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Santa Cruz to Big Sur to Carmel

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Santa Cruz to Big Sur to Carmel


I am planning to stay in Santa Cruz one night and then want to go to Big Sur and Drive back up to Carmel.

Need advice on best route to Big Su, places to stop along the way up to Carmel, and how long to allow for the trip.


santa cruz
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1. Re: Santa Cruz to Big Sur to Carmel

The only route through Santa Cruz to points south is Highway 1. It takes us about an hour or so to get to Big Sur w/ out stops.

You can take a breather at Nepenthe. Personally I think their food is overpriced, but the view is fab, so you can stop for a drink. For lunch I like the River Inn. They have great burgers and salads.

You should try to fit in a stop at Pt. Lobos as well for a short hike. It's just past Carmel on your way to Big Sur.

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2. Re: Santa Cruz to Big Sur to Carmel

What do you want to do and how long to take? Tons of places to stop and hike, explore, etc. Let us know if you want any recommendations for that.

If you're just taking the drive for the view, pull over (carefully) whenever the feeling strikes you. Nepenthe is a good place to stop but agree that it's overpriced. I like lunch better at Rocky Point (which is closer to Carmel) and prices seem more reasonable.

3. Re: Santa Cruz to Big Sur to Carmel

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