Monterey to Santa Barbara via Big Sur
Big Sur is a 90 miles rugged stretch of coastline between Monterey, Carmel and San Simeon in California. It is about 150 miles south from San Francisco. This would be the world’s most scenic drive. After we have done 17-Miles Drive, Carmel, Bixby Bridge, next we explore Big Sur since we are moving toward Santa Barbara.
Prepare to stop any moment
The landscape towards the sea was simply stunning, you will see visitors keep stopping at each mile or so, pulling over multiple times and jumping out of the car to check out the view. You will end up spending a full day here!
There are few must see in Big Sur :
- Bixby Bridge – iconic wooden bridge also the most photographed bridge in the world.
- Mcway Falls – 80 foot waterfall located within the Julia Pfieffer Burn State Park and one of the two such waterfalls in California that run directly into the ocean.
- Pfieffer beach – famous for it purple sands, teal waves and golden rock formation.
Big Sur won’t disappoint you, you will get addicted to the view & pull over your car and embrace the nature.
Big Sur Rugged Stretch of Coastline
Be prepared to see some fog in Big Sur, it was in the month of December but I still see some fog, it is part of the beauty.
We stopped by at one of the restaurant and cabin along Big Sur to get some drinks. It offer great view as it was just sit next to the coastline, overlooking the ocean and jagged cliffs
My advice would be pack some snacks and drinks when you are driving along Big Sur, everything sold here are more expensive as this is for tourist, even the petrol. We gotten some eastern bakery from San Francisco Chinatown so we were kind of glad to eat our own comfort food.
Local firewood a bundle cost $9.75. We don’t see such fire wood in Singapore.
Big Sur Tunnel
Big Sur Tunnel is designed to keep the road clear of debris dropped by landslides and rockfalls that plague this stretch of highway. Landslide and rockfalls are common thing happen in Big Sur coastline highway.
View from Tunnel
Beware of cyclists
Hand Phone May Not Work In This Area
Hand phone service may not work in most places in Big Sur Coast. You may need to screen shot some of the map in your phone.
Always check for road information in Big Sur. We needed to make a turn back as there was road closure toward the south, we are going to Santa Barbara, where we will stay for the night. We have no choice but go back north 8.5 miles to Nacimiento Road to Highway 101.
It was a mountain road, very narrow and the traffic are coming from both way. Your driving skill would have to be very good, else thewhole car may fall down the cliff as there is no fencing.
Glad we were out from the narrow mountain road after an hour scary twists and sharp turns.
We realized the landscape changes too! We are now coming into the American countryside, very rural.
Seeing the american farming and agriculture is one of the thing interest me a lot. I only get to see this in the movie!
I have never seen such a big agricultural farm in my life. I saw agricultural in Asian country and Australia but nothing like this. This is so huge!! I wonder how do the American farmers cope with such a huge area?
Final thoughts :
I do Big Sur mainly because my next destination is Santa Barbara at the south. Choose to use the Big Sur coastline stretch mainly because of the spectacular ocean view and the rugged cliff. One can do as many stop as you wish in Big Sur, there are so many places where you can stop your car and check out the view. Bring along snacks and drinks and have a full tank of petrol, things in Big Sur are expensive. Hand phone may not work well in most part of Big Sur 🙂
Other nearby attractions you may like :