Welcome to Big Sur

In the 1950s and ’60s, Big Sur – named by Spanish settlers living on the Monterey Peninsula, who referred to the wilderness as el país grande del sur (‘the big country to the south’) – became a retreat for artists and writers, including Henry Miller and Beat Generation visionaries such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Today Big Sur attracts self-proclaimed artists, new-age mystics, latter-day hippies and city slickers seeking to unplug and reflect more deeply on this emerald-green edge of the continent.

Top experiences in Big Sur

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Big Sur activities

$59 Walking & Biking Tours

Monterey Bay and 17-Mile Drive 3-Hour Tour by Electric Bike

Meet 15 minutes before tour time of 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. at Big Sur Adventures on the porch of the American Tin Cannery, 125 Ocean View Blvd., Ste 122, Pacific Grove, CA.   After we fit you with a helmet, we give a tutorial on the e-bikes and have everyone practice a bit before beginning our tour along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreational Trail towards Lover's Point Park.  We start out at 10 mph and stop after a few minutes to share some history and to make sure everyone has the e-bikes down.  At Lover's Point Park our slow introduction to the bikes on the Coastal Trail ends and we hop on the road where there is a 25 mph speed limit.  Here we typically ride at 15-20 mph depending on the comfort level of the slowest rider.  After about 1 mile, the road adds a separate bike lane that continues for most of our ride. We stop briefly at key viewpoints such as the John Denver Memorial, the Point Pinos Lighthouse, & Asilomar Beach, where our guide shares fun history of the area.  We continue from there into Pebble Beach stopping at various viewpoints such as Spanish Bay & Bird Rock (where we take a restroom break).  At Bird Rock, any riders not comfortable with riding 20 mph with traffic can hike a bit while the rest of the group continues on past Fanshell Beach and Cypress Point to the Lone Cypress and Ghost Tree. Our guide turns around there, but a few excited riders who love to ride fast will continue on a few more miles to Pebble Beach Lodge or Carmel.  From there we ride steadily back, stopping at Bird Rock again for a restroom break.  Typically we return to the Big Sur Adventures Shop 3 hrs after the tour start time, though if all riders agree through the trip, we often stretch that.

$40 Walking & Biking Tours

Premium Ebike self guided coastal tours- Scenic Carmel, 17-Mile Dr & Point Lobos

Arrive at our shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea 15 minutes early for check in. We will review the recommended bike route options based on where you want to go, what you want to see, and how much time you have. We will have you sign the waivers, and get you fitted on the proper bike. We will provide you with complimentary locks and helmets, optional baskets and backpacks are also available. We will spend as much time as needed to help familiarize you with the bike you will be riding so that you are comfortable and confident before you depart. We can provide you with a paper map, a Garmin GPS navigation system with preloaded routes, or you can download an interactive app. This area offers the most beautiful biking locations on the West Coast, with ideal biking weather year round. It can get chilly along the coast on windy or foggy days, so we recommend you dress in layers so you don't get cold. Our shop is in the heart of the most scenic biking area in the region- bike around our charming European style village of Carmel-by-the-Sea and enjoy the beautiful storybook cottages and gardens, bike along Carmel's famous Scenic Road, which is a one way 15 mile per hour road that hugs the coastline and offers some of the most beautiful ocean vistas you will ever see, stop at Carmel Beach, Carmel River Beach, Mission Ranch (owned by Clint Eastwood), Tor House (a stone castle overlooking the sea) or the Carmel Mission- whatever you fancy. We are just a few minutes from the Carmel Gate into Pebble Beach which provides access to the famous and extremely scenic 17 Mile Drive (no entrance fee for cyclists). Cycle over to The Lodge or The Inn at Spanish Bay and enjoy beautiful vistas and great oceanfront dining. See the Lone Cypress Tree, the famous 18th hole, stately old gated mansions, seals, deer, otters, whales... this is truly an amazing bike riding experience along a gorgeous stretch of roadway that is ideally suited for cyclists (part of the route has a designated bike lane). Another great option is to bike over to Point Lobos State Park (4.6 miles away via Scenic Road to Hwy 1), cyclist are allowed into the park with no entrance fee and it is extremely fun to get around the park to some of the best hiking and viewing areas when on a bike. Some cyclists also bike from here down to Big Sur- contact us for details. Depending on the duration of your ride, we can recommend very scenic places to stop for a bite to eat or light refreshments along your route, or you are welcome to bring a picnic or purchase one at several shops within walking distance of us (we can provide you with a basket). Some people eat at one of our many amazing restaurants here in town before or after their ride.  Bikes are returned to the same location at the end of your ride, or (with advance notice and reservation) you can pay extra and do a one way ride where we pick the bikes up at the other end and you sort out your own transportation.


Canyon Country & Coasts – Las Vegas to San Francisco

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 from Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon to the Pacific Coast of California, camp outdoors, and reconnect with the most picturesque side of this great country. Paired up with an attentive and knowledgeable CEO, this trip is perfect for nature-minded travellers eager to see the best of the Southwest in a short period of time.


Camping America's West

Think every trail in the Great American West has been blazed by now? Think again, partner. Spread across 21 glorious days, this trip takes you on an incredible loop from beautiful San Francisco and back again with stops in Yosemite, Las Vegas, San Diego, and LA along the way. In between, you’ll have the chance to take a dip in the Pacific, raft the Colorado River, hike the Grand Canyon, and stretch out under star-filled skies in the region’s top national parks. Three weeks of your life, a memory forever.

$5549 National Geographic Journeys

National Parks of the American West

Spend two weeks in the American West, discovering the beauty of many of its most iconic national parks. Encounter the crimson-striped cliffs of the Grand Canyon and hear the thundering surf at Big Sur. Stroll among the giants of Sequoia National Park and step behind the scenes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a tour designed for National Geographic Journeys. From Yosemite to Death Valley, escape to some of the greatest natural wonders anywhere.