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Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

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Toronto, Canada
posts: 13
reviews: 10
Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

I'm driving from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo and was wondering:

1) if it's feasible to do the drive in 2 days, assuming I want to stop at viewpoints, and see Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and

2) what's the best way to break this up?

I was initially thinking of spending day 1 driving from San Fran to Carmel/Monterey, and then day 2 from Carmel/Monterey to San Luis Obispo.

Would that give me enough time to see Big Sur? Does this route make sense or should I be breaking it up differently?


San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 23,480
reviews: 114
1. Re: Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

Sure. That is fine. Why SLO ? Do you have to visit someone there or just a city you want to visit ? Many stay in Cambria or Pismo beach but SLO is fine

There is a photo blog on the right side of this page in the Top Questions from Mike Neenan that can help


Has info on what to see along the coast

Toronto, Canada
posts: 13
reviews: 10
2. Re: Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

Thanks! No particular reason for SLO - we needed somewhere to stop over before driving to Yosemite and it seemed like a charming place.

Good to hear that it's possible to do it in 2 days though!

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 15,085
reviews: 6
3. Re: Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

SLO is a college town. While the downtown area is pleasant enough, it's also where the college crowd go to party and get into trouble. And then there's the panhandler problem down there, as well. It's great, though, IF you're there on a Thursday night when farmer's market is going on. Lots of BBQ, fresh produce, etc. It's like one big street fair.

Cambria is far more charming and the roads to Yosemite begin just a few miles south of there. Highway 46 to Paso Robles, connect with Highway 101 north 4 miles to Highway 46 East toward Fresno/Bakersfield to Highway 41 toward Fresno, which takes you right into Yosemite.


San Francisco...
posts: 657
4. Re: Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

Your plan is do-able. My experience is that it feels very different to spend the night in Big Sur v. Monterey or Carmel. Though the aren't super luxe I've enjoyed the cabins in Big Sur State Park cuz you're in the park with hiking trails, including a short-ish hike to a waterfall.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 13
reviews: 10
5. Re: Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

Thanks for all the helpful comments and advice everyone!

Edited: 11:58 am, March 23, 2013
6. Re: Big Sur in 2 days? (San Fran to San Luis Obispo)

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