Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip

Posted on Posted in North America, Travel

You may have heard the rumors…Big Sur is the perfect road trip. I heard this too, so I went to check it out. Turns out, it’s pretty unbelievable. Highway 1 winds along the west coast, from Mexico all the way up to Canada. And it’s just loaded with all the most breathtaking views. I seriously stopped to take pictures of the views along the Big Sur Road Trip like every 5 minutes!

 Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Here’s how to do the Big Sur Road Trip the right way:

Route to Drive

Like I said, this road stretches the entire west coast of the U.S., so you could really do a massive road trip and drive the whole thing. The most popular section of the highway though, is between L.A. and San Francisco. I drove it south to north, but you can totally do it either way (I’d love to go back and do the reverse!).

Sights to Stop For

There’s no bad spot to stop for photos and exploring, but there are definitely some notable sights. Stop in to check out the famous Hearst Castle. Drive across the Bixby Bridge. Keep an eye out for the Lone Cyprus Tree, seal colonies, kite surfers, and fields of strawberry and artichoke farms!

It’s worth it to take some time in Monterrey, especially the 17-mile drive around Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. It’s a $10 entry fee, but totally worth it to drive around the most coveted golf courses in the country. While you’re in Monterrey, I recommend going for dinner at Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill and trying out the hipster-like collection of small label beers and liquors.

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

What to Bring

If you have a car, that’s perfect, but it’s also super easy to pick up a rental car at either San Fran or L.A. for the drive. (Book your car here!) But be sure to drive a smaller car because there are sections of the highway that are tight and narrow as they wind around the cliffs.

You’ll want to bring snacks and plenty of water, since you can go for hours without seeing restaurants or rest-stops. Bring a camera to capture these sights. Of course, no road trip is complete without the perfect playlist, check out mine here. (This is especially important since there’s no radio or cell service here!)

Where to Stay

Budget at least 2 or 3 days for the trip if you’re going between LA and San Fran. You’ll be driving the whole day, but the scenery is unbeatable. You have options along the way for where to stay, like the campsites in Los Padres Forest with the redwoods, or in the relaxed beach town of Santa Cruz, or in the beautiful maritime hub of Monterrey. Naturally, you’ll want at least a couple days on either end to spend in San Francisco and Los Angeles!

Okay, I think you’re ready. You’re ready for the ultimate Big Sur Road Trip! So grab your friends, some tunes, and the keys, it’s time to hit the open road. This is the most beautiful road trip in the world and you DO NOT want to miss out! Have you driven the Big Sur Road Trip before? Which part of the drive was your favorite?

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston


Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston

Big Sur Road Trip // Brittany from Boston


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10 thoughts on “Big Sur Road Trip

  1. We did the trip from San Fran towards LA. It remains the most epic road trip we’ve ever done. In addition to your recommended items we would add sunglasses. Not because of the sun but because the views are so out of this world you’ll need something to protect everyone else from the glow you’ll have after youre done.

  2. These photos are STUNNING. I’ve heard the rumors that this is an amazing drive as well…looks like they are true. Maybe this summer I will take the road trip – may have to pick your brain some more before then 🙂

  3. You have brought back some wonderful memories of my honeymoon trip along this very road back in 1976! We spent a few days in San Franciso visiting Muir Woods, Sausalito and Gheradelli Square! We headed out and, Wow!, the views are amazing! We followed El Camino Real visiting little Missions along the route including Capistrano. San Simeon was breath taking in it’s elegance and extravagance! Our favorite spot was Carmel by the Sea! Thanks for the trip back in time, I think it is past time for a return trip!

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