California Highway 1 & Big Sur Attractions
Highway 1 from Monterey to Big Sur is one of the most scenic drives in the United States. The two-lane highway, also known as Pacific Coast Highway, winds along rugged cliffs offering spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains. In addition to jaw-dropping scenery, visitors will find myriad things to do.
Explore Highway 1 -
Located just off Highway 1 in Monterey, California, Comfort Inn Monterey by the Sea is conveniently located for visiting Highway 1 attractions. The shops and restaurants of Carmel are a few minutes away, or enjoy a leisurely drive to Big Sur, stopping along the way for photos, a picnic or a stroll through Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Find the best rates online for hotel rooms and suites at Comfort Inn Monterey
by the Sea.
Big Sur -
Just south of Monterey on Highway 1, Big Sur leaves a remarkable impression. The town of Big Sur offers little more than a gas station, café and roadside market. It's the natural wonders of Big Sur that bring visitors back time and again. Hiking is plentiful along the Big Sur coastline. One of the most famous hikes is to the 60-foot tall Pfeiffer Falls. The hike is an easy stroll of 1.4 miles round-trip that winds past redwood groves, ending at the stunning waterfall. Among the most spectacular viewpoints in Big Sur is Nepenthe restaurant. Outside seating provides ample opportunity for spotting whales in the distance.
Things to Do along Highway 1 -
In addition to the scenic drive to Big Sur, Highway 1 offers other interesting things to do. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is located just beyond downtown Carmel, offering miles of easy walking trails, picnic areas, wildlife viewing and historical sites from the early days of whaling. The Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur offers an interesting glimpse into the life and works of author Henry Miller. Special events and workshops in the arts are offered here throughout the year.
Los Padres National Forest -
The Los Padres National Forest, accessible in Big Sur, offers myriad opportunities for outdoor recreation on the Central Coast. The region spans roughly 220 miles from Big Sur south to Los Angeles County. Los Padres National Forest offers an incredible diversity of hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities across elevation gains from sea level up to 9,000 feet. Dozens of trail heads are accessible in Big Sur and offer fantastic outdoor experiences along beaches, in redwood groves and atop mountain peaks.
Top Scenic Drives
Visit Monterey County's Top Scenic Drives along the California Coast
Highway One -
Take a road trip down Highway One. Known as one of the world's most beautiful scenic drives, on this drive you can stop to explore the different towns along the coast.
This drive is known for having popular road trips. If you drive north explore the Elkhorn Slough wetlands and the Moss landing fishing ports. Head South you will see a breath taking view of what California is really made of, natures beautiful tall redwoods. Also don't forget to stop and take pictures of California's iconic Big Sur Bridge.
17 - Mile Drive -
Drive through the most popular and talked about scenic drive the 17-Mile Drive when you visit the town of Carmel. On this drive you will see a variety of beautiful green golf pastures lined up with beautiful old and new historic mansions. You can also park along the coast to walk on the white sand beaches. Hopefully you're lucky enough to capture some pictures of the wildlife such as seals, sea lions, and deer.
A Scenic Drive Through Carmel -
Drive down Ocean Avenue and you will arrive in the town of Carmel-by-the-sea where you can park and walk along the shops, restaurants and art galleries. At the end of Ocean Avenue you can park and walk onto the Carmel beach where you can watch the beautiful sunset. Don't forget to drive through the many streets of beautifully designed beach homes.
Carmel Valley Scenic Drive -
If you like the country setting, then drive down Carmel Valley's wine region where you can see cattle ranches alongside the roads. You will come across breath taking views of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Wineries are really well known in Carmel Valley, so if you're looking to spend a day of wine tasting this is the place to be. Drive further into Carmel Valley you will enter into Klondike Canyon. Make sure to follow County Road G16 because the road ahead changes names couple of times. Pretty soon you will reach beautiful views of the foothills of Santa Lucia Mountains overlooking the Salinas Valley breath taking views.
River Road Scenic Drive -
The River Road is a wine trail along highway 68 where you will drive past various farmlands and a sugar plant. Don't blink twice because soon you will drive up to some white wooden signs pointing to the direction of many wineries. This is a popular drive with your significant other if you're looking to spend the day together exploring the country side.