Your day-by-day itinerary

squirrel on fence by the sea

Day 1

San Francisco to Monterey

Today, you’ll leave the big city behind and head out on the ocean road. It’s a couple of hours drive to the coastal town of Monterey, so take your time and explore the bays and parks on the way. Why not pick up some supplies and have a picnic overlooking one of the many spectacular views? You’ll arrive at your hotel mid-afternoon, set in a nature reserve on the beach, with time to explore the downtown historic quarter and more touristy Fisherman’s Wharf.

Whale Watching & Pismo Beach

Day 2

Whale Watching & Pismo Beach

No visit to this area is complete without venturing out onto the mighty Pacific and spotting these gentle giants. With blue and humpback whales in these waters for most of the year, it’s one of the best places in North America for the chance to see these incredible creatures. You’ll head out early, arriving back to shore about 3 hours later to continue your journey south. You’ll set off along the windy coastal road through mountains and forests, spotting sun-bathing sea lions as you go, arriving in quaint Pismo Beach in time to find one of its many seafood spots.

Monterey beach with ocean and sand

Day 3

Departing Pismo Beach

This morning, you can explore the town a little more. Then it’s time to continue your family road trip, either south on Highway 1 towards the bright lights of LA, or inland to see the spectacle of Sequoia or Yosemite National Parks.

Combine this trip with...

Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:

Sights & Seals of San Francisco

4 days / 3 nights (flexible)

San Francisco, California

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LA: Hollywood Hills & Beaches

4 days / 3 nights (flexible)

Los Angeles, California

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