Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Big Sur?

Should you spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Big Sur?

Many travelers spend one to three days in Big Sur during their visit. After all, the breathtaking natural area has plenty to explore such as the gorgeous scenery, the beaches, and the hiking.

Big Sur is a beautiful stretch of coastline that runs between Carmel and San Simeon. Visitors drive along a 2 lane road that weaves its way past beautiful cliffs and through impressive Redwood forests. The route is filled with stunning hikes and breathtaking beaches.

Do you have one or two days to visit Big Sur? Here's our comprehensive breakdown of how much time you might need for your trip along with some suggestions for things to do.


Is one day enough time in Big Sur?

One day is usually not enough time to see everything in Big Sur such as Bixby Bridge and the gorgeous scenery, the beaches, the hiking, and the restaurant scene. Because of everything to see and experience, you'll likely want more than one day, as many tourists set aside one to three days for their visit. However, if your schedule is tight, we have a handful of recommendations to make the most of your adventure in this natural area.

How to spend a day in Big Sur

Don't miss Bixby Bridge during your trip to Big Sur, as it's one of this destination's most well-known attractions. You should make sure to set aside enough time to see it.

Big Sur is known to be such a beautiful destination, so just exploring and taking it all in should be one of the top things to do on your list. The road clings to the cliffs and makes dramatic curves, offering peaks at the striking blue water and breathtaking setting. This is truly one of those special places that feels unreal in its beauty.

Is a weekend (two to three days) enough time in Big Sur?

A weekend is the perfect amount of time here, as many visitors prefer to spend around one to three days exploring the area. You'll be able to take in the beautiful landscapes and scenery, as well as the gorgeous scenery, the beaches, the hiking, and the restaurant scene. We have some suggestions for what to do and where to start your adventure below.

Big Sur, California Big Sur, California

How to spend 2 days in Big Sur

With a weekend (two to three days) in Big Sur, you'll have a bit more time to enjoy everything that the natural area has to offer.

The beautiful beaches await you in Big Sur, so spend the day (or several, if you can) relaxing on the sand or swimming in the water. The coastline and beaches are dramatic and beautiful, particularly Pfeiffer Beach, which has a dramatic waterfall. The water is filled with rip tides and strong currents, so swimming isn't advisable in most places.

You can't miss out on tasting the fantastic cuisine at one of the best restaurants in town, so make sure you find somewhere special for lunch or dinner. Most of the restaurants offer a breathtaking view. Many use locally-sourced ingredients and they range in style from fine dining to casual eateries.

More Info

If you're looking for more information about Big Sur, we have even more advice to help you plan your journey.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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