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Things to do in
Big Sur

Our most recommended things to do in Big Sur

From San Francisco: Highway 1 Self-Drive Audio Tour

1. From San Francisco: Highway 1 Self-Drive Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 555+ miles-long tour covers the essentials of Pacific Coast Highway in 5-7 hours. Hop in your car and enjoy this self-guided audio tour along the Pacific Coast Highway. Start in San Francisco or LA, and simply follow the GPS guide to explore one of the most beautiful stretches of coastal road in the world. Take your time driving through Monterey Bay, artsy Carmel and more. Your virtual audio guide will share interesting facts and insights as you drive. Admire views of rocky headlands, jewel-like coves, waterfalls and the famous bridges of Big Sur as you explore California’s coastal highlights. Your downloaded guide will give you plenty of opportunities to pull off the road and explore local beaches, wildlife and towns on foot. Wander through San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura & Malibu before wrapping up the tour in Los Angeles. You will receive an email with the audio tour app link and a unique password from the local supplier Immediately after booking. Once the app is downloaded, take the tour whenever you would like. Just head to stop number 1 and begin exploring.

From LA: California Highlights 3-Day Trip with Accommodation

2. From LA: California Highlights 3-Day Trip with Accommodation

Discover the most iconic highlights of California, as well as some lesser-known gems, on this 3-day tour from Los Angeles. Drive the renowned 17 Mile Drive, explore Santa Barbara, and visit Yosemite Valley National Park or Hearst Castle. Enjoy 2 nights of accommodation and a bay cruise in San Fransisco included. Day 1: Los Angeles – Santa Barbara – 17 Mile Drive – Carmel Summer RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. See the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Visit the town of Carmel, home to the actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll in town before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Winter RouteDepart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Stop at the heart of downtown at the “state street promenade” and stroll through the exclusive shops and restaurants. Continue to Santa Barbara beaches and Stearns wharf to “walk on the water” and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean. Finish your visit at the Spanish Mission Santa Barbara and continue to Solvang, “the Danish capital of America” a quaint Danish community at the heart of California. After your lunch break, head north through Silicon Valley before departing to reach your hotel at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport. Day 2: San Fransisco – Bay Cruise – Golden Gate Bridge – ChinatownSummer RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Next, return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight in Modesto. Winter RouteStart your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay. Enjoy great views of both the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island. Then return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union square, Chinatown, and Nob Hill. Stay overnight at the Springhill Suites Oakland Airport. Day 3: San Fransisco – Yosemite – Los Angeles Summer RouteHead east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and Half Dome. See the highest waterfalls in North America, Yosemite Falls. Then head back to Los Angeles in the evening. Winter RouteStart the day with a visit to Monterey including the wharf and Cannery Row. Continue your tour of the beautiful California Coast with a visit to the town of Carmel-by-the-sea. Then head south to the world-famous Route #1 where you'll see the spectacular California coastline up close (small vehicles will travel the southern portion of route 1 while full-size coaches will travel the 17-mile drive exclusively). Then drive back to return to Los Angeles.

California Audioguide for Self-Drivers (English & German)

3. California Audioguide for Self-Drivers (English & German)

After booking you receive a separate Email from us with the instructions on how to install the app and the guide! You can ignore the "Ticket" Email from Get Your Guide. Please also check your spam-folder for our Email and please get in touch with us if something does not work! Complete your road trip around California with an audio guide featuring 169 locations and 3 hours of audio in 1 app. Listen to the recordings as you take in views at Yosemite, Mt. Whitney, and Zabriskie Point, experience the unique cultures of Silicon Valley, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, and drive down Highway 1. Feel at ease taking in the views while the app uses GPS to find your location and suggest stops. From famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge to lesser-known gems like Moss Landing, appreciate the wealth of beauty and history in California with detailed audio descriptions. Stop and start your journey as often as you please, there’s no constraints once you download the app and activate your audio guide. If there’s a specific site you’d like to visit, manually choose audio guides from the built-in map or from a list.

Big Sur California: Pacific Coast Highway Self-Drive Tour

4. Big Sur California: Pacific Coast Highway Self-Drive Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Set off on an adventure along the California coastline, between Monterey and Pismo Beach. Explore at your own pace, with this self-guided experience. Simply download the app and begin your road trip. Stop to discover monuments and towns along the route, spending as much time as you like at each location. The app tracks your route and the audio guide plays automatically. Listen to stories and advice at every point of interest. Admire the landscapes of Garrapata State Park, Pfeiffer Canyon, McWay Falls, and Ragged Point. Drive over the famous Bixby Bridge and spot seals at San Simeon. Enjoy the freedom to skip ahead, take it slow, and snap as many photos as you like.

Big Sur: Sightseeing Tour with 4 to 5 Stops

5. Big Sur: Sightseeing Tour with 4 to 5 Stops

The natural beauty of Big Sur is something that must be seen firsthand. This northern section of the coast, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean, is only a short drive from Monterey and is perfect for a half-day, scenic tour. Enjoy several stops for sightseeing along the Big Sur Coast where we visit the famous Bixby Creek Bridge, Hurricane Point, the River Inn, Nepenthe Restaurant (no dining) and the Big Sur Lodge. Along the way, we admire the spectacular scenery, marine wildlife and also go on a short, guided nature walk in the Redwood Forest.

California: Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

6. California: Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! NOTE: Each tour is 25+ miles long and will take 3-4 hours to complete. Traverse California with this bundle of self-driving audio guides. Learn about local history and see fascinating sights as you drive to destinations throughout the state. Visit La Jolla in sun-kissed San Diego, and the star-studded mansion of Los Angeles. Encounter the arid landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park, and the high-tech center of Silicon Valley. See San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, and marvel at the picturesque Lake Tahoe. Traverse the Pacific Coast Highway to iconic destinations like Malibu and San Luis Obispo. Immerse yourself in the Californian way of life at Big Sur, Monterey, and 17-Mile Drive. Enjoy an experience that never expires, allowing you to take these tours whenever you choose. Make it one big road trip or spread it out over months or years: the choice is yours. The bundle includes the following tours: • Big Sur • Silicon Valley • Pacific Coast Highway (both ways) • 17 Mile Drive • La Jolla • San Francisco • Lake Tahoe • LA Filming Locations • Hollywood Homes • Joshua Tree • Sequoia & Kings Canyon • Death Valley • Yosemite National Park • San Luis Obispo • Palm Springs • Hoover Dam tour from Las Vegas • Point Reyes National Seashore

From San Francisco: Carmel, Monterey & Big Sur Private Tour

7. From San Francisco: Carmel, Monterey & Big Sur Private Tour

Explore the Big Sur and Monterey areas of California at your own pace, and avoid the hassle of organized bus tours. Traveling by private car, enjoy the comfort of seeing the places you want to see without worrying about your departure or arrival time. Learn more about the famous landmarks with a reliable service, offering maximum security and, most of all, the best level of hospitality in the industry. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in San Francisco (pick-ups in other cities in the Bay Area are available on arrangement), get recommendations on the best places to stop to take pictures or explore further; you decide where you want to go. Take a scenic drive from San Francisco to Carmel and Big Sur via State Route 1, the north-south highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California. Travel the forested road of 17-Mile Drive. Discover the Mission District and Monterey Bay Aquarium. See all the sights of Fisherman's Wharf. Drive down to the Big Sur Bixby Creek Bridge, and marvel at the flora and fauna of Poit Lobos State Reserve south of Carmel before your return to San Francisco.

Monterey, Carmel, 17 Mile Dr, Big Sur & Mcway Falls Pvt Tour

8. Monterey, Carmel, 17 Mile Dr, Big Sur & Mcway Falls Pvt Tour

Explore the captivating beauty of California's coastal gems on our private tour from San Francisco. This unforgettable journey takes you to some of the most iconic and breathtaking destinations, ensuring you experience the essence of this remarkable region. Itinerary: Monterey: Your adventure begins in the charming seaside town of Monterey, known for its rich history, vibrant marine life, and picturesque scenery. We'll delve into the heart of this coastal gem, exploring the renowned Cannery Row, where you can observe playful sea otters, sea lions, and a diverse array of marine species. The bustling waterfront offers unique shops, galleries, and delightful dining options. Your time in Monterey sets the stage for the coastal wonders you're about to encounter. Carmel By The Sea: Continue your journey to the enchanting town of Carmel By The Sea. This idyllic village is straight out of a storybook, with its fairytale-like streets, charming cottages, and boutique shops. Stroll along the white-sand Carmel Beach, feel the soft ocean breeze, and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. Carmel's artistic spirit and serene beauty make it a must-visit destination. Pebble Beach: Our tour then takes you to the world-famous Pebble Beach, known for its luxurious resorts and golf courses. Here, you'll have the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of elegance and capture memories against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific coastline. The iconic Lone Cypress and the legendary 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links are just a couple of the highlights. 17-Mile Drive: This scenic route winds through the Del Monte Forest and offers breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, you'll encounter iconic landmarks like The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay, and Bird Rock. Be sure to keep your camera ready, as every turn reveals a postcard-worthy view. Big Sur: As you venture further south along the Pacific Coast Highway, you'll enter the dramatic and rugged landscapes of Big Sur. This is where California's coastline truly comes to life, with towering cliffs, crashing waves, and pristine natural beauty. The drive through Big Sur is a highlight of the tour, offering panoramic ocean views that are nothing short of awe-inspiring. McWay Falls: Our journey culminates at the enchanting McWay Falls, one of the most iconic waterfalls on the Pacific Coast. Set within Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, this hidden gem is renowned for its turquoise waters and the stunning sight of an 80-foot waterfall cascading onto the beach below. It's a picture-perfect moment that captures the essence of California's coastal beauty. At the end of this immersive tour, you'll be returned to your San Francisco hotel, carrying the enchantment of Central California's coastal wonders in your heart. Join us on this extraordinary journey, and let the beauty of the Central California Coast create an amazing and unforgettable experience for you.

Southwest USA: 35+Tour Bundle on Self-Guided Driving App

9. Southwest USA: 35+Tour Bundle on Self-Guided Driving App

Become a modern pioneer with an audio-guided app tour of the U.S. Southwest. Pick your starting location then follow the GPS map and visit the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, the Rockies, and many other national parks in your own time. Decide where you want to go. Tour the sights of Arizona, including Sedona and Red Rock, the Grand Canyon, and the Colorado River meander at Horseshoe Bend. Travel the west coast of California along 17-Mile drive accompanied by a virtual tour guide. Visit some famous movie locations in LA. Explore the rugged beauty of Colorado and see the Rocky Mountains and Million Dollar Highway. Witness the best national parks in Utah, such as Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Bryce National Park. Watch the famous Old Faithful geyser erupt in Yellowstone National Park. Here are the tours that are part of the bundle: Arizona 1. Grand Canyon 2. Sedona & Red Rock 3. Horseshoe Bend & Page 4. Hoover Dam tour from Las Vegas 5. Petrified National Park 6. Saguaro National Park California 1. Big Sur 2. Silicon Valley 3. Pacific Coast Highway (both ways) 4. 17 Mile Drive 5. La Jolla 6. San Francisco 7. Lake Tahoe 8. LA Filming Locations 9. Hollywood Celeb Homes 10. Joshua Tree 11. Sequoia & Kings Canyon 12. Death Valley 13. Yosemite 14. San Luis Obispo Colorado 1. Million Dollar Highway 2. Rocky Mountain Nevada 1. Lake Mead Hoover Dam 2. Hoover Dam 3. Red Rock Canyon Texas 1. Houston 2. Austin Utah 1. Arches National Park 2. Canyonlands National Park 3. Bryce National Park 4. Capitol Reef 5. Zion National Park 6. Monument Valley 7. Grand Staircase – Escalante Wyoming 1. Grand Teton 2. Yellowstone 3. Yellowstone Old Faithful

Pacific Coast Highway: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

10. Pacific Coast Highway: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! NOTE: This 555-mile-long tour covers the essentials of Pacific coast highway in 5-7 hours. Drive along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway and experience the beauty of the California coast. Take advantage of the flexibility to set your own pace between stops during the self-guided app-based audio tour. See Monterey, the famous beach town known for its prestigious aquarium, and the popular golf courses of Pebble Beach. Stop off at picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea, an artsy enclave where Clint Eastwood was once mayor. Hear the sound of barking sea lions at Point Lobos State Park, whose rocky headlands are interspersed with jewel-like coves. Big Sur is one of the not-to-be-missed highlights along the scenic road, where you can enjoy gorgeous views, waterfalls, and bridges. Near San Simeon, the home of Hearst Castle, pull off at Piedras Blancas Beach, where enormous elephant seals can be spotted in the winter months. Before cutting inland to San Luis Obispo, stop to admire Morro Bay Rock and hunt for anemones in the tidal pools. Explore Santa Barbara’s quintessential downtown and then continue down to Ventura and Malibu. If you started the drive in San Francisco, end your tour in Los Angeles at the famous Santa Monica Pier. The audio tour is curated by local guides and creative writers and is narrated by professional voice artists.

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What people are saying about Big Sur

Overall rating

4.6
(66 reviews)

The activity was AMAZING, really we had the best time ever. Pablo makes everything great, the car is very comfortable and nice, he explains and tells all the relevant information and definitely takes the BEST photos. He was an amazing guide and person. He took us to all the best spots and places, his passion and his service is 20/10, is a tour that worth every penny, because he makes it extra special. We had time to explore each city, all the cool places, you should not doubt in book the tour with Pablo, is a lifetime experience. He is an excellent person and guide. He explained us everything in Spanish very clear. We would repeat the tour with him at any time. Thank you Pablo for an amazing trip and memories, we had a blast, the best attention and the best host.

We had an excellent day, Pablo our for the day guide was amazing and had excellent knowledge of the area bringing us to some great spots along the coast. Had lunch in Caramel in a lovely restaurant and had a truly memorable day!

It was an excellent private tour with the best guide Marciano Bravo. Thank you so much! We loved it, spectacular views, good talk, all very interesting and beautiful. 🙏🏻 Thank you

Highly satisfied with the tour and Pablo, our guide. He managed to fit all the sites in one day, together with a visit to Monterey aquarium.

Our kids remembered a number of historical and other facts the guide explained