthwhile to highway journey the Central California Coast?

This itinerary is for six days, which is an effective period of time to get a really feel for the area, though when you have extra time you’ll be able to definitely dive deeper. In case you solely have a weekend, I like to recommend selecting one space to discover – like Ojai, Santa Barbara, or Massive Sur for instance.

My greatest tip – don’t rush it. The Central California Coast operates at a slower tempo and is supposed to be loved at a slower tempo as properly. Use the knowledge right here to customise your individual journey based mostly in your priorities and the period of time you will have.

Greatest Technique to Discover the Central California Coast

You’ll undoubtedly desire a automotive or campervan for any central California coast highway journey. In case you plan on staying in lodges or lodging, a automotive might be nice. A rental automotive will be picked up in Ventura or the Los Angeles space should you’re going south to north or in San Francisco should you’re going north to south.

If you wish to expertise a few of California’s greatest campgrounds, I extremely advocate renting a campervan. Not solely will this will let you be extra versatile, however you actually can’t beat tenting on the seashore! Try our checklist of campervan rental firms for concepts.

The winding Pacific highway along the Central California Coast with the ocean on the left and mountains on the right
You’ll desire a automotive or campervan to discover the Central California Coast with freedom

Greatest Time for a California Central Coast Highway Journey

California is thought for its sunny climate and delicate local weather, so you’ll be able to actually plan a highway journey any time of the 12 months. Listed below are a number of issues based mostly on the season:

Spring is a good time to plan a California Central Coast highway journey, particularly if you wish to see California’s lovely springtime wildflower blooms. Temps can nonetheless be a bit chilly, although, so pack layers and be ready for windy days.

Summer season is often the busiest time of 12 months for California, so that you’ll see a number of crowds and might want to make tenting or resort reservations upfront. The climate tends to be nice, although, with temperatures within the 70s and little to no rain.

Fall in central California brings fewer crowds and cooler temps, making it a good time to go to. Days are sometimes clear as properly whereas in summer season you might expertise “June gloom” the place the coast is commonly shrouded in clouds.

Winter on the California coast will be very nice should you take pleasure in cooler temperatures and a extra laid-back vibe. Some locations do shut for the winter and the times are shorter so that you’ll have much less daylight to discover, in order that’s one thing to bear in mind if you plan your journey.

Central California Coast Highway Journey Itinerary

There are infinite methods to discover the central California Coast with so many issues to see and do. Under is my 6-day itinerary with a number of choices for extending or customizing your journey.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Ventura
  • Day 2: Ventura
  • Day 3: Ojai
  • Day 4: Santa Barbara
  • Day 5: Avila Seaside and Cambria
  • Day 6: Morro Bay

When you’ve got extra time, proceed on to Massive Sur, Monterey Bay, and Santa Cruz which I’ll contact on beneath as properly.

Day 1: Discover Downtown Ventura & Hit the Seaside

We began our California highway journey within the energetic seashore city of Ventura. Ventura is thought for its iconic seashore boardwalk the place you’ll be able to stroll, pedal, or skate previous bustling outlets, eating places, and wide-open sandy seashores that lead proper down the Pacific Ocean.

There isn’t any scarcity of issues to do in Ventura, however right here’s how we spent our days exploring this iconic coastal city:


Seize a fast chew and morning espresso at Palm & Boy Espresso within the heart of downtown Ventura. This cozy indoor and outside café is a good spot for people-watching as you slowly perk up and start your day.

With espresso in hand, stroll a few blocks in direction of the seashore to the Go to Ventura Guests and Conference Middle. Right here you’ll discover a number of inspiration and concepts to plan out your day. We propose chatting with one of many super-friendly of us who work on the Tourism Middle.

Visit Ventura // Plan a Central California coast road trip with this itinerary packed with outdoor adventure, amazing food, and unique places to stay.
The Go to Ventura Guests and Conference Middle is a good place to get some concepts on what to see and do in Ventura

The morning and early afternoon in coastal California is usually a bit overcast relying on the time of 12 months, which makes it the perfect time to pop out and in of Ventura’s distinctive and colourful outlets. Try Passport Habits, an eclectic travel-themed store, situated on East Major Avenue in downtown Ventura, Jockamo Information, Iron & Resin, and the Patagonia Flagship retailer to call a number of.

Inside of a boutique shop in Ventura California
The Ventura downtown space is stuffed with cute outlets and boutiques. Spend the morning strolling the streets and testing a number of the native shops.


For lunch, chow down some tacos at Seaside Home Tacos on the historic Ventura Pier. If the climate is sweet, head to the seashore within the afternoon. Alternatively, Grant Park is a good place to identify wildflower blooms and get a city-wide view should you aren’t eager on heading right down to the water.

In case you’re into beer tasting, stroll again into city and funky off with a spherical of beers on the Ventura Coast Brewing Co., a cool, laid-back brewery with indoor/outside seating and a pleasant native crowd. The beers and tacos will maintain you over till it’s time for a late dinner – after sundown, in fact.

Platter of fresh tacos on counter with window looking out onto Ventura Beach in Callifornia
Seize some scrumptious and contemporary tacos at Seaside Home Tacos for lunch
Beer tasing on a round wooden platter stamped with "Ventura Coast Brewing"
Ventura Brewing Co. is a good place to seize a chilly beer and chill out after a morning of exploring


Surfer’s Level is a main beachfront spot to observe the sky shift to shades of pink, orange, purple, and blue over the horizon line. I like to recommend scoring a seat on the rocks close to the estuary. You would possibly even be rewarded with a present from native surfers taking over the world-class waves.

After watching the sundown, head to Rumfish & Vino for dinner. This gastropub serves Central American-inspired meals with a number of vegan choices and an ideal outside patio. If you’d like one thing slightly extra informal, take a look at Fluid State Beer Backyard, which serves pizza and inventive bar meals.

Sunset over the ocean at Ventura Beach in California
Watch the sundown at Surfer’s Level after a enjoyable day of exploring
Ventura restaurants // A 6 day california coast road trip itinerary that combines outdoor adventure travel and local California beach town culture.
Fluid State is a laid-back restaurant with a beer backyard and inventive bar-food

Faria Seaside Campground: This campground is located in a quiet and scenic beachfront spot off the Pacific Coast Freeway. Lots of the websites have unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands Nationwide Park. You’ll wish to e book upfront to attain websites 6-13 which have essentially the most house and the very best views (though there aren’t any hookups at these particular website numbers). This campground is greatest for camper vans and truck campers as a result of it’s on pavement and campsites are extra like parking areas.

Waypoint Ventura Classic Trailer Lodge & RV Park: If you’d like a singular expertise, e book a classic trailer at Waypoint Ventura Classic Trailer Lodge & RV Park. These trailers have been impeccably transformed for an expensive classic keep. It’s also possible to deliver your individual camper, however they’ve standards for what vans and campers they settle for.

Faria Beach Campground // Plan a Central California coast road trip with this itinerary packed with outdoor adventure, amazing food, and unique places to stay.
The Faria Seaside Campground is situated proper on the seashore with views like these just some steps away

Day 2: Ventura Space Actions

After getting a style of what Ventura has to supply, it’s time to actually discover!


In case you’re in search of a spot to seize a tasty and nourishing breakfast, head to Harvest Cafe. They serve scrumptious vegetarian and vegan meals in addition to a wide range of espresso drinks.

After you’ve eaten breakfast, fill your backpack with snacks, water, and sunscreen to prepare for a day of biking on the native bike paths. You’ll be able to lease bikes at Bike Depot, which is situated proper on the outskirts of downtown Ventura.

The pleasant employees at Bike Depot may give you strategies on the place to experience. Ventura is an especially bike-friendly metropolis with well-marked paths that lead out and in of city, connecting you to must-see sights round Ventura.

Two women on bikes in front of a water fountain in Ventura, California
Biking is an effective way to see Ventura!

Ventura bike route strategies

Ventura River Path to Ojai: This 17-mile one-way paved path runs all the way in which from downtown Ventura to Ojai. It’s a pleasant solution to get some train and see a distinct aspect of Ventura, particularly within the spring when every little thing is inexperienced.

In fact, you don’t must pedal the total 34 miles out and again to take pleasure in it! In case you’re in search of a enjoyable cease alongside the way in which, take a look at Ventura Spirits Firm. The tasting room is open for drop-ins Monday by way of Friday 12 pm – 5pm and by reservation on the weekends.

Instructions to the Ventura River Path begin

Ventura Coastal Bike Path: Through the hotter months when the River Path will get too scorching, you’ll be higher off driving the Ventura Coastal Bike Path to catch a cooling ocean breeze. Take a motorcycle map with you from the Bike Depot, because the coastal path has some sections which can be on the road.

Instructions to the Ventura Coastal Bike Path begin

Ventura bike path // A 6 day california coast road trip itinerary that combines outdoor adventure travel and local California beach town culture.


Whenever you return out of your experience, make time to go to the Artwork Metropolis Studios, situated proper across the nook from Bike Depot for a style of Ventura’s native character and tradition.

This world-famous sculpture studio and backyard is owned by sculptor Paul Lindhard whose mission is to assist and convey collectively native and world artists in an inspiring outside house.

You’ll be able to stroll across the artist studios, chat with the sculptors about their work, and browse the gallery. In case you get the prospect, go see if Ramon is round to take a look at his unimaginable stonework!


By this time, you’ll be prepared for a chilly drink, so quench your thirst at Topa Topa Brewery for glad hour drinks. Then head to considered one of Ventura’s full of life eating places like Social Faucet or Rice By Mama, two eateries that the locals rave about.

Tip: In case you’re seeking to develop your trip with one other day of sightseeing I like to recommend heading out to the Channel Islands Nationwide Park. Anacapa & Santa Cruz Islands are the most well-liked for day journeys to hike, kayak, and/or snorkel. Try the Channel Islands Journey Firm for sea cave kayaking excursions on Santa Cruz Island. Tenting can also be accessible on each islands.

Day 3: Discover Ojai

Leaving the coastal vibes of Ventura, head inland for a day to the charming SoCal city of Ojai.

Downtown Ojai is quaint, distinctive, and straightforward to discover with many outlets and eating places in strolling distance. Outdoors the downtown space, you’ll discover lovely open areas for climbing plus olive oil tasting in native olive orchards, wine tasting, and extra.


The 30-minute drive from Ventura to Ojai may be very scenic because it transitions from seashore city to bucolic landscapes crammed with farms, wineries, and mountains.

Whether or not it’s a sunny day or not, you’ll have enjoyable exploring Ojai. I liked it for the native flavors and handmade tradition that thrives on this city.

Shops like FiG Curated Dwelling, Bungalow by FiG, and Bart’s Books present a quintessential Ojai vibe that could be a must-see when you’re there.

Narrow walkway lined with a wall of ivy and shop souvenirs in Ojai, California
Spend a number of hours strolling the streets and again alleyways of Ojai – it’s a quintessential California city!

For lunch, take a break from looking the outlets and refuel over at Hip Vegan for a nourishing meal constituted of 100% vegan elements. It’s slightly off the principle drag however has an exceptional menu that’ll hit the spot if you’re craving basic California well being meals.

In case you’re simply in search of slightly vitality kick don’t miss Revel Jun Bar. Jun is like Kombucha however made with inexperienced tea & honey as a substitute of black tea & sugar.

Woman sitting at counter sipping from stainless steel mug with plate of food in front of her

Tip: In case you’re on the town on Sunday don’t miss the bountiful Ojai Farmer’s Market. It’s from 9-1 pm rain or shine at 300 E. Matilija Avenue. Seize picnic provides and head out on a picnic hike, go to an area vineyard, or go olive oil tasting at Ojai Olive Oil Co.


After lunch, drive to the outskirts of city to spend your afternoon on the lovely Lake Casitas.

There are many climbing trails, bike paths, picnic areas, and view factors. It’s also possible to lease a ship or deliver your individual kayak or SUP. There’s a $10 entry price for autos, nevertheless, it does differ relying on holidays and weekends — test the Lake Casitas web site for up to date info.

There’s additionally tenting at Lake Casitas if you wish to spend extra time there.

Woman standing at beautiful overlook of Lake Casitas near Ojai, California
Lake Casitas is an effective way to spend a day by the water or head out on one of many climbing trails


After visiting the reservoir, drive again into city so you’ll be able to hit up a few of Ojai’s greatest wineries. Our favorites have been the Majestic Oak Vineyard and Tasting Room and The Ojai Winery Tasting Room.

Beer lovers can sip on some pours on the Ojai Beverage Firm, or because the locals name it, OBC, or on the Ojai Valley Brewery

For dinner, take a look at Ojai RotieThe Nest, Ojai Pizza, or Nocciola.

Woman at wine tasting bar in Ojai, California
Ojai is thought for its wine tasting rooms – ensure you go to no less than one!

Emerald Iguana Inn: This boutique resort is situated within the coronary heart of Ojai. It has a relaxed but upscale vibe and delightful rooms adorned in a tranquil, Southwestern fashion. I extremely advocate having fun with a soak of their scorching tub or a swim within the pool. Their sister resort, the Blue Iguana Inn, is equally fantastic and is situated on the bike path so you’ll be able to bike proper into city on considered one of their rental bikes.

Caravan Outpost: For a singular keep that matches Ojai’s eclectic vibe, e book an Airstream at Caravan Outpost. Every Airstream is fantastically adorned and surrounded by lush gardens.

Woman lying on bed in boutique hotel with southwestern decor
Taking a fast break from exploring in our room on the Emerald Iguana Inn

Day 4: Head to Santa Barbara

The subsequent cease in your central California coast highway journey is sunny Santa Barbara, California the place there are tons of issues to do relying in your pursuits.

Necessary: It’s unlawful to park outsized autos – together with vans and RVs – on the streets in Santa Barbara. Be taught extra about the place to park your outsized automobile right here.


Within the morning, seize breakfast close to the place you’re staying. The choices are limitless however a number of favorites embrace The Day by day Grind, Handlebar Espresso Roasters, and Alessia Patisserie & Cafe. Then stroll or bike on the beachfront coastal path from Butterfly Seaside, the place the well-known Biltmore Lodge is, all the way in which to the West Seaside/Marina space.


Subsequent, head downtown to the Santa Barbara Public Market and pattern a number of the Asian fare at Empty Bowl. Get the curry soup, you received’t remorse it! Or for these craving tacos, hit one of many many taquerias close to Milpas Avenue, together with Julia Youngster’s favourite taco stand, La Tremendous-Rica Taqueria.

Bowl of noodles in a rich broth
Get a bowl of noodles at Empty Bowl – you received’t be disillusioned
Woman sitting on stone retainer outside Santa Barbara's Public Market in California
The Santa Barbara Public Market is a should for good meals and native elements

Wash down lunch with a cease at considered one of Santa Barbara’s many city wineries or breweries within the Funk Zone. A number of Bearfoot Concept group favorites for wine tasting embrace Carr, Pali, and Municipal Winemakers (regionally referred to as Muni). For native beer, take a look at Topa Topa, Figueroa Mountain, and Rincon Brewery.


After sampling Santa Barbara’s eats and treats, ensure you save a while to get to Hendry’s Seaside earlier than sundown. It’s a dog-friendly spot with towering seaside bluffs and loads of house to meander alongside the shoreline together with your furry pal.

Woman walking down sandy beach at low tide with sand dunes topped with vegetation on her left
Make sure you cease at Hendry’s Seaside for some nice seashore strolling. It’s additionally dog-friendly!

Right here you’ll additionally discover the Boathouse Restaurant which is just about the very best place in Santa Barbara to seize glad hour.

When you’re over within the Mesa neighborhood, you’ll additionally wish to get a distinct viewpoint of Hendry’s Seaside from above at Douglas Protect. This can be a prime spot to observe the sundown over the Pacific.

Woman sitting on large piece of driftwood watching sunset off the coast of California
Douglas Protect is a good place to catch the sundown

In case you’re in search of an ideal environment, attempt Zaytoon (Lebanese & Center Japanese delicacies) for dinner the place you’ll be able to sit round hearth pits whereas listening to reside music.

Outdoor dining at Zaytoon Restaurant in Santa Barbara lit up with lights

Tip: In case you’re seeking to develop your keep within the Santa Barbara space I like to recommend testing the city of Los Olivos which is within the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Barbara Wine Nation Excursions gives biking & van excursions to the valley for a day of wine tasting and exploration.

The place to Keep in Santa Barbara

Lodge Santa Barbara: A historic resort situated proper downtown, Lodge Santa Barabra is unquestionably a splurge, however price it if you wish to be inside strolling distance of every little thing.

Tenting: Refugio State Seaside is 25 minutes north of Santa Barbara and has a small campground alongside oceanfront cliffs. Carpinteria State Seaside is 20 minutes south of Santa Barbara and has a pleasant beachside campground alongside the sand. These are your greatest bets if you wish to camp.

Day 5: Avila Seaside + Cambria

Positioned halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles is San Luis Obispo County, in any other case referred to as SLO Cal.

Many individuals love this a part of the Central Coast for its picturesque California seashore cities which can be extra laid again than these nearer to metropolis life.


In your method out of Santa Barbara on Freeway 154, take a fast detour up Painted Cave Highway. Observe the winding highway as much as a scenic lookout the place you’ll be able to pull off the highway into a dust parking zone. Absorb the breathtaking panoramic views of town and coast from this distinctive vantage level.

Woman laying on bed in back of converted Sprinter van looking out open back doors onto scenic California view point.
As you permit Santa Barbara, take a detour up the lookout on Painted Cave Highway for a fantastic view

From Painted Cave Highway, it’s solely a brief drive to Chilly Springs Tavern, a divey native favourite tucked away within the hills. This biker bar is known for its BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwich and reside music on the weekends.

When you’ve got time, the world surrounding the tavern is stuffed with nice hikes. I like to recommend utilizing All Trails or one other climbing app to search for a well-rated hike that fits your expertise and choice.

As you proceed north on Freeway 101, I extremely advocate grabbing a chew at Bob’s Nicely Bread Bakery in Los Alamos, which is thought for its artisan baked items and mouthwatering sandwiches. Cease and eat of their courtyard or take it go.


Proceed your drive for one more 40 minutes up the 101 to get to the colourful city of Avila Seaside. Take a while to scope out the colourful downtown scene after which head straight over to Avila Seaside Paddle Sports activities, located proper outdoors of city.

Get arrange with a kayak or paddleboard for the afternoon, however earlier than you get going, chat with the employees to get some perception on the best way to greatest scout out the seals and sea otters that reside within the bay.

I like to recommend paddling all the way in which out to see the Port San Luis Lighthouse. This can be a historic space proper above a sandy seashore that has wildflowers, eucalyptus bushes, outdated maritime buildings, and most significantly, a picket swing!

Lone kayak pulled up on a sandy beach near Avila, California
Paddle out to Port San Luis Lighthouse to take pleasure in a pleasant sandy seashore and superior views
Woman sitting in kayak on the water with steep, rugged cliffs on one side
Spend the time out on the water at Avila Seaside.
You’ll be able to paddle all the way in which out to Port San Luis Lighthouse

In case you’re hungry if you get again, head to Fats Cats Cafe. It’s an area favourite and conveniently situated throughout the parking zone from the Paddle Sports activities storefront.


Hop again within the automotive and coast up Route 1 to Cambria. Time your arrival to catch the sundown in Cambria at Moonstone Seaside the place you’ll be able to stroll alongside the seashore boardwalk. It’s also possible to proceed a number of miles up the Pacific Coast Freeway to San Simeon for a great likelihood to see elephant seals bask within the rookeries.

Cap off your day with dinner at Robin’s, which gives mouthwatering consolation meals in a restored adobe dwelling. It’s a favourite spot amongst locals and guests.

Woman walking along boardwalk through vegetation next to the Pacific Ocean at sunset
Time your go to to hit Moonstone Seaside at sundown – it’s beautiful

Tip: When you’ve got an additional day, Montaña de Oro State Park has superb beachfront climbing and an ideal campground or you’ll be able to head north to San Simeon to see elephant seals and Hearst Citadel (be sure you make a reservation). The historic city of San Luis Obispo can also be a stone’s throw away.

Cambria Seaside Lodge: I extremely advocate staying at Cambria Seaside Lodge – a beach-inspired boutique resort with a low-key vibe and elevated minimalist design that’s situated on the scenic Moonstone Seaside Drive with lovely views of the glowing Pacific Ocean from the resort. I liked the pure aesthetic, the soothing colours, and the small particulars that made a huge impact. Spend as a lot time right here as you’ll be able to! It’ll go away you feeling relaxed and impressed.

Two women sitting at open bar area next to a beach in California

Day 6: Morro Bay + Tin Metropolis

Make the ultimate day of your central California coastal highway journey an adventurous one which’s stuffed with exploration in Morro Bay and Tin Metropolis in close by Paso Robles.


Drive half-hour again down from Cambria to Morro Bay on the Pacific Coast Freeway the place you’ll be able to soak within the coastal views and get a glimpse of famed Morro Rock as you make your method into the downtown space.

Cease at Frankie & Lola’s for a hearty and basic breakfast. Don’t refill an excessive amount of, although, as a result of whale watching is subsequent. Relying on the time of 12 months, swells can get large and the boat experience is usually a bit rocky.

Morro Bay Whale Watching gives guided excursions on the open water to present you a glimpse of SLO Cal’s most well-known guests.

In case you time it proper, you’ll be able to catch:

  • Humpbacks on their northbound migration from late March by way of April into Might
  • Blue Whales from April by way of the summer season
  • Grey whales from March to Might

Or catch all of them going southbound from December by way of February.

Whale tail off the coast of California
E book a whale-watching tour in Morro Bay for the prospect to see humpbacks, blue whales, and grey whales


When you’ve made your method again to land, seize a nourishing California-style vegetarian lunch to go at Shine Café and head out for a brief however scenic hike at Black Hill Path in Morro Bay State Park.

This can be a reasonable 2.5-mile hike that may be minimize quick if you wish to drive as much as the parking zone close to the hilltop as a substitute.

It’s an gratifying and reasonable hike with simply over 500 ft of elevation acquire that in the end has you topping off with 360-degree views of the coast, metropolis, and hills behind you.

Eat your lunch right here and snap a number of pics. Ensure you deliver sunscreen, bug spray, solar safety, and loads of water as there’s little or no shade.

Woman hiking on trail above the ocean in Morro Bay, California
The two.5-mile Black Hill Path is an effective way to stretch your legs and get superior views of Morro Bay

To wrap up your highway journey, cruise out to Tin Metropolis in Paso Robles. Positioned in Central California Wine Nation, Tin Metropolis is a cool and eclectic place to stroll round and pattern the native brews, wine, and meals that the area is thought for.

Try Barrelhouse Brewing Co. (the place additionally they have reside music in the summertime!), Tin Metropolis Cidery, and a wide range of meals vans.

Flight of four ciders at cidery in Tin City, California
Tin Metropolis Cidery gives flights to pattern their tasty native ciders


Whenever you’re able to eat dinner, seize a chew from one of many meals vans at Tin Metropolis, or go to the historic downtown of Paso Robles to scope out the completely different eating places this vibrant metropolis has to supply.

You’ll be able to dine al fresco and benefit from the evening, as lots of the eating places have outside seating and a view of the sq..

Replenish on one thing tasty and take your time as you benefit from the final evening of your central California coast highway journey earlier than your return dwelling.

Extending Your California Central Coast Highway Journey

If you wish to prolong your journey, you’ll be able to simply make your highway journey a one-way journey and drive all the way in which to San Francisco. This can will let you test off much more of California’s coastal gems like Massive Sur, Monterey, and Santa Cruz.

Right here’s an prolonged itinerary:

  • Day 7: Head up Freeway 1 to Massive Sur, stopping to see the well-known McWay Falls and do some climbing (see our full Massive Sur information for extra).
  • Day 8: Begin the morning with a hike at Massive Sur River Gorge earlier than driving up the coast to Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey. Make sure you cease for photographs!
  • Day 9: Discover the numerous climbing and biking trails and sights round Monterey, together with the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you wish to get out on the water, e book a whale-watching tour or go kayaking with sea otters.
  • Day 10: Drive north by way of Santa Cruz, stopping for a stroll and lunch alongside the Santa Cruz Seaside Boardwalk. Proceed on to the comfortable city of Half Moon Bay the place you’ll be able to stretch your legs on one of many many seashores.
  • Day 11: End in San Francisco! You could possibly spend one other week exploring San Fran, but when it’s your first time, you’ll undoubtedly wish to take an image on the Golden Gate Bridge and stroll round Golden Gate Park. Discover extra of our favourite outdoorsy issues to do in San Francisco right here.

What to Pack for Your Central California Coast Highway Journey

What you pack will actually depend upon what sort of journey you’re planning. To start out, be sure you take a look at our Highway Journey Necessities Packing Checklist.

If you wish to automotive camp or keep in a camper van, listed below are some tenting sources:

Automotive Tenting Necessities Packing Checklist

Under are a number of of my favourite items of automotive tenting gear and proposals for the highway:

In case you plan on climbing or doing a whole lot of outside actions, take a look at these gear guides for our favourite gear suggestions:

Woman hiking in the Oboz Katabatic shoes through a field of flowers with the ocean in the background in Montana de Oro State Park
BFT group member Linda climbing in Montaña del Oro State Park on California’s central coast
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Profit from your go to to California. Use these associated posts to assist plan your epic highway journey:

Received any questions on doing a California Central Coast highway journey? Do you will have any suggestions or favourite stops so as to add? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

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