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California Coast: Santa Cruz to Monterey Extended

9 Days & 8 Nights 5 Read 2 reviews
  • Visit the vibrant coastal city of Santa Cruz
  • Walk the coast of the spectacular Monterey Bay Peninsula
  • Enjoy numerous wildlife viewing opportunities - spot whales, seals, and more
  • Hike through towering redwood groves and along peaceful sandy beaches
  • Follow in Steinbeck’s footsteps along famous Cannery Row
Walk along sandy beaches and through redwood groves as you make your way from the energetic coastal city of Santa Cruz to the marine wildlife sanctuary of Monterey Bay. Enjoy numerous wildlife viewing opportunities as you spot seals, otters, whales, birds, and more along the coast and at Elkhorn Slough, and - if time permits - at an optional visit to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Visit a variety of state parks, including Natural Bridges State Park and Forest of Nisene Marks State Park along, and follow in John Steinbeck's footsteps along historic Cannery Row. In the evenings, relax at your beachfront accommodations, reveling in the sight and sound of the ocean.
This tour is graded as moderate, with daily hikes averaging around 8 miles a day. This tour is perfect for those who want to explore the expanse of the Marin Headlands and Sonoma by foot and with free time to enjoy wine tastings and to explore the cute towns. Hikers should expect walking along dirt trails and varied terrain. Trails are well-signed, maintained, and traveled frequently. Enjoy staying at charming hotels each night.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.


Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Families, Mixed Abilities

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wellness & Spa
  • Elegance & Unique Stays
  • Coastal & Island


  • New
  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

The hiking on this trip is moderate, averaging 8-9 miles per day. 


Navigating is easy using your handmade guidebook provided on arrival. The guidebook provides route notes, and turn-by-turn directions. There are also suggestions on places to eat, points of interest, and local history  You will also have 24/7 telephone support from us here at Macs Adventure.

Experience & Fitness

The trails used on this trip are well-established, thoroughly waymarked, and highly traveled. However, conditions vary including mud, rocks, and sand. You should be accustomed to hiking for several hours at a time and will enjoy your tour much more if you are well-prepared. Some hiking experience is necessary.


One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 4* small hotels. Your room will always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is also included. 

Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.


A hearty breakfast is included each morning. 5 lunches are included (Days 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7)  as well as 1 dinner the final night in Pacific Grove. Other lunch and dinners are not included so you are free to choose from the surrounding options. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or at nearby restaurants. 

  • 8 Nights at hand-selected lodges and hotels
  • 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Turn-by-turn route notes provided on arrival
  • Support from our Local Partner and 24/7 telephone support
  • Daily baggage transfer
  • 90-minute wildlife & otter boat tour at Moss Landing
  • Travel to / from the start and end of the tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Some lunches and dinners
  • Room Upgrades (only where applicable)
  • Additional nights along the route

When To Go

We offer this trip year-round and there are plenty of reasons to visit in each season based on your goals. Throughout the year the average high temperatures are in the upper 60s Fahrenheit, with lows in the 40s and 50s. 


This trip is available any time of year and can depart any day between Wednesday and Sunday. If you wish to depart on a Monday or Tuesday it may be possible but an additional supplement will be needed. We suggest booking as far in advance as possible for a better chance of securing your desired dates. 

Getting to the Start

The closest airport to Santa Cruz is San Jose International Airport. You could also fly into San Francisco International Airport or Oakland International Airport

It's about a 40-minute drive between San Jose and Santa Cruz. There are plenty of car rental options at the airport, or you can take the Early Bird Shuttle. There is also the public bus, Santa Cruz Metro route 17 Express that connects Santa Cruz to the Airport. 

Getting from the End

Your tour ends in Monterey. The nearest airport is San Jose International Airport. You could also fly out of San Francisco International Airport or Oakland International Airport. There is also the Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) with limited domestic flights. 

You can take the Amtrak from Monterey to San Jose Airport in roughly 4 hours. 

Luggage Transfer

Baggage transfer from San Francisco to Sonoma is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 22 kg / 50lbs per person.


Our pre-departure information pack includes a detailed equipment list on what to take with you. This includes warm and cold weather gear, hiking boots, rain gear, and lots of other specifics. If you have any questions about what to take, we'd be happy to share our own top tips and advice.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?


Day 1: Arrive in Santa Cruz and Overnight Day 2: Wilder Ridge Loop Walk 6 miles / 10 km Day 3: Walk to Aptos 11 miles / 18 km Day 4: Redwood Loop Walk 8 miles / 13 km Day 5: Walk to Moss Landing 13 miles / 22 km Day 6: Walk to Marina 7 miles / 11 km Day 7: Walk to Monterey 11 miles / 19 km Day 8: Walk to Pacific Grove 7 miles / 11 km Day 9: Onward Travel

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