Drive to Big Bur from San Francisco in California, USA - A Fantastic ride across coastline & stunning Landscapes all around

It's been quite a few years that I get opportunities to travel to San Francisco Bay Area and for many years I have been thinking to visiting Big Sur. But at times it's disappointing that I feel uncomfortable driving in California and that's why I was never able to plan this trip. Thanks to some of my office colleagues who took me along on a drive and ensured that we had a great with lot of fun on the road with breaks on our way to appreciate the beauty of coast, beaches and lot more. This Blogpost takes you through this road-trip, along with some useful details in case you want to plan a similar road-trip or want to know more about places on the way.     Related Blogpost - Santa Cruz Lighthouse Point Park and Surfing Museum - A good picnic spot

It's been quite a few years that I get opportunities to travel to San Francisco Bay Area and for many years I have been thinking to visiting Big Sur. But at times it's disappointing that I feel uncomfortable driving in California and that's why I was never able to plan this trip. Thanks to some of my office colleagues who took me along on a drive and ensured that we had a great with lot of fun on the road with breaks on our way to appreciate the beauty of coast, beaches and lot more. This Blogpost takes you through this road-trip, along with some useful details in case you want to plan a similar road-trip or want to know more about places on the way. 

Related Blogpost - Santa Cruz Lighthouse Point Park and Surfing Museum - A good picnic spot

How to reach Big Sur from San Francisco or other cities in SF Bay Area?    Because public transportation in San Francisco bay area is pretty bad, you are usually left with one option of driving to the place. So rent a car and drive Big Sur from your place in Bay Area. If you don't drive or prefer to drive there (like me), find a friend who can go with you and drive or opt for taxi. Taxi/Uber/Lyft would be pretty expensive. In case of Taxi, you can chose to reach closest place through CalTrain and then VTA to Santa Cruz. San Francisco is connected through CalTrain till San Jose and from San Jose, you can take another small train to Santa Cruz and then Uber from Santa Cruz to Big Sur. The plan below would be time consuming as well as expensive. I am sure you would also be able to figure out buses which go to close-by areas but again it would be time consuming and unpredictable.

How to reach Big Sur from San Francisco or other cities in SF Bay Area?

Because public transportation in San Francisco bay area is pretty bad, you are usually left with one option of driving to the place. So rent a car and drive Big Sur from your place in Bay Area. If you don't drive or prefer to drive there (like me), find a friend who can go with you and drive or opt for taxi. Taxi/Uber/Lyft would be pretty expensive. In case of Taxi, you can chose to reach closest place through CalTrain and then VTA to Santa Cruz. San Francisco is connected through CalTrain till San Jose and from San Jose, you can take another small train to Santa Cruz and then Uber from Santa Cruz to Big Sur. The plan below would be time consuming as well as expensive. I am sure you would also be able to figure out buses which go to close-by areas but again it would be time consuming and unpredictable. 


Other interesting places to explore around Big Sur :    While driving to Big Sur from San Francisco Bay area, there are various stops on the way which can expose you to different experiences. Some of the common ones are -    1. Half Moonbay  2. Santa Cruz  3. Monterey Bay and it's aquarium.  4. Point Lobos Natural Reserve  5. Cyprus Grove Trail  6. Bird Island Trail  7. 17 Mile Drive  8. Lone Cyprus  9. Pebble Beach   10. Bixby Bridge  11. Andrew Molera State Park  12. Pfeiffer Beach    I am sure I am missing lot of other interesting place one can explore on the way. There are various coast-side towns on the way and during the weekend there are various activities which keep happening, so worth checking what's happening around Big Sur to plan your day/weekend well.     Related Blogpost - An evening & some hiking around Ano Nuevo State Park, California (USA)

Other interesting places to explore around Big Sur :

While driving to Big Sur from San Francisco Bay area, there are various stops on the way which can expose you to different experiences. Some of the common ones are -

1. Half Moonbay
2. Santa Cruz
3. Monterey Bay and it's aquarium.
4. Point Lobos Natural Reserve
5. Cyprus Grove Trail
6. Bird Island Trail
7. 17 Mile Drive
8. Lone Cyprus
9. Pebble Beach 
10. Bixby Bridge
11. Andrew Molera State Park
12. Pfeiffer Beach

I am sure I am missing lot of other interesting place one can explore on the way. There are various coast-side towns on the way and during the weekend there are various activities which keep happening, so worth checking what's happening around Big Sur to plan your day/weekend well. 

Related Blogpost - An evening & some hiking around Ano Nuevo State Park, California (USA)

Be aware that Maps don't work in some parts of the route, so load an offline map :    While we were driving to Big Sur from Redwood City, we were relying on live Google maps and on the way we realised that mobile signals were not there in some patches. Since it's reasonably long drive, you may get nervous if you are on right route or not. It's highly recommended that you download Big Sur map upfront so that you are always aware of route you are taking and confident that you are going in right direction.     Related Blogpost - Main places to visit/explore around Redwood City in San Francisco Bay Area, California

Be aware that Maps don't work in some parts of the route, so load an offline map :

While we were driving to Big Sur from Redwood City, we were relying on live Google maps and on the way we realised that mobile signals were not there in some patches. Since it's reasonably long drive, you may get nervous if you are on right route or not. It's highly recommended that you download Big Sur map upfront so that you are always aware of route you are taking and confident that you are going in right direction. 

Related Blogpost - Main places to visit/explore around Redwood City in San Francisco Bay Area, California

Don't miss some of the most interesting beaches on this stretch around Coast road.    While driving through the coast road, there are lot of beaches on the way. If you have time and haven't planned other places, you can easily take few breaks on the way. In that case, you may want to pack some snacks and drinks with you to make these halts specials for yourself. Pacific ocean and it's colorful water makes it worth to take breaks on the way to Big Sur.     Related blogpost - San Mateo History Museum - One of the main places to explore in Redwood City, CA

Don't miss some of the most interesting beaches on this stretch around Coast road.

While driving through the coast road, there are lot of beaches on the way. If you have time and haven't planned other places, you can easily take few breaks on the way. In that case, you may want to pack some snacks and drinks with you to make these halts specials for yourself. Pacific ocean and it's colorful water makes it worth to take breaks on the way to Big Sur. 

Related blogpost - San Mateo History Museum - One of the main places to explore in Redwood City, CA

Big Sur and hikes around it receives about the same number of visitors as Yosemite National Park, although there is huge difference in infra available. Roads around Big Sur are pretty jammed during holidays or weekends. Parking has started becoming an issue and people need to reach early to get a spot, at least for parking close to the main bridge you see in Big Sur photographs.     Related Blogpost - Muir Woods National Monument, California (USA)

Big Sur and hikes around it receives about the same number of visitors as Yosemite National Park, although there is huge difference in infra available. Roads around Big Sur are pretty jammed during holidays or weekends. Parking has started becoming an issue and people need to reach early to get a spot, at least for parking close to the main bridge you see in Big Sur photographs. 

Related Blogpost - Muir Woods National Monument, California (USA)

Many of these photographs are clicked on the way to Big Sur from Monterey while driving in our car, so you may observe some motion blur in these photographs.     Besides general sightseeing from the highway and Big Sur's popular bridge, this region of California offers hiking and outdoor activities as well. There are a large number of state and federal lands and parks, including McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, one of only two waterfalls on the Pacific Coast that plunge directly into the ocean. Another notable landmark around Big Sur is Point Sur Lightstation, which is the only complete nineteenth century lighthouse complex open to the public in California.    Related blogpost - Mount Tamalpais hike for brilliant views of San Francisco Bay Area

Many of these photographs are clicked on the way to Big Sur from Monterey while driving in our car, so you may observe some motion blur in these photographs. 

Besides general sightseeing from the highway and Big Sur's popular bridge, this region of California offers hiking and outdoor activities as well. There are a large number of state and federal lands and parks, including McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, one of only two waterfalls on the Pacific Coast that plunge directly into the ocean. Another notable landmark around Big Sur is Point Sur Lightstation, which is the only complete 19th century lighthouse complex open to the public in California.

Related blogpost - Mount Tamalpais hike for brilliant views of San Francisco Bay Area

Big Sur is a beautiful section where mountains meet the ocean around Central Coast of California between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon. At this place the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean and hence offer great views of the ocean against colorful mountains. The place looks even more beautiful around sunset & sunrise time.    Related Blogpost - Twin Peaks - One of the must visit places in San Francisco

Big Sur is a beautiful section where mountains meet the ocean around Central Coast of California between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon. At this place the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean and hence offer great views of the ocean against colorful mountains. The place looks even more beautiful around sunset & sunrise time.

Related Blogpost - Twin Peaks - One of the must visit places in San Francisco

Big Sur in California is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery and it's awesome hiking trails around the ocean. Big Sur has been called the 'longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States'. The stunning views around Big Sur, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made this beautiful place a popular destination for about 7 million people who live within a day's drive and visitors from across the world.     Related Blogpost - Half Moon Bay Brewing Company - Great Sea Food with Average Beers

Big Sur in California is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery and it's awesome hiking trails around the ocean. Big Sur has been called the 'longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States'. The stunning views around Big Sur, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made this beautiful place a popular destination for about 7 million people who live within a day's drive and visitors from across the world. 

Related Blogpost - Half Moon Bay Brewing Company - Great Sea Food with Average Beers

Above photograph shows a view from parking area close to Bixby Creek Bridge. Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Canyon Bridge is one of the main landmark for Big Sur and considered as is one of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design and people know Big Sur through popular photographs of this bridge. We are talking about the bridge you see in above 2 photographs.      Related Blogpost - Hiking to Mori Point in Bay Area followed by drive around Half Moon Bay

Above photograph shows a view from parking area close to Bixby Creek Bridge. Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Canyon Bridge is one of the main landmark for Big Sur and considered as is one of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design and people know Big Sur through popular photographs of this bridge. We are talking about the bridge you see in above 2 photographs. 


Related Blogpost - Hiking to Mori Point in Bay Area followed by drive around Half Moon Bay


This whole drive about the coast of Pacific Ocean is amazing and offers plenty of opportunities for photography. Summer is usually better time otherwise in winters, the wind is very chilly and it's hard to be around beaches. During summers, it's fun to jump into the chilled splashes of pacific ocean.     Related Blogpost - Road Trip from San Jose Airport to Point Reyes Lighthouse in California, USA

This whole drive about the coast of Pacific Ocean is amazing and offers plenty of opportunities for photography. Summer is usually better time otherwise in winters, the wind is very chilly and it's hard to be around beaches. During summers, it's fun to jump into the chilled splashes of pacific ocean. 

Related Blogpost - Road Trip from San Jose Airport to Point Reyes Lighthouse in California, USA

Above photograph shows Point Sur Lightstation which is another popular place to explore around Big Sur. We just crossed this place while heading towards Andrew Molera State Park. Walking tours guided by volunteers are available on Wednesdays and weekends throughout the year. Typically these walking tours take 2-3 hours.    Related Blogpost - Yosemite National Park - A brilliant place to explore for nature lovers and landscape photographers

Above photograph shows Point Sur Lightstation which is another popular place to explore around Big Sur. We just crossed this place while heading towards Andrew Molera State Park. Walking tours guided by volunteers are available on Wednesdays and weekends throughout the year. Typically these walking tours take 2-3 hours.

Related Blogpost - Yosemite National Park - A brilliant place to explore for nature lovers and landscape photographers

Andrew Molera State Park has beautiful beach and we spent some time around that, when we drove to Big Sur. It's quite windy here, so go prepared. Water is also chilled, so better to spend time on beach when it's sunny. There are certain places around the beach, where you can avoid wind but such places are rare, so be prepared to expose yourself to chilling wind. This beach is about 2 miles from the parking area of Andrew Molera State Park.    Related Blogpost - Main places to visit around San Francisco Downtown

Andrew Molera State Park has beautiful beach and we spent some time around that, when we drove to Big Sur. It's quite windy here, so go prepared. Water is also chilled, so better to spend time on beach when it's sunny. There are certain places around the beach, where you can avoid wind but such places are rare, so be prepared to expose yourself to chilling wind. This beach is about 2 miles from the parking area of Andrew Molera State Park.

Related Blogpost - Main places to visit around San Francisco Downtown

After spending some time around Bixby Creek Bridge, we headed to Andrew Molera State Park. The parking was free on that day. We parked our car and started walking towards the beach. On the way, we met lot of birds from California, which I failed to capture. Above photograph shows a deer we saw inside Andrew Molera State Park. It was pretty close and curious.     Related Blogpost - A visit to Santana Row and Winchester Mystery House, California

After spending some time around Bixby Creek Bridge, we headed to Andrew Molera State Park. The parking was free on that day. We parked our car and started walking towards the beach. On the way, we met lot of birds from California, which I failed to capture. Above photograph shows a deer we saw inside Andrew Molera State Park. It was pretty close and curious. 


We had great time driving across the Pacific Coast and Big Sur. Hope this post would inspire you to plan a trip and would help you plan well. Please feel free to drop comments below for specific questions you may have.     Related Blogpost - Photo-Walk to Hakone Gardens & Stanford University, California

We had great time driving across the Pacific Coast and Big Sur. Hope this post would inspire you to plan a trip and would help you plan well. Please feel free to drop comments below for specific questions you may have. 

Related Blogpost - Photo-Walk to Hakone Gardens & Stanford University, California

Comments

Trending Post Today !

Travel & Music || Enchanting Himachal and its Charming Songs

Nikon D3500 Vs Canon 1500D - A quick review & the best entry level DSLR

An Amazing Golden Chariot Experience - A Luxury Train Journey through Kabini, Mysore, Srirangapatana, Belur, Halebidu, Shravanbelagola, Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal & Goa

Travel Inspirations : Roonie & Barty vlog about Himalayan Expeditions - They are doing what you always dream & keep dreaming

Lalitha Mahal, Mysore - What's so special about this Palace built for British Viceroy and now converted into Heritage Hotel near popular Nandi Hills in Karnataka State of India