Big Sur Road Trip
Table of Contents
The Big Sur drive is much more than a location you will find on a map.
This awe-inspiring stretch of coastal road in California, USA is about beauty, journeys and soul-searching.
It has been an iconic getaway for artist and dreamers alike throughout the years.
Whether your visit is for sightseeing or finding yourself here are our top tips to help make your Big Sur vacation one you will never forget.
Big Sur Road Trip
1- Pack for all weather
Just like most coastal areas, Big Sur weather can vary quite considerably.
Although it rarely rains in summer there is often a cool fog that can come during the nights and early mornings which doesn’t lift until near midday. This can make seeing all those gorgeous coastal viewpoints disappointing.
Winter brings storms and rain. All these weather conditions make for a great atmosphere and as they like to say in places where it rains a lot…
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing”
Make sure that you pack plenty of layers instead of bulky items and a light raincoat just in case.
We also suggest packing good walking shoes if you plan to explore some of the Big Sur national parks and hikes.
Get the latest Big Sur CA weather here.
2- Plan your meals
Food can be expensive and far between on this California coast drive.
If you want somewhere with a gorgeous view and are not concerned about costs, head to Nepenthe Big Sur. Just make sure that if you are planning to eat during popular times that you book ahead.
You can also eat more modesty at somewhere like Gorda.
We packed plenty of snacks before we started our road trip and then splashed out on lunch. This was a once in a lifetime visit for us so we wanted to make the most of it.
Click to check out some easy road trip snack ideas here.
3- Fill up before you hit the road
Petrol is very expensive. Be smart when visiting Big Sur and make sure your tank is full before you start your journey.
4. Plan your accommodation
Big Sur vacation rentals can be limited in this area and costly.
It is possible to spend a whole day exploring the Big Sur and stay at one of the nearby towns at the end of your trip for a cheaper option.
Places like Carmel, Monterey and Pismo Beach have plenty of accommodation options for all budgets.
Find the best places to stay in Big Sur here.
This is a great option if you want to take your time and really explore everything Big Sur has to offer.
5- Know Your Destinations
GPS and phone service can be poor to non-existent on the Big Sur coast.
Don’t think you will be able to rely on google maps to get you to that amazing beach you’ve heard of.
Make a rough itinerary of your destinations so you don’t miss them, always leaving room to get a little lost of course. You never know what you might discover!
Want to know what is Big Sur known for?
6- Lastly. TAKE YOUR TIME
The Big Sur is awesome.
Stop and breathe it in!!!!
You can do Big Sur in one day but if you take 3 days you will really get to explore and see all that this stunning coastal area has to offer. Just be sure to pre-book accommodation if you are traveling in the peak season.
Big Sur Information
How To Get To Big Sur
Big Sur is part of the Central Coast of California. Big Sur highway 1 lies between Carmel and San Simeon and is around 90 miles long.
There are a few different ways to explore Big Sur. It’s a great idea to work out the Big Sur directions you want to take before you head off on your road trip.
For a rough idea here is a Big Sur map.
You can reach Big Sur by train and bus from the major towns but to really enjoy all that a Big Sur road trip has to offer we suggest hiring a car.
Find the best deals on Car Hire prices here.
When should I visit Big Sur?
The best time to visit Big Sur between mid-September and mid-October.
Peak season is April to October and it can draw big crowds. Making accommodation and parking more difficult.
Locals say Fall is a great time to visit as there is less likely to be fog and it hardly rains at that time of year.
If you want to see the Gray whales they pass the coastline from December to April.
A point to remember before planning your trip is that a lot of the Big Sur businesses will close during the off-season.
Is Big Sur closed?
Big Sur can often have road closures so make sure you check BEFORE you leave on your road trip.
A great place to check for Big Sur closures is here.
National Parks and other attractions can also close so be sure to research before you leave.
Big Sur activities
There are so many things to do in Big Sur. Check out a few on our Big Sur attractions here.
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