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“Carmel to Hearst Castle”

Big Sur Tours and More
Ranked #1 of 4 Tours in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Custom tours of California's Central Coast; don't be a tourist, be a traveler!
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We had a fabulous day with Dave. He arrived promptly at 7:30 a.m. to start our trip to San Simeon. We stopped for breakfast at The River Inn in Big Sur and then on down the coast. We had lots of photo ops along with way and arrived at San Simeon exactly on time for our noon reservation. Dave was a fantastic guide and driver. This was the first time my husband was able to see all the beautiful sights along the coast since he was not driving. We spend our summers in Carmel from Texas and will definitely use Dave again next summer when guests visit for a great day trip in the surrounding area.

Thank Bobbi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 3 reviews
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in 3 reviews
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"clint eastwood"
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"monterey area"
in 5 reviews
"mile drive"
in 8 reviews
"photo stops"
in 3 reviews
"bixby bridge"
in 12 reviews
"carmel by the sea"
in 4 reviews
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

My sister and I took a 5-hour tour of the Big Sur area with Dave Engelberg. We found him to be very knowledgeable, organized and ready to customize our trip to exactly what we wanted to see--nature and photo ops. Special favorites we visited were McWay Falls, the Bixby Bridge and the Nepenthe Restaurant. We came away with about 400 pictures of the gorgeous landscapes. If you are a bit skittish about the idea of driving yourself along these winding cliffs or you just want to be able to watch the scenery instead of the road, leave the driving to Dave and start snapping those perfect shots.

1  Thank MaryG2012_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Learnt about Dave Engelberg on recommendation of the Merritt Inn, Monterey, CA. He offered me a personal, perfect itinerary for my 5.5 hr shoot of Big Sur. Spindrift, Garapata Beach, Rocky Pt, Little Sur River, Molera Beach redwoods, River Inn, Pfeiffer Beach, McWay Falls, Bixby Bridge, Lunch at Nepenthe & a visit to the Hawthorne Gallery. Never would have accomplished as much on the #22 bus. Especially loved Pfeiffer Beach with its crashing waves and purple swirl sands and McWay Falls. It looks like something out of that old TV show Fantasy Island. Dave was enthusiastic, very engaging and a fellow lover of Beatles music, where he played exerpts during pivocal moments of our time together. He left me off in late day to hike solo at Pt Lobos. I did about 5 hours there alone. A definite must see. Puts 17 miles to shame.

Maureen Munro
Cambridge, MA

1  Thank wanderlust055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I had a three week tour of California in May. As my husband did not feel like driving in a foreign country we used Amtrak and its connecting coaches to get from place to place and whilst in Monterey had already arranged for Dave Engelberg to drive us along the Big Sur coastline.
We had e-mailed Dave a few times before the trip so by the time he picked us up from our hotel early one morning he had a very clear idea of what we wanted. Good views of the coastline, opportunities to take great photographs, comfort stops along the way and the chance to stop at Bixby Creek Bridge and McWay Falls. If he was really clever could he orchestrate a chance for us to see some marine life! Well he didn't disappoint. We had a really wonderful four hours. The weather was fabulous and our photos could be adverts for Big Sur. We loved the flowers, headlands, coves, and golden sand as much as the sea and the surf. All our stops were in places where you could use a clean bathroom or buy snacks and drinks - the prettiest being "Treebones". If we'd been driving Highway One in a rented car we would definitely have stopped there for Bed and Breakfast. Cute isn't the word! Of course we lingered at Bixby Bridge and McWay Falls - one a feat of man the other a feat of nature - truly awesome. Then on our return Dave stopped the car in one of the many laybys and said if we were going to see marine life this was the place. We jumped out of the car so excited - Two cameras, two pairs of binoculars and our fingers crossed. And there below us swam a large pod of dolphins - not in a rush - almost carelessly riding the waves with the occasional breach into the air for good measure. Our day with Dave was not just one of the highlights of the holiday but one of the highlights of our lives. Thank you Dave, we will never forget what a wonderful time we had.

1  Thank Mike R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 19, 2013

My wife and I were making our way up the coast for our honeymoon and had about 40 hours in Big Sur along the way. We booked a tour with Dave for our first day, which turned out to be the highlight of the entire coast for me. Not only does he know absolutely everything about the area, but he's a warm friendly guy as well. We truly felt like we had made a new friend by the end of the tour.
He picked us up and dropped us back off at the place we were staying (Deetjens) which was very accommodating. He even brought us snacks and water in case we needed either along the way which I thought was a nice personal touch.
First thing he did was try to gauge what we were interested in seeing. For us it was the coast and the nature. He told us we wanted to see what was South of the Inn. As we headed south he literally gave us information about every inn, house, restaurant, and even street signs along the way. I can't imagine that there is a more knowledgeable person when it come to this area of the coast. Along the way he took us to some wonderful photo spots that we would have never found on our own, as well as some spots he had visited with National Geographic as a guide. The beauty he showed us that day is unmatched when compared with anything I had ever seen including an extended trip to Italy, and multiple trips to the Caribbean.
I mentioned that we only had just under 2 days in Big Sur, and let me tell you, his 3 hour tour set us up for the entire remainder of the time we were there. You don't have to feel like you are paying him for just 3 hours of time because he will give you so many ideas of beaches, hikes, views, and restaurants that you will be taking his expert advice for the remainder of your stay. We will certainly go back to catch the places that he recommended that we didn't have time to get to after realizing that he hit 100% on every one of his recommendations. To top it all off, early the next morning before we even made it out of our cabin for the day, he had sent us a detailed recap of our afternoon, along with all of the recommendations he had given us for the remainder of our stay. He even got us into the 17 mile drive(with no fee) as his guests 2 days later by calling them for us. I would highly recommend Dave to anyone that wants to make sure they don't miss all of the natural beauty this portion of the coast has to offer.

Thank JimC44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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