Introducing Big Sur
Big Sur is an experience rather than one tangible place. Its raw beauty is awe-inspiring, its quirky residents endearing. There are no traffic lights, banks or shopping centers, and when the sun goes down, the moon and stars are the only streetlights. And in summer even the streetlights go out as the coast is often shrouded in dense fog. If you have a choice, try visiting in the spring and fall when the crowds - and fog - are dispersed.
Although it’s only 90 miles from Carmel to San Simeon, driving along this narrow two-lane highway is slow going. Allow at least four hours to cover the distance as you’ll want to stop at the many state parks lining the road. Traveling after dark is perilous and futile, since you won’t be able to see any of the countryside. Day or night, watch out for cyclists.
Best places to stay in Big Sur
Ultimate Road Trip: California's Central Coast
You can't honestly say you've gotten to know the Golden State until you take a jaunt along California’s surreally scenic Central Coast. Cruise past surfy beach towns, fairytale redwood forests, wildlife refuges and diverting historical sites, all within breezy view of the Pacific.
Big Sur destination guides
Big Sur: a few of our favourite things
All that traffic and city living burnt you out? Escape the clutches of the daily grind and decompress in lush, laidback Big Sur - it's oh so near but feels oh so far. Known for its counter-cultural tendencies, Big Sur feels like a rural mountain community with an earthy, artsy bent.
Canyon Country & Coasts
Speckled with national parks, bustling cities, natural treasures and must-see monuments, the Southwest—America’s great wide open—is a living postcard. On this trip, you’ll venture inland from the Pacific Coast of California to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, camping outdoors and reconnecting with a side of this great country most rarely see.
Camping America's West
Think every trail in the Great American West has been blazed by now? Think again, partner. Spread across 22 glorious days, this trip takes you on an incredible loop from beautiful San Francisco and back again with stops in LA, San Diego, Scottsdale and Vegas along the way.
10 most beautiful places in the world to wake up in
Even if you’re not a morning person, opening your eyes in a fresh destination is guaranteed to give an extra kick to your spirits. And when you’re surrounded by lotus ponds, mountain-filled horizons, a symphony of fountains, or views of minarets, the sound of the alarm clock is the sweetest thing you’ll ever hear.