Driving California’s Big Sur

One of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world and should be on everyone’s bucket list. The pacific coastal route through Big Sur extends for around 90 sunny Californian miles, roughly bounded by the Carmel River and the San Carpoforo Creek.

The views start appearing as soon as you pass Monterey Bay and from here onward you’ll pretty much be stopping around every corner just to get out, admire the views and take many photos

Monastery Beach

Pfeiffer State Park Big Sur Signage

Bixby Creek Bridge

Hurricane Point View

Unfortunately due to recent mud slides, we weren’t able to complete the entire route. Coming from San Francisco, we made it down to slates hot springs. Which we spotted on the map on route and had planned on dipping our testicles in the water, kick back and chill with a beer. Turns out though, the hot springs aren’t public & are reservation only. We tried our best to negotiate, but the dude on the gate was having none of it, so all we could do was turn back. Sad times 😦

You definitely don’t want to miss McWay Falls. Just park up on the highway and its a short 5 minute walk to one of the most stunning views on the route. It’s a must visit and if you’re here at the right time of day, it’s an amazing place to watch the sunset.

Just driving half of this route was an amazing experience and I would like to come back to finish what I started. Just be aware Big Sur is expensive, so if you plan on staying I would suggest looking into Airbnb, unless you don’t mind paying upward of $300 a night.


The Pacific coastal route is the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the United States. Big Sur is on California’s Central Coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise from the Pacific Ocean. Its an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation. Big Sur’s Cone Peak at 5,155 feet (1,571 m) is only 3 miles (5 km) from the ocean. The stunning views make Big Sur a popular tourist destination. Ceded by Mexico to the US in 1848, it was the United States, last frontier. The original Spanish-language name for the unexplored mountainous terrain was “el país grande del sur” meaning, “the big country of the south.” It was Anglicized by English-speaking settlers as Big Sur.

Getting There:

First check if the road is even open here, there’s often mud slides and road works closing parts of the route.

Getting Around:

Unless you save your maps offline you can forget using Google Maps, you may as well forget your phone entirely. The signal drops and stays scarce for the entire route. If you want to know the best hikes, where the best food is, where you absolutely have to stop, you need to do your research and find out in advance. It’s just like reading paper maps from pre 2005 ancient times.

Where To Eat:

  • Nepanthe
  • Sierra Mar
  • Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn (1930s Historic Place)

Nearby To Do’s:

  • Bixby Bridge
  • Big Sur Signage
  • McWay Falls
  • Pfeiffer Beach


Helpful Tips:

  • Plan ahead, with no signal you won’t be able to use your phone to look for anything.
  • Big Sur is expensive, so if you plan on staying I would suggest looking into Airbnb.

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Have I missed anything, Let me know below


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