The Ultimate Big Sur Trip Schedule & Finest Perspectives

Situated on the Pacific Coastline of Central The Golden State, Big Sur is a gorgeous location extending 90 miles along The golden state Freeway 1. It might be brief yet a Large Sur journey loads a massive strike loaded with amazing surroundings, numerous state parks, cooking thrills, and also stunning seaside neighborhoods.

It’s not surprising that the Huge Sur Trip is frequently ranked as one of the most effective journey on the planet. With sea heaps and also falls, treking tracks, and also sea high cliffs, this is among one of the most stunning locations we have actually been to in the USA. It deserves investing greater than simply a day driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco along this course. Take your time to see the views and also make certain to remain the evening.

Huge Sur Trip Schedule

big sur road trip itinerary - california roadside attraction

We have actually created a Large Sur Trip travel plan highlighting every one of the leading perspectives on The golden state Freeway 1, recommended resorts, and also leading tourist attractions. The Huge Sur drive can quickly be done as an outing from San Francisco, yet there is a lot to see, that we suggest costs at the very least 4 days driving along this stretch of the Pacific Coastline Freeway 1.

Huge Sur is implied to be taken gradually, so appreciate the trip, shirt when you can, or adhere to a backroad to any place it goes. Delight in!

Note: Parks in Big Sur are continuously altering with openings and closures. Stay up to date at the California Government Website here. Freeway 1 likewise in some cases has closures so make certain to follow this Website throughout your Huge Sur travel plan for updates on any type of issues.

Just How to Reach Huge Sur

To Reach Huge Sur from San Francisco, adhere to United States 101 to 85 South and afterwards combine onto 17 South till you pertain to freeway 1. You will certainly after that adhere to Freeway 1 completely to Monterey where you will certainly start your drive along the Huge Sur shoreline of the Pacific Coastline Freeway.

Our Huge Sur Trip travel plan adheres to a course from north to southern, yet it can be driving southern to north from L.A. The main Big Sur drive starts in Carmel by Sea proceeding southern to San Simeon. If you intend to discovering whatever along The golden state Freeway 1 you can review our Full The golden state Trip overview below: The Ultimate The Golden State Trip Schedule

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

Both closest flight terminals to Carmel by the Sea are San Francisco and also San Jose Flight Terminal (they are just half an hour apart, so no matter which on you fly right into yet San Jose is the closes). We suggest flying right into San Francisco and also investing a couple of days in the city you can begin your journey by driving throughout the Golden Entrance Bridge! Review our overview at 72 Hrs in San Francisco– A Citizen’s Overview to the City

We got our rental cars and truck at the flight terminal and also had the liberty to check out the city by cars and truck prior to proceeding to Huge Sur. You can not actually reach Huge Sur if you do not drive. There are some scenic tours and also excursion yet if you do not have your very own cars and truck, we extremely suggest leasing a cars and truck to experience Huge Sur to the max. Contrast rental cars and truck costs at for quotes on cars and trucks.

Huge Sur Trip– Sights

As soon as you have actually made your means to Carmel, we recommend making a base either below or in Monterey. Carmel is simply a couple of min’s drive from Monterey and also there are a lot of points to do in both neighborhoods.

We have actually whole messages committed to all things to do in Monterey and also Carmel yet allow’s damage down a couple of points to see in both neighborhoods to begin the journey off right. If you intend to find out more concerning them, you can do so at Points to do in Carmel by the Sea, The Golden State, 20 Wonderful Points to do in Monterey, The Golden State

1. Monterey

California Roat Trip stop: Monterey
The golden state Roat Journey quit: Monterey

Monterey is a location in its very own right and also is an amazing area to see in The golden state. I assume the leading attract Monterey is the Monterey Bay Fish tank which is committed to research study and also preservation to maintain wild animals in the waters offshore. It has interactive display screens and also an ocean blue display presenting numerous types of aquatic life. It lies on Cannery Row which is a historical road loaded with buying and also dining establishments.

big sur road trip itinerary sea lions
A lot marinelife to see

When walking along Cannery Row, you really feel as if you went back in time right into a John Steinbeck book. This has actually maintained the feeling of when it was the sardine funding of the globe. We likewise suggest hopping on the water, you can go whale enjoying, kayaking and also see the resident sea lions and also sea otters. Learn more: 20 Great Points to do in Monterey, The Golden State

2. Carmel by the Sea

carmel by the sea

The very first main quit on our Huge Sur journey travel plan is Carmel by the Sea. It is a gorgeous seaside neighborhood that is among one of the most unique neighborhoods in the USA. Clint Eastwood was the mayor of this stunning seaside community and also there are a lot of points to do in Carmel to maintain you inhabited for a day or 2. Carmel genuinely does seem like a storybook with fairytale homes, art galleries, and also beautiful sea sights.

We remained at The Secluded which had beautiful areas and also lay simply a fifty percent a mile from the coastline. It was centrally situated in midtown Carmel so we can stroll to dining establishments during the night making it an excellent base for the north part of your Huge Sur journey. TripAdvisor /

3. 17 Mile Drive

big sur road trip - 17 mile drive carmel

There is a journey within a journey below where you can take a detour to see 17-Mile Drive. We rented out an e-bike to see this drive. It was an excellent means to prevent website traffic and also to be able to quit in all the renowned perspectives consisting of the Ghost Tree and also the Lone Cypress.

This stretch of roadway experiences the unique neighborhood of Stone Coastline where there are first-rate golf links, a lot of coastlines, and also panoramas. Check Out everything about our time below: 17 Mile Drive– What to See on the Picturesque Drive of Stone Coastline

4. Factor Lobos State Park

road trip big sur - point lobos
Factor Lobos State Natural Get

The very first marked quit on the Huge Sur journey is the Factor Lobos State Park which lies simply outside Carmel by the Sea. This is among one of the most stunning quits along the Huge Sur journey situated in the north end of the drive. There are treking tracks leading bent on panoramas, and also it is a diving capital for individuals intending to check out the undersea sea kelp woodlands. However Factor Lobos State Natural Get is likewise a bird enthusiasts’ heaven. Price: $10 per car.

Whale Viewing and also Background

big sur road trip itinerary whales

Make certain to take a look at Whalers Cove to learn more about the 1800s whaling and also abalone service. Whales move via this course of the Pacific Sea and also it was when a huge whaling location. It’s dark indeed, yet vital to learn more about all background. This little cabin was when house to Chinese Anglers and also has actually currently been exchanged a gallery.

To see Factor Lobos State Park there is a $10 charge per car You’ll locate that you’ll be paying $10 a great deal on the Huge Sur journey as there is a $10 charge per car to get in State Parks. If you intend on seeing a great deal of the parks, we suggest a State Park Pass.

5. Garrapata State Park

things to do in big sur garrapata state park

An additional among the numerous California state parks situated along this drive beyond a city facility is Garrapata State Park. This was just one of our favored quits and also it is among the most effective totally free points to do in Huge Sur. With treking tracks leading bent on sea high cliffs, Garrapata State Park uses stunning sights of rock developments off the shore of the Pacific Sea.

Situated in Northern Big Sur, you’ll locate the pull-off in between mile pens 17 and also 18. When we existed rarely any individual else was strolling the treking tracks. We seemed like we had amazing sights all to ourselves.

Note: A Lot Of Garrapata State Park stays shut considering that the 2016 Soberanes Fire yet the very first 1.25 miles of the path is open. Price: Free

6. Bixby Creek Bridge

bixby creek bridge big sur things to do
Bixby Bridge covering over the canyon at Bixby Creek

The Bixby Creek Bridge (frequently simply described as Bixby Bridge) is one of the most renowned of tourist attractions along our Huge Sur Journey and also is an area that you should not miss out on drawing over to break some pictures. It’s been included in many movies and also most just recently, The Bixby Bridge was front and also facility in the collection Big Little Exists. At the opening of each episode, the Bixby Creek Bridge is included.

California Road Trip Bixby Bridge

The Bixby Bridge is a picturesque quit along the Huge Sur shoreline with pull-offs on either side. It is among one of the most photographed places in the location and also with excellent factor. The bridge stands 260 feet over a deep canyon and also was integrated in 1932. It genuinely is an accomplishment of design and also deserves making a quit to absorb the beautiful sights up the shore.

  • There is no charge to park at the Bixby Bridge, yet car park is restricted We addressed dawn and also no one else existed. We quit once again at sundown and also in mid day and also located it hard to locate car park.

7. Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molero state Park Big Sur

If you are seeking a lengthy sandy coastline on your Huge Sur drive, Andrew Molera is an excellent quit. It is likewise the biggest of the numerous State Parks along this journey so be prepared to stroll. For an enjoyable experience, take the coastline path strolling along a 1-mile lengthy course (1.6 kilometres) to the coastline where you’ll need to learn the waters of the Huge Sur River. When the water is high, the park sets up seasonal footbridges.

8. Factor Sur lighthouse

Proceeding north, make your means to Aim Sur Lighthouse, component of the California State Park system. What was when a crucial sign of navigating for ships taking a trip via the treacherous waters of the Pacific Sea of the Central The golden state Coastline, can today be checked out on a led strolling trip. Going back to 1889, it uses stunning sights from its desirable perch.

9. Huge Sur River Inn & Dining Establishment

big sur river inn

Among our favored quits on our Huge Sur journey was the Huge Sur River Inn and also Dining Establishment. Situated on the Huge Sur River, visitors can kick back on the Adirondak Chairs (or as homeowners of Ontario, Canada like to call them– Muskoka Chairs) and also appreciate the tranquility and also seclusion. This inn was the very first dining establishment and also resort in the location and also is a must-stop. Going back to 1888, the home was initially possessed by very early homesteader Jay Pheneger and afterwards marketed to Michael and also Barbara Pfeiffer. (I informed you the Pheiffer’s navigated).

Big Sur River Inn & Restaurant is just 2 miles away from Andrew Molera State Park makes for a good base to enjoy this State Park.

Make sure to peruse the memorabilia hanging on the walls of the restaurant. It’s also a good place to fill up at the gas station, pick some food at the general store and grab and ice cream at the ice cream truck. This is a staple in the area and a good place for lunch on your Big Sur drive or to pick up some snacks for the road at the General Store. Don’t forget to grab an ice cream there as well. It is to die for.

10. The Big Sur Roadhouse

The Big Sur Roadhouse was a great stop for lunch with meals made from local ingredients and a farm-to-table menu. The food was fantastic, but we also loved the relaxed atmosphere. Sure, the rich and famous frequent this spot, but it doesn’t feel snooty or unwelcoming. In fact, it still has that hippie vibe that made it so special in the first place.

11. Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer beach big Sur

One of our favorite places to visit in Big Sur was Pfeiffer Beach. Located just south of Big Sur Station, Pfeiffer Beach was a bit difficult to find, but luckily, Viktor Elizarof wrote a great Photography Guide here to help us find it!

How to get to Pfeiffer Beach: Take the cut-off at Sycamore Canyon Road and drive the rugged two-mile track down to the beach. Here you’ll find the gorgeous Dollar Beach and Keyhole Arch rock formation. Pfeiffer Beach has a long sandy beach that is a beautiful walk at sunset with amazing views. It’s a wide beach with high sand dunes and where Sycamore Canyon Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean.

Big Sur things to do Pfeiffer Beach Arch
Stunning Pfeiffer Beach at sunset

Be sure to take a walk all the way along the beach where you’ll find the purple sand that made Pfeiffer Beach famous. The purple colour was created from the manganese garnet rocks found in the sea cliffs. There is a $10 entrance fee to Pfeiffer Beach.

12. Stop in at Nepenthe

things to do in big sur view from nepenthe

This coast has drawn artisans for decades and no place shows that more than Nepenthe. Sitting high atop a sea cliff looking over the Pacific Ocean and Santa Lucia Mountains, this has been the go-to spot for poets, travelers and artists.

There is nothing better than sitting on its outdoor terrace to watch the sunset and imagine who else has enjoyed these views. It was once owned by Rita Hayworth and Orsen Wells. Be sure to peruse the Phoenix Shop featuring local artists.

10. Ventana resort

where to stay in big sur ventana
The lobby of Ventana Resort

We stayed a night in both Monterey and Carmel but we also stayed two nights at Ventana Resort. There is camping and other accommodation along the route as well. Ventana Resort is expensive but they also offer camping and Glamping so there are affordable options Read more about Ventana here at Glamping in Big Sur – Luxury in the Redwood Forest

Two Sides to Ventana

Access to the Amenities at Ventana while Glamping in Big Sur
Access to the Amenities at Ventana while Glamping in Big Sur

Ventana Resort – We camped in the luxury tented camp among the redwoods of Ventana resort and then spent the night in one of its luxury suites. If you want to feel what it’s like to live like movie stars, splurge for a night on this place. It makes for a great base to explore all the top things to do in Big Sur as well. Read: Glamping in Big Sur – Luxury in the Redwood Forest

Ventana Big Sur An Alila Resort is a luxurious stay in Big Sur with decadent suites that have outdoor showers, hot tubs and hammocks. If you are looking to splurge just once in your life, stay here. Taylor Swift and Mark Zuckerberg have stayed at this resort.

11. Glamping at Ventana

Glamping in Big Sur

A more affordable to enjoy Ventana is to camp with your own RV among its redwoods or book a night in the Glamping Tents. We stayed in one of the tents and they supplied everything from hot water bottles to cooking utensils and everything we needed to make SMores. You can also us the facilities when camping at the campground and enjoy the restaurants.

12. Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn is another place to stay on you Big Sur road trip. It is beyond incredible resort with private suites, infinity pools, and ridiculous luxury. (albeit a little less expensive than Ventana) But if you are going to splurge anywhere in your life, it might as well be on this luxurious drive in California. Enjoy the life of a movie star for a night or to as you celebrate an anniversary or special occasion.

13. Henry Miller Memorial Library

The Henry Miller Memorial Library honors the writer who was a long-time resident. It also features resident artists with live performances, and books for sale by local writers and it showcases local artists with rotating shows. It is open Wednesday through Saturday. Visit the website for events.

14. McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

what to do in big sur McWay Falls
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, McWay Falls

Situated in the south of the Huge Sur at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is McWay Falls. It is among one of the most preferred points to do in Huge Sur. Not to be perplexed with Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (we’ll reach that soon), Julia Pfeiffer State Park was called after Julia Pfeiffer, a very early leader in the location. Take a brief half-a-mile walking (800 meters) to one of the most stunning falls detecting the sea.

McWay Falls is among one of the most photographed websites in Huge Sur and also with excellent factor This best little cove dives 80 feet/24 meters from a granite high cliff. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a gorgeous area for dawn or sundown. Exactly how do we understand? We opted for both!

Price to see McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park– You thought it, $10 per cars and truck. For dawn, we gambled and also really did not pay. No one existed that early/

15. Redwood Woodlands of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

California redwoods big sur
See the redwoods of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

I need to state, the Pheiffer’s navigated! (not in the means you are assuming). The Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park takes you to the southernmost area of the California Redwoods. Leave the shore and also walking via the redwoods to Huge Sur River. Therea are 38 miles of tracks at Pfeiffer Big Sur and also you’ll locate several of the earliest and also most significant redwoods in the location below.

If you take the George Route, you’ll have the ability to see an entertainment of very early homesteader John Pfeiffer’s 1884 cabin. Discover this component to witness the Santa Lucia Hills climbing from the Huge Sur River Canyon and also obtain shed in this 1,000-acre maintain. Price: $10 per car.

Limekiln State Park

big sur things to do, dave roasting marhsmallows at camp fire

Can not obtain sufficient of Redwoods? If you intend to do some outdoor camping, Limekiln State Park has camping sites at Limekiln Creek and also at a coastline. Learn more about the background of Huge Sur below as you uncover the 1880s market of lime harvesting. At that time lime was drawn from the sea high cliffs and also refined in lime kilns sustained by the substantial redwoods. Child am I delighted they quit this market. Although they really did not have much of an option, the lime and also the redwoods were worn down and also left in damages. However nature has actually expanded back around the iron-and-stone kilns attaches.

Sand Buck Coastline

Simply a little further southern is the lengthiest coastline in Huge Sur, Sand Buck Coastline. Along with being the lengthiest coastline, it is a preferred place for browsing. There is a neighboring camping site so if you intend to invest time at the coastline, you can start a business simply in the future. Sand bucks can be located on the coastline at reduced trend making this a preferred trend merging place. Simply see to it to look and also do not touch.

There is a $10 charge per car to see Sand Buck Coastline.

Rough Factor

things to do in big sure video
Enjoy our video clip of our drive below.

If you are seeking a break, drop in at the Rough Factor Inn and also Hotel which rests high up on a sea high cliff. Situated north of San Simeon, Rough Factor was when component of the Hearst Cattle ranch. The Ramey household started a business below in the 1950s and also it has actually been given to generations as today the great-grandchildren run the hotel and also dining establishment. Also if you are not remaining at Rough Factor, see to it to appreciate a dish and also absorb the sights of the California Coastline. Make certain to quit at Piedras Blancas State Marine Get to see the resident elephant seals.

End at San Simeon

hearst castle swimming pool
Hearst Castle Pool– Trip The Golden State

San Simeon is where the Huge Sur Trip finishes yet the Pacific Coastline Freeway advances to Los Angeles. You can make a base below as there are a lot of points to do. This is house to Hearst Castle, there are coastlines, treking tracks, and also such as this whole journey, a lot of aquatic life and also stunning sights of the Pacific Sea. You can take tours of Hearst Castle starting at $30.

Review These various other messages to aid prepare your Huge Sur journey

Where to Consume On Your Huge Sur Drive

where to eat in Big Sur


Amazing Prix Deal with dishes and also great eating neglecting the Pacific Sea from high atop sea high cliffs. We also saw whales distant throughout our morning meal below. (see to it to bring your field glasses). This area is active for supper so appointments are advised.


Food at Nepenthe in Big Sur California

Nepenthe is among one of the most preferred locations to consume due to its remarkable sight. With sights of the Santa Lucia Hills to the Pacific, see to it to include it to your Huge Sur travel plan. We enjoyed our dish and also the ambience of Nepenthe and also extremely suggest having supper below.

Exist Spending Plan Hotels in Big Sur?

Not actually, this location deals with the high-end market unless you are camping. The historical Huge Sur River Inn is the closest to budget friendly yet it is still costly. Nevertheless, ti does not get to the hundreds of bucks per evening of the Blog post Cattle Ranch in or Ventana.

Fernwood Hotel is likewise an excellent alternative with a range of outdoor camping, cabins, and also a motel.

Outdoor Camping in Huge Sur

big sur camping ventana redwoods

Do not stress, if you do not intend to invest a ton of money on an area for an evening, there is a lot of outdoor camping along the Huge Sur journey. Some preferred camping sites are Pfeiffer Big Sur Camping Area, Big Sur Camping Area and also Cabins, and also Waterfront Camping Area and also Cabins.

If you are seeking budget friendly holiday accommodation, take a look at resorts in Monterey and also Carmel by the Sea. They are terrific locations to make a base while on your journey.

Lease an Auto– The golden state is a state for driving so rent out a cars and truck for your Huge Sur drive. You can contrast cars and truck rental costs at

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big sur road trip itinerary

Regularly Asked Concerns

What is the most effective time to see Huge Sur?

There is no hard time to see Big Sur. Being The golden state it can be discovered year-round. The peak period is from April to November with groups being heaviest in July and also August. September to November is still stunning and also much less jampacked and also winter months is a great time to locate offers on holiday accommodation. We entered May and also June and also had couple of groups and also the weather condition was beautiful with bright days and also cold nights.

The length of time should you invest in Huge Sur?

You can see all the viewpoints and attractions in someday, yet we suggest a 3 day Huge Sur travel plan to actually discover it and also to do all the walks, appreciate the dining establishments and also resorts.

Can you drive to Huge Sur?

You can drive to Huge Sur from Los Angeles or San Francisco. It is preferred to make a base in Carmel by the Sea or Monterey. It is a five-hour drive from Los Angeles and also is 2 hrs and also half an hour from San Francisco.

Where does the Huge Sur journey begin and also finish?

There is no details starting point for a Large Sur travel plan, yet the drive is commonly thought about to start in Carmel by the Sea if you are originating from San Francisco and also finishes near the San Carpóforo Creek in the north of San Simeon.

And Also these are the leading points to do in Huge Sur in addition to one of the most stunning locations to see. If you are preparing a journey to The golden state, make certain to take a look at this beautiful stretch of freeway along the Pacific Coastline.

Learn More Concerning The Golden State

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