A Day Trip to Big Sur

Have you ever traveled down the coast of California? When I was in middle school my cousin got married in Oregon so my family took some extra time off and drove from Portland to San Francisco. When I came back to California for work one of my bucket list items was to drive to Big Sur and when my friend Mary came to SF for work I knew this was the perfect time to do it! The Big Sur/Monterey/Carmel by the Sea areas are the perfect day trip from San Francisco.

We stayed in SF on Friday night and headed to Big Sur on Saturday morning after stopping to get a quick treat at Mr. Holmes bakery.

The drive to get to Bixby Bridge in Big Sur is incredible. Not only are there a lot of amazing multi-million dollar homes to look at, but there are also a ton of places you can stop and park your car off the highway to go hiking and take in the views. I highly recommend doing this if you’re not in a rush! It was unfortunately raining the day we went, but it was still so beautiful and added a little bit of a “Big Little Lies” vibe.

After we were sick of being in the car we headed back to our hotel. Hotels in the Big Sur area were SUPER expensive (>$1000 a night!) so we decided to stay at the  Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa in Monterey and it could not have been an better decision.

Monterey is such a cute town and this hotel was in a prime location. It was right on the water and walking distance to restaurants, shops and a running path along the ocean. It also had an amazing rooftop spa area with hot tubs! I forgot a swimsuit when I packed for this trip so I ended up stopping at Target on the way to get one – and it was SO worth it!

We decided to stay close for dinner and ate at the Chart House Restaurant a few steps from the hotel. The food and service was excellent! Highly recommend the coconut shrimp appetizer, crab cakes and shrimp pasta – YUM!

If the weather is better my co-worker recommended a place called Nepenthe which overlooks Big Sur!

The next morning we explored the downtown area, went for a walk along the ocean and grabbed breakfast at the cafe attached to the hotel called Tidal Coffee. We split an almond croissant and a breakfast sandwich which were both delicious! We also had a perfect weather on Sunday and got to enjoy them outside overlooking the ocean.

If you ever find yourself in San Francisco I highly recommend taking a day trip to Big Sur!

Until next time… thanks for stopping by!




  1. Robert
    March 29, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    I think I might have “Life” envy. Looked like a super trip. Glad you had
    a great time.
    Take care

    • Kirsten Elizabeth
      April 2, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Haha you make me laugh! You’re the best!

  2. April 2, 2018 / 5:07 am

    This is a great post-love your blog! Never been to Big Sur but will if I ever get to SF again. I should blog again too – what a great trip report- I forget what I’ve done on my travels since the kids got bigger …

    • Kirsten Elizabeth
      April 2, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Thank you so much for reading Karen! You would love Big Sur. It was such a fun little weekend trip! and yes – blogging is the best way to remember everything! Get back into it girl! 🙂

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