As many Golden State residents know, a favorite summer activity is a trip to Big Sur, California, home to the world’s most popular surfing destination. Whether you’re planning to visit it several times a year or just a once-in-a-lifetime trip, today’s guide will introduce you to the most inspiring places to visit. Although we have visited Big Sur many times over the years, we’ve never lost that special feeling we get when immersed in this beautiful area.
There are a number of family-friendly places to camp, hike, and eat in the area, as well as some of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast.
This 100-mile route is the most common for visitors traveling from Southern and Central California to Northern California. This scenic adventure begins at Ragged Point near San Simeon and continues to Big Sur and then further north to Monterey.
The Big Sur section of Highway 1 is one of the most scenic routes in the entire state of California. There are great views of Monterey Bay and the San Luis Obispo County border, but there is no direct connection to the rest of Northern California or the Pacific Ocean. Note, avoid driving at night, as there are long distances without lights which can make it tiring, so plan your drive time accordingly.
From Los Angeles, you can reach Big Sur in San Simeon in 3.5 – 4 hours, but if you are coming from San Francisco, you should expect a 2 – 3 hour drive north, where the drive to Big Sur begins.
California Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, winds through the heart of Big Sur, flanked by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the north and the Carmel Valley and Monterey Bay to the south. Big Sur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California and the second-largest tourist destination in North America after San Francisco.
From north to south, the Pacific changes from a slate grey to a soft blue, and the endless crashing of the surf waves on the shore is a constant lullaby. One of its famous vantage points is located at the summit of Neptune, at a distance of about 2,000 feet. Another must-see stop during your visit to Big Sur is Keyhole Rock. You can also explore the Big Sur Beach Resort, the beach restaurant, and the historic Big Sur Hotel.
If you want to chill out, visit an art gallery, do yoga, hang out by the Big Sur River, drink a few brews or just relax, look no further than Big Sur Village.
Remember that some hikes can be inaccessible at certain times of the year, and the summer months of June – August can be foggy. It’s also easy to tack on a road trip north into Monterey or San Francisco, or alternately to the south through San Luis Obispo County which sports diverse and beautiful scenery as well as a meaningful wine region, well worth exploring.
There are loads of amazing resorts all along this region with a wide variety of luxury amenities, and restaurants galore! Ready to get started? We’ll help you plan it all – contact us at AMT Travel today!