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Malibu to Santa Cruz via Carmel By the Sea

driving   /   2 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

Malibu to Santa Cruz road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Malibu to Santa Cruz. If you're planning a road trip to Santa Cruz, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather. Traveling with a dog or cat? Find pet-friendly stops. Camping along the way? Search for RV campgrounds. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip
 Day 1

11:00 am  start in Malibu
drive for about 5 hours

3:47 pm  Carmel By the Sea
stay overnight at Mission Ranch Hotel
leave the next day around 11:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

11:00 am  leave from Mission Ranch Hotel
drive for about 54 minutes

11:54 am  arrive in Santa Cruz

day 2 driving ≈ 54 minutes

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Where should I stop along the way?

Carmel By the Sea  (69 answers)
    Monterey Bay Aquarium  (41 mentions)
    Pebble Beach  (21 mentions)
    Point Lobos  (9 mentions)
    Point Lobos State Reserve  (8 mentions)
    17-Mile Drive  (6 mentions)
    restaurants around Carmel By the Sea:
        Passionfish
        Katy's Place
        Epsilon Fine Greek Restaurant
        Flaherty's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar
        Old Fisherman's Grotto
    hotels around Carmel By the Sea:
        Mission Ranch Hotel
        Lodge at Pebble Beach
        Seven Gables Inn
        Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
        La Playa Hotel Carmel-By-The-Sea
    questions about Carmel By the Sea:
        Romantic restaurant and hotel in Carmel
        Things to do that'll interest 17-year-old brother


Where's the best place to eat in Santa Cruz?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria, which was mentioned 3 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Want to research more popular restaurants in Santa Cruz? Click the blue button below.




What are some things to do in Santa Cruz?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

The Mystery Spot  (4 mentions)
Santa Cruz Beach  (4 mentions)
Seabright State Beach  (3 mentions)

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about Santa Cruz. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Drew from Angelika Film Center & Cafe asked:
Activities during reunion in santa cruz  (4 answers)

profile  Allysia from Boston asked:
What are some must places to go to in Santa Cruz, CA  (2 answers)

profile  Paul from Redmond (Washington) asked:
Are there any good restaurants in Santa Cruz?  (2 answers)

profile  Lily from asked:
Names of beaches that aren't so crowded  (1 answer)

profile  Eddie from Bronx asked:
Best Things To Do In Santa Cruz?  (1 answer)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Santa Cruz.




Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Santa Cruz to Malibu drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Malibu to Santa Cruz. Or get a full Malibu to Santa Cruz flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Malibu well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Malibu!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 349 miles
driving time of 5 hours, 54 minutes
66 Malibu travel answers
69 Carmel By the Sea travel answers
85 Santa Cruz travel answers





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