Big Sur is a dramatic stretch of California’s central coast located just south of Carmel. It’s not a town but a region, bordered to the east by mountains and the west by the Pacific Ocean and is traversed by the breath-taking Pacific Highway 1, known for winding turns, steep seaside cliffs and views of the rugged coastline.
The sparsely populated region has several small communities ideal for lunch, lovely beaches for quiet relaxation and numerous state parks perfect for hiking.
Although it’s easy to drive through Big Sur in a couple of hours it’s far better to drive slow, take in the scenery and enjoy the ride. There are several different accommodation options for an overnight stay or alternatively lots of lookout spots and rest areas to break up the journey.
Suggested itinerary featuring Big Sur
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Big Sur, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Big Sur
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Big Sur
- Carmel 34 kilometers away
- Monterey 38 kilometers away
- Pismo Beach 164 kilometers away
- San Francisco 177 kilometers away
- Napa Valley 232 kilometers away
- Sonoma 233 kilometers away
- Sacramento 259 kilometers away
- Yosemite National Park 267 kilometers away
- Santa Barbara 281 kilometers away
- Sequoia National Park 292 kilometers away
- Kings Canyon National Park 302 kilometers away
- Lake Tahoe 352 kilometers away
- Mendocino 381 kilometers away
- Los Angeles 409 kilometers away
- Death Valley National Park 425 kilometers away
Photos of Big Sur
Accommodation choices for Big Sur
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Big Sur. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Responsible ChoiceWe've hand-selected a range of tours and stays across the world that go above and beyond to be a force for good by supporting local businesses, educating staff, challenging local norms, or promoting conservation and biodiversity efforts. Your Responsible Choice helps increase the positive impact of your trip.Big Sur