The ultimate road trip: the Big Sur

Kilometers of coastline, winding roads, deserted beaches and spectacular viewpoints. Open your windows, switch on the radio and start driving! A road trip along the Big Sur in California!

The ultimate road trip: the Big Sur by Paula van de Kamp

Paula van de Kamp

Photographer:Paula van de Kamp/ Flickr

It's hard to point the Big Sur out on a map. It is often described as the area between Carmel and San Simeon in western America, which extends over more than 200 kilometers of coastline. Imagine: endless winding roads, the sound of the waves in the surf and the typical yellow line that distinguishes the somewhat damaged road in direction and the picture is complete.

The best of the west

Big Sur is often described as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, and high on the bucket list of most travelers. That's not surprising when you consider that the Big Sur is part of something much bigger: namely the Pacific Coast Highway, also called Highway 1. This route, with a length of no less than 1000 kilometers, is impressive because of its steep cliffs and lush nature and can compete with natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. 

View of the Bixby Bridge, Photo: reverie_rambler / Flickr.

Kilometers of rugged coastline

The ever-present coastline dominates this route. When you head south, it will deviate a few times from your right to return after a few sharp turns. However, you are not at the right place for a quiet day at the beach. The coastline is characterized by the rugged sea of ​​the Pacific Ocean crashing into the steep rocks. Not very relaxing, but it does deliver spectacular pictures.

Sea view at the start of the route, near Monterey.

Waterfalls and deserted beaches

The biggest mistake you can make during a road trip is driving too long without getting out. A route often has much more to offer than just the road itself and it is therefore wise to find out in advance what you want to see along the way. The Big Sur itself has so much to offer that you probably won't get to see it all in one day. Take your time!

Don't miss the McWay Falls viewing point in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Spectacular viewpoints

Don't miss the viewpoints along the scenic route, where you can take a moment to absorb the beauty of nature. Have your camera ready, because these viewpoints are plentiful in the Big Sur. If you are unlucky (like that one time when I followed the route ...) all the beauty is covered in a thick pack of clouds, but even then there is plenty to see and enjoy.

A deserted beach that appeared through all the fog banks.

From San Francisco to Los Angeles

Although a road trip through the Big Sur does not have to last longer than a day, you can of course also choose to tackle it in a bigger way. The route thus creates a perfect connection between the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where you drive on Highway 1 from north to south or vice versa. It is therefore easy to combine with a trip through the west of America and for the real diehards to expand with cities such as Seattle and San Diego. Long live road tripping in the United States!

The yellow lines on the road surface are characteristic of the American roads.

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Last updated on: 26.10.2020