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!
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.
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?
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