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Big Sur to San Francisco drive

driving   /   1 day   /   no pets   /   no RV

Big Sur to San Francisco road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Big Sur to San Francisco. If you're planning a road trip to San Francisco, 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

9:00 am  start in Big Sur
drive for about 47 minutes

9:47 am  Monterey
stay for about 2 hours
and leave at 11:47 am
drive for about 49 minutes

12:36 pm  Santa Cruz
eat at Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 1:36 pm
drive for about 37 minutes

2:13 pm  San Jose
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 3:13 pm
drive for about 1 hour

4:18 pm  Golden Gate Bridge
stay for about 3 hours
and leave at 7:18 pm
drive for about 10 minutes

7:28 pm  arrive in San Francisco
eat at Ike's Place
stay at Top of the Mark

driving ≈ 3.5 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

Santa Cruz  (85 answers)
    Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk  (20 mentions)
    Natural Bridges State Beach  (4 mentions)
    The Mystery Spot  (4 mentions)
    Santa Cruz Beach  (4 mentions)
    Seabright State Beach  (3 mentions)
    restaurants around Santa Cruz:
        Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria
        Marianne's Ice Cream‎
    questions about Santa Cruz:
        Activities during reunion in santa cruz
        What are some must places to go to in Santa Cruz, CA
        Are there any good restaurants in Santa Cruz?
        Names of beaches that aren't so crowded
        Best Things To Do In Santa Cruz?

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?

Golden Gate Bridge  (132 mentions)


Where's the best place to stay in San Francisco?

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 San Francisco.

You can also see most people recommend as the best amount of time to visit. Find out how many days in San Francisco to stay.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Top of the Mark, which was mentioned 13 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

Hotel Vitale  (8 mentions)
Cavallo Point  (4 mentions)

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




Where's the best place to eat in San Francisco?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Ike's Place, which was mentioned 23 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Swan Oyster Depot  (22 mentions)
Kokkari Estiatorio  (21 mentions)
Tartine bakery  (20 mentions)

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




What are some things to do in San Francisco?

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:

Golden Gate Bridge  (130 mentions)
Golden Gate Park  (112 mentions)
Alcatraz  (85 mentions)
Fisherman's Wharf  (82 mentions)
Union Square  (79 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 San Francisco. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Jessica from asked:
Best seafood restaurant in S.F.?  (29 answers)

profile  Dina from Dallas asked:
What are the top 5 can't miss tourist attractions in S.F.?  (20 answers)

profile  Valerie from Los Angeles asked:
What is your favorite restaurant in San Francisco?  (19 answers)

profile  Julie from Atlanta asked:
Best activities for kids  (19 answers)

profile  Kenneth from Portland asked:
Best views in San Francisco?  (17 answers)

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




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 San Francisco 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 2.5 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 San Francisco. Or get a full Big Sur to San Francisco 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 147 miles
driving time of 2 hours, 36 minutes
203 Big Sur travel answers
167 Monterey travel answers
85 Santa Cruz travel answers
39 San Jose travel answers
630 San Francisco travel answers





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