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 itineraries featuring Big Sur
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Big Sur, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them 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 21 miles away
- Monterey 24 miles away
- Pismo Beach 102 miles away
- San Francisco 110 miles away
- Napa Valley 144 miles away
- Sonoma 145 miles away
- Sacramento 161 miles away
- Yosemite National Park 166 miles away
- Santa Barbara 175 miles away
- Sequoia National Park 181 miles away
- Kings Canyon National Park 188 miles away
- Lake Tahoe 219 miles away
- Mendocino 237 miles away
- Los Angeles 254 miles away
- Death Valley National Park 264 miles 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.
Set on a ridge high above the Pacific Ocean, this striking cliff-top resort offers total seclusion and is the ultimate destination for a luxurious escape.
Treebones Resort offers a unique lodging and dining experience on California's breathtaking Big Sur coast. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean, with spectacular panoramic views in all directions.
Spanish for 'window', the Ventana Inn is fittingly named for its scenic outlook onto the hills of the rugged Big Sur Coastline and Pacific Ocean beyond.