The Final Huge Sur Street Journey Itinerary & Finest Viewpoints

Positioned on the Pacific Coast of Central California, Huge Sur is a stupendous vacation spot stretching 90 miles alongside California Freeway 1. It might be brief however a Huge Sur highway journey packs an enormous punch full of unimaginable surroundings, a number of state parks, culinary delights, and delightful seaside communities.

It’s no marvel the Huge Sur Street Journey is usually rated as probably the greatest highway journeys on the planet. With sea stacks and waterfalls, mountaineering trails, and ocean cliffs, this is without doubt one of the most lovely locations we’ve been to in america. It’s price spending greater than only a day driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco alongside this route. Take your time to see the sights and make sure to keep the evening.

Huge Sur Street Journey Itinerary

big sur road trip itinerary - california roadside attraction

We have now put collectively a Huge Sur Street Journey itinerary highlighting the entire prime viewpoints on California Freeway 1, recommended resorts, and prime points of interest. The Huge Sur drive may simply be carried out as a day journey from San Francisco, however there may be a lot to see, that we advocate spending not less than 4 days driving alongside this stretch of the Pacific Coast Freeway 1.

Huge Sur is supposed to be taken slowly, so benefit from the trip, pullover when you may, or observe a backroad to wherever it goes. Take pleasure in!

Be aware: Parks in Huge Sur are continuously altering with openings and closures. Keep updated on the California Authorities Web site right here. Freeway 1 additionally generally has closures so make sure to observe this Web site throughout your Huge Sur itinerary for updates on any issues.

Easy methods to Get to Huge Sur

To Get to Huge Sur from San Francisco, observe US 101 to 85 South after which merge onto 17 South till you come to freeway 1. You’ll then observe Freeway 1 all the way in which to Monterey the place you’ll start your drive alongside the Huge Sur shoreline of the Pacific Coast Freeway.

Our Huge Sur Street Journey itinerary follows a route from north to south, however it may be driving south to north from L.A. The official Huge Sur drive begins in Carmel by Sea persevering with south to San Simeon. If you wish to exploring every little thing alongside California Freeway 1 you may learn our Full California Street Journey information right here: The Final California Street Journey Itinerary

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

The 2 closest airports to Carmel by the Sea are San Francisco and San Jose Airport (they’re solely half-hour aside, so it doesn’t matter which on you fly into however San Jose is the closes). We advocate flying into San Francisco and spending a number of days within the metropolis you can begin your highway journey by driving throughout the Golden Gate Bridge! Learn our information at 72 Hours in San Francisco – A Native’s Information to the Metropolis

We picked up our rental automobile on the airport and had the liberty to discover town by automobile earlier than transferring on to Huge Sur. You may’t actually get to Huge Sur in case you don’t drive. There are some excursions and day journeys however in case you don’t have your individual automobile, we extremely advocate renting a automobile to expertise Huge Sur to the fullest. Evaluate rental automobile costs at for quotes on automobiles.

Huge Sur Street Journey – Factors of Curiosity

After you have made your solution to Carmel, we recommend making a base both right here or in Monterey. Carmel is only a few minute’s drive from Monterey and there are many issues to do in each communities.

We have now total posts devoted to all of the issues to do in Monterey and Carmel however let’s break down a number of issues to see in each communities to start out the highway journey off proper. If you wish to learn extra about them, you are able to do so at Issues to do in Carmel by the Sea, California, 20 Nice Issues to do in Monterey, California

1. Monterey

California Roat Trip stop: Monterey
California Roat Journey cease: Monterey

Monterey is a vacation spot in its personal proper and is a unbelievable place to go to in California. I believe the highest attract Monterey is the Monterey Bay Aquarium which is devoted to analysis and conservation to protect wildlife within the waters offshore. It has interactive shows and an open sea exhibit displaying a whole bunch of species of marine life. It’s positioned on Cannery Row which is a historic road full of buying and eating places.

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

When strolling alongside Cannery Row, you are feeling as in case you stepped again in time right into a John Steinbeck novel. This has saved the texture of when it was the sardine capital of the world. We additionally advocate getting on the water, you may go whale watching, kayaking and see the resident sea lions and sea otters. Learn extra: 20 Nice Issues to do in Monterey, California

2. Carmel by the Sea

carmel by the sea

The primary official cease on our Huge Sur highway journey itinerary is Carmel by the Sea. It’s a lovely seaside group that is without doubt one of the most unique communities in america. Clint Eastwood was the mayor of this lovely seaside city and there are many issues to do in Carmel to maintain you occupied for a day or two. Carmel actually does really feel like a storybook with fairy story cottages, artwork galleries, and lovely ocean views.

We stayed at The Hideaway which had beautiful rooms and was positioned only a half a mile from the seaside. It was centrally positioned in downtown Carmel so we may stroll to eating places at evening making it an incredible base for the north portion of your Huge Sur highway journey. TripAdvisor /

3. 17 Mile Drive

big sur road trip - 17 mile drive carmel

There’s a highway journey inside a highway journey right here the place you may take a detour to see 17-Mile Drive. We rented an e-bike to see this drive. It was a good way to keep away from visitors and to have the ability to cease in any respect the well-known viewpoints together with the Ghost Tree and the Lone Cypress.

This stretch of highway goes by means of the unique group of Pebble Seaside the place there are world-class golf programs, loads of seashores, and scenic views. Learn all about our time right here: 17 Mile Drive – What to See on the Scenic Drive of Pebble Seaside

4. Level Lobos State Park

road trip big sur - point lobos
Level Lobos State Pure Reserve

The primary designated cease on the Huge Sur highway journey is the Level Lobos State Park which is positioned simply outdoors Carmel by the Sea. This is without doubt one of the most picturesque stops alongside the Huge Sur highway journey positioned within the north finish of the drive. There are mountaineering trails main out to scenic views, and it’s a scuba diving mecca for folks eager to discover the underwater sea kelp forests. However Level Lobos State Pure Reserve can also be a fowl lovers’ paradise. Price: $10 per car.

Whale Watching and Historical past

big sur road trip itinerary whales

Make certain to take a look at Whalers Cove to study in regards to the 1800s whaling and abalone enterprise. Whales migrate by means of this route of the Pacific Ocean and it was as soon as a big whaling space. It’s darkish sure, however necessary to find out about all historical past. This small cabin was as soon as house to Chinese language Fishermen and has now been transformed right into a museum.

To go to Level Lobos State Park there’s a $10 price per car. You’ll discover that you simply’ll be paying $10 loads on the Huge Sur highway journey as there’s a $10 price per car to enter State Parks. For those who plan on visiting a number of the parks, we advocate a State Park Move.

5. Garrapata State Park

things to do in big sur garrapata state park

One other one of many many California state parks positioned alongside this drive outdoors of an city middle is Garrapata State Park. This was one among our favourite stops and it is without doubt one of the finest free issues to do in Huge Sur. With mountaineering trails main out to sea cliffs, Garrapata State Park presents lovely views of rock formations off the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

Positioned in Northern Huge Sur, you’ll discover the pull-off between mile markers 17 and 18. Once we had been there hardly anybody else was strolling the mountaineering trails. We felt like we had extraordinary views all to ourselves.

Be aware: Most of Garrapata State Park stays closed because the 2016 Soberanes Hearth however the 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 spanning over the gorge at Bixby Creek

The Bixby Creek Bridge (usually simply known as Bixby Bridge) is probably the most well-known of points of interest alongside our Huge Sur Street journey and is a spot that you have to not miss pulling over to snap some pictures. It’s been featured in numerous movies and most lately, The Bixby Bridge was entrance and middle within the sequence Huge Little Lies. On the opening of every episode, the Bixby Creek Bridge is featured.

California Road Trip Bixby Bridge

The Bixby Bridge is a scenic cease alongside the Huge Sur shoreline with pull-offs on both aspect. It is without doubt one of the most photographed spots within the space and with good purpose. The bridge stands 260 toes above a deep canyon and was in-built 1932. It actually is a feat of engineering and is price making a cease to soak up the beautiful views up the coast.

  • There isn’t a price to park on the Bixby Bridge, however parking is restricted. We went at dawn and no one else was there. We stopped once more at sundown and in mid day and located it tough to seek out parking.

7. Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molero state Park Big Sur

In case you are in search of an extended sandy seaside in your Huge Sur drive, Andrew Molera is an efficient cease. It is usually the biggest of the numerous State Parks alongside this highway journey so be ready to stroll. For a enjoyable journey, take the seaside path strolling alongside a 1-mile lengthy route (1.6km) to the seaside the place you’ll must wade by means of the waters of the Huge Sur River. When the water is excessive, the park places up seasonal footbridges.

8. Level Sur lighthouse

Persevering with north, make your solution to Level Sur Lighthouse, a part of the California State Park system. What was as soon as an necessary beacon of navigation for ships touring by means of the treacherous waters of the Pacific Ocean of the Central California Coast, can at this time be considered on a guided strolling tour. Relationship again to 1889, it presents lovely views from its coveted perch.

9. Huge Sur River Inn & Restaurant

big sur river inn

One among our favourite stops on our Huge Sur highway journey was the Huge Sur River Inn and Restaurant. Positioned on the Huge Sur River, visitors can chill out on the Adirondak Chairs (or as residents of Ontario, Canada prefer to name them – Muskoka Chairs) and benefit from the peace and solitude. This inn was the primary restaurant and lodge within the space and is a must-stop. Relationship again to 1888, the property was initially owned by early homesteader Jay Pheneger after which offered to Michael and Barbara Pfeiffer. (I instructed you the Pheiffer’s received round).

Huge Sur River Inn & Restaurant is simply 2 miles away from Andrew Molera State Park makes for an excellent base to take pleasure in this State Park.

Make certain to peruse the memorabilia hanging on the partitions of the restaurant. It’s additionally an excellent place to refill on the gasoline station, choose some meals on the normal retailer and seize and ice cream on the ice cream truck. It is a staple within the space and an excellent place for lunch in your Huge Sur drive or to select up some snacks for the highway on the Normal Retailer. Don’t overlook to seize an ice cream there as properly. It’s to die for.

10. The Huge Sur Roadhouse

The Huge Sur Roadhouse was an incredible cease for lunch with meals constituted of native elements and a farm-to-table menu. The meals was unbelievable, however we additionally liked the relaxed ambiance. Positive, the wealthy and well-known frequent this spot, but it surely doesn’t really feel snooty or unwelcoming. The truth is, it nonetheless has that hippie vibe that made it so particular within the first place.

11. Pfeiffer Seaside

Pfeiffer beach big Sur

One among our favourite locations to go to in Huge Sur was Pfeiffer Seaside. Positioned simply south of Huge Sur Station, Pfeiffer Seaside was a bit tough to seek out, however fortunately, Viktor Elizarof wrote an incredible Pictures Information right here to assist us discover it!

Easy methods to get to Pfeiffer Seaside: Take the cut-off at Sycamore Canyon Street and drive the rugged two-mile observe right down to the seaside. Right here you’ll discover the beautiful Greenback Seaside and Keyhole Arch rock formation. Pfeiffer Seaside has an extended sandy seaside that may be a lovely stroll at sundown with wonderful views. It’s a large seaside with excessive sand dunes and the place Sycamore Canyon Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean.

Big Sur things to do Pfeiffer Beach Arch
Beautiful Pfeiffer Seaside at sundown

You should definitely take a stroll all the way in which alongside the seaside the place you’ll discover the purple sand that made Pfeiffer Seaside well-known. The purple color was created from the manganese garnet rocks discovered within the sea cliffs. There’s a $10 entrance price to Pfeiffer Seaside.

12. Cease in at Nepenthe

things to do in big sur view from nepenthe

This coast has drawn artisans for many years and no place reveals that greater than Nepenthe. Sitting excessive atop a sea cliff wanting over the Pacific Ocean and Santa Lucia Mountains, this has been the go-to spot for poets, vacationers and artists.

There may be nothing higher than sitting on its outside terrace to observe the sundown and picture who else has loved these views. It was as soon as owned by Rita Hayworth and Orsen Wells. You should definitely peruse the Phoenix Store that includes native artists.

10. Ventana resort

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

We stayed an evening in each Monterey and Carmel however we additionally stayed two nights at Ventana Resort. There may be tenting and different lodging alongside the route as properly. Ventana Resort is pricey however in addition they supply tenting and Glamping so there are reasonably priced choices Learn extra about Ventana right here at Glamping in Huge Sur – Luxurious within the Redwood Forest

Two Sides to Ventana

Access to the Amenities at Ventana while Glamping in Big Sur
Entry to the Facilities at Ventana whereas Glamping in Huge Sur

Ventana Resort – We camped within the luxurious tented camp among the many redwoods of Ventana resort after which spent the evening in one among its luxurious suites. If you wish to really feel what it’s prefer to dwell like film stars, splurge for an evening on this place. It makes for an incredible base to discover all the highest issues to do in Huge Sur as properly. Learn: Glamping in Huge Sur – Luxurious within the Redwood Forest

Ventana Huge Sur An Alila Resort is an opulent keep in Huge Sur with decadent suites which have outside showers, sizzling tubs and hammocks. In case you are trying to splurge simply as soon as in your life, keep right here. Taylor Swift and Mark Zuckerberg have stayed at this resort.

11. Glamping at Ventana

Glamping in Big Sur

A extra reasonably priced to take pleasure in Ventana is to camp with your individual RV amongst its redwoods or e book an evening within the Glamping Tents. We stayed in one of many tents they usually equipped every little thing from sizzling water bottles to cooking utensils and every little thing we would have liked to make SMores. You can even us the services when tenting on the campground and benefit from the eating places.

12. Submit Ranch Inn

Submit Ranch Inn is one other place to remain on you Huge Sur highway journey. It’s past unimaginable resort with non-public suites, infinity swimming pools, and ridiculous luxurious. (albeit rather less costly than Ventana) But when you will splurge anyplace in your life, it would as properly be on this luxury drive in California. Benefit from the lifetime of a film star for an evening or to as you rejoice an anniversary or big day.

13. Henry Miller Memorial Library

The Henry Miller Memorial Library honors the author who was a long-time resident. It additionally options resident artists with dwell performances, and books on the market by native writers and it showcases native artists with rotating reveals. It’s open Wednesday by means of Saturday. Go to the web site for occasions.

14. McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

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

Positioned within the south of the Huge Sur at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is McWay Falls. It is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in Huge Sur. To not be confused with Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park (we’ll get to that in a minute), Julia Pfeiffer State Park was named after Julia Pfeiffer, an early pioneer within the space. Take a brief half-a-mile hike (800 meters) to probably the most lovely waterfall tumbling into the ocean.

McWay Falls is without doubt one of the most photographed websites in Huge Sur and with good purpose. This excellent little cove plunges 80 toes/24 meters from a granite cliff. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a stupendous place for dawn or sundown. How do we all know? We went for each!

Price to see McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – You guessed it, $10 per automobile. For dawn, we took an opportunity and didn’t pay. No person was there that early/

15. Redwood Forests of Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park

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

I’ve to say, the Pheiffer’s received round! (not in the way in which you’re pondering). The Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park takes you to the southernmost place of the California Redwoods. Get off the coast and hike by means of the redwoods to Huge Sur River. Therea are 38 miles of trails at Pfeiffer Huge Sur and also you’ll discover a number of the oldest and largest redwoods within the space right here.

For those who take the George Path, you’ll be capable of see a recreation of early homesteader John Pfeiffer’s 1884 cabin. Discover this half to witness the Santa Lucia Mountains rising from the Huge Sur River Gorge and get misplaced on this 1,000-acre protect. Price: $10 per car.

Limekiln State Park

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

Can’t get sufficient of Redwoods? If you wish to do some tenting, Limekiln State Park has campgrounds at Limekiln Creek and at a seaside. Be taught in regards to the historical past of Huge Sur right here as you uncover the Eighteen Eighties trade of lime harvesting. Again then lime was taken from the ocean cliffs and processed in lime kilns fuelled by the large redwoods. Boy am I glad they stopped this trade. Though they didn’t have a lot of a alternative, the lime and the redwoods had been exhausted and left in ruins. However nature has grown again across the iron-and-stone kilns connects.

Sand Greenback Seaside

Just a bit farther south is the longest seaside in Huge Sur, Sand Greenback Seaside. In addition to being the longest seaside, it’s a fashionable spot for browsing. There’s a close by campground so if you wish to spend a while on the seaside, you may arrange store simply down the highway. Sand {dollars} will be discovered on the seaside at low tide making this a preferred tide pooling spot. Simply ensure to look and don’t contact.

There’s a $10 price per car to go to Sand Greenback Seaside.

Ragged Level

things to do in big sure video
Watch our video of our drive right here.

In case you are in search of a break, cease in on the Ragged Level Inn and Resort which sits excessive on a sea cliff. Positioned north of San Simeon, Ragged Level was as soon as a part of the Hearst Ranch. The Ramey household arrange store right here within the Fifties and it has been handed right down to generations as at this time the great-grandchildren run the resort and restaurant. Even in case you are not staying at Ragged Level, ensure to take pleasure in a meal and take within the views of the California Coast. Make certain to cease at Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve to see the resident elephant seals.

Finish at San Simeon

hearst castle swimming pool
Hearst Fort Swimming Pool – Street Journey California

San Simeon is the place the Huge Sur Street Journey ends however the Pacific Coast Freeway continues on to Los Angeles. You may make a base right here as there are many issues to do. That is house to Hearst Fort, there are seashores, mountaineering trails, and like this whole highway journey, loads of marine life and delightful views of the Pacific Ocean. You may take excursions of Hearst Fort beginning at $30.

Learn These different posts to assist plan your Huge Sur highway journey

The place to Eat On Your Huge Sur Drive

where to eat in Big Sur


Unimaginable Prix Repair meals and effective eating overlooking the Pacific Ocean from excessive atop sea cliffs. We even noticed whales within the distance throughout our breakfast right here. (ensure to carry your binoculars). This place is busy for dinner so reservations are really helpful.


Food at Nepenthe in Big Sur California

Nepenthe is without doubt one of the hottest locations to eat due to its superior view. With views of the Santa Lucia Mountains to the Pacific, ensure so as to add it to your Huge Sur itinerary. We liked our meal and the ambiance of Nepenthe and extremely advocate having dinner right here.

Are there Finances Resorts in Huge Sur?

Not likely, this space caters to the luxurious market except you’re tenting. The historic Huge Sur River Inn is the closest to reasonably priced but it’s nonetheless dear. Nevertheless, ti doesn’t attain the 1000’s of {dollars} per evening of the Submit Ranch in or Ventana.

Fernwood Resort can also be an excellent choice with a wide range of tenting, cabins, and a motel.

Tenting in Huge Sur

big sur camping ventana redwoods

Don’t fear, in case you don’t wish to lay our a fortune on a room for an evening, there may be loads of tenting alongside the Huge Sur highway journey. Some fashionable campgrounds are Pfeiffer Huge Sur Campground, Huge Sur Campground and Cabins, and Riverside Campground and Cabins.

In case you are in search of reasonably priced lodging, try resorts in Monterey and Carmel by the Sea. They’re nice locations to make a base whereas in your highway journey.

Lease a Automobile – California is a state for driving so lease a automobile to your Huge Sur drive. You may evaluate automobile rental costs at

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big sur road trip itinerary

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

What’s the finest time to go to Huge Sur?

There isn’t a unhealthy time to go to Huge Sur. Being California it may be explored year-round. The height season is from April to November with crowds being heaviest in July and August. September to November remains to be lovely and fewer crowded and winter is an efficient time to seek out offers on lodging. We went in Might and June and had few crowds and the climate was beautiful with sunny days and chilly evenings.

How lengthy must you spend in Huge Sur?

You may see all of the viewpoints and points of interest in sooner or later, however we advocate a 3 day Huge Sur itinerary to actually discover it and to do all of the hikes, benefit from the eating places and resorts.

Are you able to drive to Huge Sur?

You may drive to Huge Sur from Los Angeles or San Francisco. It’s fashionable to make a base in Carmel by the Sea or Monterey. It’s a five-hour drive from Los Angeles and is 2 hours and half-hour from San Francisco.

The place does the Huge Sur highway journey begin and finish?

There isn’t a particular start line for a Huge Sur itinerary, however the drive is usually thought-about to start in Carmel by the Sea in case you are coming from San Francisco and ends close to the San Carpóforo Creek within the north of San Simeon.

And these are the highest issues to do in Huge Sur together with probably the most lovely locations to go to. In case you are planning a visit to California, make sure to try this beautiful stretch of freeway alongside the Pacific Coast.

Learn Extra About California

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