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Visiting Big Sur

Visiting Big Sur

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Removed on: 3:11 am, June 05, 2015
San Francisco...
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1. Re: Visiting Big Sur

We cannot tell you how much time one should spend on a spot. It all depends on your likes and dislikes and if you are big hikers or just like to shoot and scoot. I would suggest you search this forum for Trip Reports, look at this photoblog from TA member Mjneenan and then decide.

https://picasaweb.google.com/Mjneenan/Califo…

Having said that the drive from Big Sur is one of the prettiest in the US. Point Lobos is worth seeing for a few hours as are the parks and spots around Big Sur Village

One of the DEs I am sure will also chime in

Pacific Grove...
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2. Re: Visiting Big Sur

Since you are coming from so far, I would plan on an entire day. You may not see it again.

San Jose, California
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3. Re: Visiting Big Sur

Is the question this:

A: See Big Sur on your drive from Monterey to Santa Maria?

...or...

B: Stay an extra day in Monterey so that you can see Big Sur as a day trip from Monterey, then drive to Santa Maria the next day?

If that is the case, I think it is a toss up. The Big Sur coast stretches 90 miles south of Carmel, so by seeing Big Sur enroute to Santa Maria, you would see the entire length of the coast. The drive to Santa Maria is probably about 4 hours, not including stops. So if you got a reasonably early start and planned to get to Santa Maria in the evening, you would have lots of time to sightsee along the way.

On the otherhand, if you visited Big Sur as a day trip from Monterey, you would probably not see the whole Big Sur coast due to its lenght - would make a long day trip to drive all the way down and back. But, you would have more time to poke around the places that you do visit.

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: Visiting Big Sur

Why Santa Maria? It's a farm town that lacks any charm or appeal.

If you're looking for budget friendly lodging, give us a dollar amount you have to work with and we'll come up with something for you in a more desirable area.

Shell Beach...
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5. Re: Visiting Big Sur

The time of year makes a big difference. In September the sun sets around 7:30 at the beginning of the month, and before 7 at the end of the month. You need to plan the trip around available light, as there's nothing to see after dark.

Like Kibblesmom, I question the choice of Santa Maria as a stopping point. Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo, or Cambria are much more pleasant places with a better tourist infrastructure.

I've included three links. One has average driving times along the coast, another suggestions of things to do and see in Big Sur, and the other is my blog with Central Coast travel tips and ideas.

thecentralcoasttraveler.com/faqs/#driving-ti…

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i14592-Big_Sur_…

http://thecentralcoasttraveler.com/

6. Re: Visiting Big Sur

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Removed on: 3:11 am, June 05, 2015
San Jose, California
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7. Re: Visiting Big Sur

Of those towns, I would choose Cambria. It is a nice, artsy little town, right on the ocean. Moonstone Beach is very pictresque and there is a nice boardwalk (elevated wooden path) along the beach. SLO is good too, but it is inland a few miles. Another nice choice in that area is Pismo Beach. It has a nice, wide, sandy beach with a pier. Near the beach is a commercial area with a variety of shops (souveniers, surf shops, etc) and casual restaurants.

Monterey deserves the day that you have alocated for it. I wouldn't skip it at all.

And since we are picking apart your itinerary :) can I ask why you are staying in Milpitas? Business? Family visit? It isn't a town that tourists usually choose.

Grover Beach...
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8. Re: Visiting Big Sur

Unless your weekend visit in September is over the busy Labor Day holiday, Big Sur won't likely be "crowded".

Yes, stay in Monterey. Visit the aquarium, Point Lobos, Carmel by the Sea, etc. and spend Monday exploring the Big Sur coast on your way toward Cambria/SLO.

Monterey to Cambria is only a 3 hour drive without stops, so you really have a full day to devote to the drive if you wish. SLO is another 45 minutes from Cambria.

Cambria lodging: Bluebird Motel, Creekside Inn, Cambria Palms

SLO lodging: Peach Tree Inn, Quality Suites

Edited: 6:23 pm, February 07, 2012
San Jose, California
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9. Re: Visiting Big Sur

Another consideration - if the trip coincides with the start of the fall quarter at Cal Poly San Luis, SLO might be pretty busy with parents bringing their kids to school and all of the activities around that.

10. Re: Visiting Big Sur

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Removed on: 3:11 am, June 05, 2015
Edited: 3:11 am, June 05, 2015