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Big Sur to Napa drive

driving   /   1 day   /   no pets   /   no RV

Big Sur to Napa road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Big Sur to Napa. If you're planning a road trip to Napa, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather. Traveling with a dog or cat? Find pet-friendly stops. Camping along the way? Search for RV campgrounds. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip

10:00 am  start in Big Sur
drive for about 47 minutes

10:47 am  Monterey
stay for about 2 hours
and leave at 12:47 pm
drive for about 40 minutes

1:27 pm  San Juan Bautista
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 2:27 pm
drive for about 45 minutes

3:12 pm  San Jose
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 4:12 pm
drive for about 47 minutes

4:59 pm  Oakland
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 5:59 pm
drive for about 47 minutes

6:46 pm  Domaine Carneros
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 7:46 pm
drive for about 11 minutes

7:57 pm  arrive in Napa
eat at ad hoc
stay at Bardessono

driving ≈ 4 hours


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Where should I stop along the way?

Monterey  (167 answers)
    Monterey Bay Aquarium  (41 mentions)
    Pebble Beach  (21 mentions)
    Point Lobos  (9 mentions)
    Point Lobos State Reserve  (8 mentions)
    17-Mile Drive  (6 mentions)
    restaurants around Monterey:
        Passionfish
        Katy's Place
        Epsilon Fine Greek Restaurant
        Flaherty's Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar
        Sunset Lounge
    hotels around Monterey:
        Mission Ranch Hotel
        Lodge at Pebble Beach
        Seven Gables Inn
        Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
        La Playa Hotel Carmel-By-The-Sea
    questions about Monterey:
        Restaurant recommendations for a large group dinner?
        What to do for a family outing in Monterey?
        Things to do with the kiddos besides the aquarium
        hotels in Monterey, CA

San Juan Bautista  (5 answers)
    Mission San Juan Bautista  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around San Juan Bautista:
        Vertigo Coffee

San Jose  (39 answers)
    The Tech Museum of Innovation  (3 mentions)
    San Jose Museum of Art  (3 mentions)
    Santana Row  (3 mentions)
    Winchester Mystery House  (2 mentions)
    California's Great America  (2 mentions)
    questions about San Jose:
        What's the best neighborhood in San Jose for a first time visitor?
        Hotels with airport parking in San Jose
        Best missions to see & other good activities for kids
        Neighborhood for young professional in San Jose
        Free things to do in San Jose?

Oakland  (57 answers)
    Lake Merritt  (16 mentions)
    UC Berkeley  (8 mentions)
    Jack London Square  (7 mentions)
    Ici Ice Cream  (5 mentions)
    College Ave  (5 mentions)
    restaurants around Oakland:
        Chez Panisse
        Arinell Pizza Inc
        Cheese Board Bakery & Cheese
        The Trappist
        Comal
    questions about Oakland:
        Best free things to do in Oakland?
        What is Oakland like?
        First time in Oakland with 1 day to explore
        A good neighborhood in Oakland for rental?
        Best bites to eat in Oakland?

Domaine Carneros  (14 mentions)


Where's the best place to stay in Napa?

Are you going straight to a hotel, or looking for a vacation rental or Airbnb?

The best resource on neighborhoods, areas, and hotels is the Trippy page on where to stay in Napa.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Bardessono, which was mentioned 3 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

Want to research more popular hotels in Napa? Click the blue button below.




Where's the best place to eat in Napa?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest ad hoc, which was mentioned 17 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Domaine Chandon  (8 mentions)
Redd  (7 mentions)
Morimoto  (6 mentions)
Pine Ridge Vineyards  (6 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in Napa? Click the blue button below.




What are some things to do in Napa?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

Domaine Carneros  (14 mentions)
Napa Valley  (9 mentions)
Oxbow Public Market  (6 mentions)

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about Napa. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Tandy from Miami asked:
Other foodie things to do besides wine tasting  (4 answers)

profile  anna from Athens asked:
Searching for an inexpensive and nice inn in Napa area  (3 answers)

profile  Janine from Pine Brook, New Jersey asked:
Restaurants in Napa for girls outing?  (3 answers)

profile  Miriam from Seattle asked:
Limited time in Napa, help with my itinerary!  (3 answers)

profile  Brooke from Chandler (Oklahoma), Oklahoma asked:
Sightseeing in Napa?  (2 answers)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Napa.




Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Napa to Big Sur drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

Looking for ideas for more destinations within driving distance of Big Sur? Try searching for places within 3 hours of Big Sur.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Big Sur to Napa. Or get a full Big Sur to Napa flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Big Sur well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Big Sur!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 180 miles
driving time of 3 hours, 7 minutes
203 Big Sur travel answers
167 Monterey travel answers
5 San Juan Bautista travel answers
39 San Jose travel answers
57 Oakland travel answers
85 Napa travel answers





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