4 days in Monterey County & Big Sur Itinerary

4 days in Monterey County & Big Sur Itinerary

Created using Inspirock California itinerary planner

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Make it your trip
Drive
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Carmel
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Big Sur
— 1 night
Drive

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Carmel

— 2 nights
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often simply called Carmel, is a city in Monterey County, California, United States, founded in 1902 and incorporated on October 31, 1916. Visiting Carmel River State Beach and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dolphin & Whale Watching and Capitola Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Carmel: Santa Cruz (Wilder Ranch State Park, Natural Bridges State Beach, &more). There's more to do: hike along Scenic Road Walkway and admire the majestic nature at Garrapata State Park.

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Carmel trip itinerary builder website.

San Francisco to Carmel is an approximately 2-hour car ride. You can also fly; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in July, and nighttime lows around 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to drive to Big Sur.

Things to do in Carmel

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Big Sur

— 1 night

Big Country of the South

A sparsely populated area with stunning views, Big Sur attracts artists and tourists traveling California’s scenic Highway 1.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Mon): take in the views from Big Creek Bridge, admire the majestic nature at Limekiln State Park, then admire the sheer force of McWay Falls, then enjoy the sand and surf at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Pfeiffer State Beach.

For traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Big Sur travel planner.

Traveling by car from Carmel to Big Sur takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. July in Big Sur sees daily highs of 69°F and lows of 55°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to drive back home.

Things to do in Big Sur

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Monterey County travel guide

4.4
Aquariums · Scenic Drive · Dolphin & Whale Watching