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: Sand dollar beach does indeed have sand dollars! Dont fret if you dont drink, they have tons of snacks you can eat as well! I mean, its absolutely GORGEOUS. The region is 90 miles long and begins south of Monterey and Santa Cruz. And plus, the water is chilly over here! It was so delicious and the outdoor dining setting right over the ocean was such a dream. Since it was already the middle of the day, there were no parking spots down by the beach. There is so much you can do and see while you are in Carmel. Weve just started looking for ideas for travel this year. There are souvenir shops, where I bought a super cute Monterey boat picture frame, theres a clam chowder stand, a cafe spot that I love and forget its name, and my favorite the Monterey Bay Creamery where theres a huge cow statue selling ice cream. Word spread and a large Chinese community settled in Point Lobos where today you can visit one of their homes turned museum, Whalers Cabin. Yes, its that impressive. Drive out to Point Lobos Natural Reserve for some hiking and breathtaking views. California History Books for Kids. Definitely dont miss one of the most unforgettable stretches of majestic coastline in the world. Ten interesting facts we learned on OurEDventure: Find a place to park and spend some time enjoying the many art galleries and boutiques. I havent been to Malibu yet, but if they look the same then Im down to see more gorgeous views! I absolutely loved the hotel I picked to stay in for one night, The Monterey Plaza Hotel. Make sure to bring a light jacket since it gets a little bit chillier at night. Aww, thank you so much! I feel the need to say this since youll be getting back in the car to continue on the 1: if youre the driver, please be responsible and limit yourself to one drink at most. Use caution while driving as the road is rather windy and narrow! There was a river right behind the Inn with lots of cute chairs to sit on and relax and people were even tubing on the river! Carmel Beach is definitely the best place to watch the sunset. I have yet to try Big Sur Bakery although Ive heard many good referrals about all the food from wood-fired sourdough to buttermilk biscuits and gravy. 6 days / 5 nights / 4 rounds. (7/19/18), "We were here in Spring of 2017 and, sadly, Big Sur was closed, but we still LOVED this area and can't wait to return one day. " and not many tourists know about it just yet! Or Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey to San Francisco. Big Sur is one of my favorite places IN THE WORLD (hands down) and one of my favorite road trips from San Francisco. This looks like a very fun trip and the food looks amazing. The parking near this bridge is somewhat limited. Left-wing Paranoia in Big Sur, Caramel, Monterey County, California Nov 2021 and Nov 2020. Day 6: Santa Ynez Valley to Los Angeles. An example of data being processed may be a unique identifier stored in a cookie. Bring your binoculars for wildlife viewing! Makes me miss San Francisco! Seaside cliffs. Search for thecheapest car rentals over here! I think you. Explore my other California guides here! I wanna go for sunset next time! You'll most definitely wanna make a few stops along the way ( Half Moon Bay, Pescadero, Santa Cruz, and Carmel/Monterey are my favorites), so plan accordingly! To view the purposes they believe they have legitimate interest for, or to object to this data processing use the vendor list link below. Pick-up from centrally located hotels between 7:30am - 8:30am Duration: 11 hours Transportation: Comfortable Motorcoach Includes: Complimentary pickup/dropoff from centrally located hotels Luckily, I have a few more trips planned this fall so the General tips. Evening And plus, whats cooler than a cone from a bus? They currently offer brunch and lunch; however, because they are so small they highly recommend making reservations instead of just showing up. Where does the Big Sur drive start? Phils Fish Market & Eatery sounds so fun too! The Mcway Falls trail is located at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Heres more California-related content I think youll love: Here is a quick glance at all my go-to travel tips and resources that I use to plan every trip! Then head to California Highway 1 to begin your Big Sur road trip! Carmel is one of the most charming and quintessential towns I have ever been to. Carmel is a small, beautiful, and charming seaside town tucked between Big Sur and Monterey on the central coast of California. Its such a unique spot on the coastline, and its only a .25 mile hike to get there! If you happen to be visiting Big Sur between February and early April, you NEED to make a short pit stop at Calla Lily Valley! Point Lobos has a long history, dating all the way back to the mid-1800s, and hosted many groups including the Ohlone Native Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spaniards. Some places I recommend going to in Carmel: Point Lobos was also definitely another highlight of this trip and should definitely be on your Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur Itinerary. Hi Sydney! I teach 9-5 professionals how to maximize their limited time off with carefully planned out itineraries, long weekend inspiration, and general travel planning tips. The perfect amount of time to see Monterey and Big Sur is 2-3 days. This looks amazing. It was going on right when we arrived at the hotel. 5. It is highly recommended that a car or truck with high clearance would be better to drive through it. We also really liked the friendly service and beautiful atrium. I recommend the shrimp mac and cheese! Named as one of the top 10 travel bloggers on Instagram by Kayak and short listed as the best travel influencer by FlightCentre. It ends near San Simeon. I hope youll have the same great time while visiting! Its pretty secluded and kinda secret (aka not on all the typical things to do in Big Sur posts), so I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! READ MORE - Road trip from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe. Eating fresh clam chowder is a must on any Monterey and Big Sur Itinerary! Our itineraries will help get you on your way to a memorable Monterey County experience. Depending on how hungry you are, appetizers are also available at the outside bar and inside the lounge. It was easy to find the area where we needed to take a shuttle to the rental car building. We chose the 17-mile ride and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our 3-hour outing. I had never seen succulents that big before! Hi Elena! You can read all about how this area came to be here. And plus, Im from San Francisco so Im typically driving down the coast, not up. It needs our tourism more than ever, after suffering near economic catastrophe when. From here, you can make a decision on what youre feeling but here are some recommendations! The Post Ranch Inn is a Big Sur icon; the 100-acre property first opened in 1992, and in the years since, has cemented its spot as one of the top luxury hotels in . Then the trail led down to this amazing white sandy beach with no one else around. Be aware that the trail is sometimes blocked off due to erosion, and you may not be able to get that picture perfect view. At the time of posting this article, the section of Hwy 1 south of McWay Falls was still closed due to mudslides from 2017. We and our partners use data for Personalised ads and content, ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. Let me know how your travels go! Alternatively, you can take a bus. That waterfall on Julia Pfeiffer Burns is incredible!!! After that, we walked past an island with hundreds of birds on it, which was so cool! Note that youll have to walk/hike about 100 steps or so to access the beach. If you have never seen redwood trees another great stop is Pfieffer Big Sur state Park , mentioned by the previous poster. One of our first stops was atLovers Point Beach. Our favorite thing to get: almond croissant. I love Monterey! If seeing a whale is on your bucket list, Fishermans Wharf is where you need to be. While youre planning your Monterey and Big Sur itinerary, check out these useful road trip gifts to have the best experience on the road! Thx!! Your attention to detail and organization truly made the trip come alive for me as I read about it. Monterey is definitely one of my favorite places in CA! Bring a blanket and a cooler with your favorite sandwich to enjoy, which we wish we had done. If you choose to visit Big Sur as an out-and-back road trip from San Francisco, you can follow California Highway 1 south from the city past Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and the Monterey Peninsula - then back up. You can drive all of these Big Sur road trip stops from either north to south (starting in Carmel) or south to north (starting in San Simeon) of course, but I prefer driving from NORTH to SOUTH. If you arent pressed for time I recommend spending the night in Carmel-by-the-Sea or at least exploring it for a few hours. Day 2. There are a lot of really good options of places to stay in Carmel. You can do a day trip to Big Sur or Monterey, but it takes at least 2 days to explore both Monterey and Big Sur properly. Just take the drive slow, stay alert, and youll be ok. How long does it take to drive the Big Sur coastline? We had to hurry back right after so we could get our bike rentals back in time! As well as (chive and cheddar) scones and strudels and coffees and cream-filled donuts. The Best California Road Trips & Itineraries | Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur to Santa Barbara California: Places to Visit North America California Road Trip: Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur and Santa Barbara FIRST POSTED: 4th June 2019 | LAST UPDATED: 7th August 2020 9 minute read Here youll find multiple historic buildings including Californias First Theater, Colton Hall, the Stevenson House, and many more! Whether you want to go fast, slow, solo, or with others, this year's Race for Open Space has something for you. Thats so cool youre a teacher! BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA: LOGISTICS. I saw many of them while riding my bike on the Pacific Coastal Trail and just rode down a particular street if I saw any that looked really interesting! Start your drive down the coast with snacks from Carmel Highlands General Store. Cannery Row also has some cute candy shops, arcades and even an indoor mini golf arena! If youre not in a rush on your Big Sur road trip, why not make the extra stop? As part of a longer visit we hoped to drive up to Cambria from Anaheim on 21 April, stay overnight then. at stops along the way. Fog usually disappears around 9 AM even though that sounds like a disappointing fact. Monterey State Historic Park. Since Big Sur is located between Carmel-by-the-Sea and San Simeon, its best to start from either of these (and finish in the other) if you wanna experience the entire coastline of Big Sur. Click here to skip back to the top. Pfeiffer Beach will be the second turnout, There are many more options for Monterey ranging from the, If youd like to stay in Big Sur, there is the, Blanket or lawn chairs for hanging out at the beach, Bike if youd like to explore Monterey by bike. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 6. If you have time for more hiking and want to explore more of the Big Sur area on foot, check out this link for ideas. Accommodation in Big Sur is pricey. Total Distance: 217 miles ; One-Way Driving Time: 4 hours and 45 minutes ; Route: San Francisco Half Moon Bay Santa Cruz Monterey Carmel-by-the-Sea Big Sur San Simeon ; The drive between San Francisco and San Simeon is more appealing than one might imagine. Some staple orders for us here are the steak and shrimp scampi, gnocchi with two sauces, and the grilled salmon filet. Pick up snacks beforehand to have in the car during the drive so you dont need to shell out an astronomical amount of cash at the Big Sur convenience stores every time you feel like noshing. I may email you with more in-depth questions as we plan. Bixby Bridge was one of my favorite stops on my Big Sur Itinerary! Just be careful to watch out for other vehicles coming and livestock roaming around! Big Sur Carmel Carmel Valley Castroville Marina Monterey Moss Landing Pacific Grove Pebble Beach Salinas Seaside . You can extend your road trip and continue driving south on the Pacific Coast Highway to see even more small California Coastal towns! And get there early the tours only accommodate 40 people! Day 4: Big Sur to Paso Robles or Cambria. There are many different wines you can choose from (this area is really well known for their wineries in case you didnt know). You can also head to the water where you might be able to spot some marine life. However, if you wait until the summer rush is over and visit during either September or October, youll experience less crowds and actually better weather! Call before you go so you aren't driving hours for nothing. It costs $10 once you make your way a bit, but its well worth it once you get to the beach.