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Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz drive

driving   /   1 day   /   no pets   /   no RV

Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Santa Barbara 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

9:00 am  start in Santa Barbara
drive for about 44 minutes

9:44 am  Solvang
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 10:44 am
drive for about 1 hour

11:53 am  San Luis Obispo
eat at Firestone Grill
stay for about 3 hours
and leave at 2:53 pm
drive for about 54 minutes

3:47 pm  Re:Find
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 4:47 pm
drive for about 49 minutes

5:36 pm  King City (California)
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 6:36 pm
drive for about 50 minutes

7:27 pm  Salinas
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 8:27 pm
drive for about 46 minutes

9:12 pm  arrive in Santa Cruz

driving ≈ 5 hours


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Where should I stop along the way?

Solvang  (46 answers)
    Firestone Vineyard  (3 mentions)
    Fess Parker Winery  (3 mentions)
    R Country Market  (2 mentions)
    Blackjack Ranch  (2 mentions)
    Saarloos And Sons Tasting Room  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around Solvang:
        Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe
        Olsen's Danish Village Bakery & Coffee Shop
        Industrial Eats
        Panino
        Petros
    hotels around Solvang:
        Ballard Inn & Restaurant
        HOTEL CORQUE
    questions about Solvang:
        What to do in Solvang... good places to stay, eat, etc.

San Luis Obispo  (122 answers)
    Bishop Peak  (4 mentions)
    San Luis Obispo Mission  (3 mentions)
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo  (3 mentions)
    Edna Valley  (2 mentions)
    F. McLintocks Saloon and Dining House  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around San Luis Obispo:
        Firestone Grill
        Novo Restaurant & Lounge
        Bello Mundo
        Splash Cafe
        Avila Valley Barn
    hotels around San Luis Obispo:
        The Madonna Inn
        Madonna Inn Resort & Spa
        Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
        Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa
        Seacrest Beach Resort
    questions about San Luis Obispo:
        Lodging
        Exploring SLO in March to scout moving there - what should I check out?
        What is your favorite restaurant in San Luis Obispo?
        Where to stay outside of San Luis Obispo for Cal Poly graduation

Re:Find  (2 mentions)

King City (California)  (2 answers)

Salinas  (4 answers)


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 Santa Barbara drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

Looking for ideas for more destinations within driving distance of Santa Barbara? Try searching for places within 4 hours of Santa Barbara.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz. Or get a full Santa Barbara 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 Santa Barbara well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Santa Barbara!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 259 miles
driving time of 4 hours, 9 minutes
189 Santa Barbara travel answers
46 Solvang travel answers
122 San Luis Obispo travel answers
2 King City (California) travel answers
4 Salinas travel answers
85 Santa Cruz travel answers





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