By AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens
August 10, 2021
Whether you're planning a family vacation or a romantic getaway for two, California's Big Sur coastline will provide a stunning backdrop for a memorable trip. Stretching from Carmel-By-The-Sea south toward San Simeon, State Route 1 follows a twisting, two-lane path between the rocky cliffs of the San Lucia Mountains and the sparkling surf of the Pacific Ocean.
Sparsely populated and carefully preserved, this region offers not only amazing scenery but also fun things to do along the way. Scenic hiking trails in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park wind along the banks of the Big Sur River and through groves of redwoods and meadows where you may spot black-tailed deer. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers trails through redwood forest, along creeks, to coves and waterfalls. Andrew Molera Park, the largest on the Big Sur coast, offers biking and horseback rides along its trails, as well as a beach that's a popular surfing spot.
Though nature is the star of this region, that doesn't mean you have to rough it when it comes to accommodations. At the north end of this drive trip are several AAA Four Diamond hotels with luxurious amenities, fine dining and recreational activities, as well as proximity to fun attractions such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There’s also another scenic drive to explore, the 17-Mile Drive.