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Big Sur to Vail drive

driving   /   3 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

Big Sur to Vail road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Big Sur to Vail. If you're planning a road trip to Vail, 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
 Day 1

9:00 am  start in Big Sur
drive for about 3 hours

11:53 am  San Luis Obispo
eat at Firestone Grill
stay for about 3 hours
and leave at 2:53 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

5:18 pm  Bakersfield
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 6:18 pm
drive for about 2 hours

8:25 pm  Barstow
stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 7.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

10:00 am  leave from Barstow
drive for about 2.5 hours

12:22 pm  Las Vegas
eat at Giada
stay for about 4 hours
and leave at 4:22 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

7:01 pm  Zion National Park
stay overnight and leave the next day around 8:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 5 hours
find more stops

 Day 3

8:00 am  leave from Zion National Park
drive for about 3.5 hours

11:44 am  Torrey
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 12:44 pm
drive for about 3 hours

3:50 pm  Arches National Park
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 4:50 pm
drive for about 2 hours

7:03 pm  Grand Junction (Colorado)
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 8:03 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

10:25 pm  arrive in Vail
stay at Vail Ski Resort

day 3 driving ≈ 11.5 hours
find more stops

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Where should I stop along the way?

San Luis Obispo  (122 answers)
    Bishop Peak  (4 mentions)
    San Luis Obispo Mission  (3 mentions)
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo  (3 mentions)
    Edna Valley  (2 mentions)
    F. McLintocks Saloon and Dining House  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around San Luis Obispo:
        Firestone Grill
        Novo Restaurant & Lounge
        Bello Mundo
        Splash Cafe
        Avila Valley Barn
    questions about San Luis Obispo:
        Lodging
        Exploring SLO in March to scout moving there - what should I check out?
        What is your favorite restaurant in San Luis Obispo?
        Where to stay outside of San Luis Obispo for Cal Poly graduation

Bakersfield  (19 answers)
    questions about Bakersfield:
        Best free things to do in Bakersfield?

Barstow  (13 answers)
    restaurants around Barstow:
        Del Taco
    questions about Barstow:
        What's the best neighborhood in Barstow for a first time visitor?
        Where to sleep RV trailer

Las Vegas  (324 answers)
    Downtown Container Park  (15 mentions)
    Fremont Street Experience  (15 mentions)
    High Roller  (10 mentions)
    The Mob Museum  (8 mentions)
    Neon Museum  (8 mentions)
    restaurants around Las Vegas:
        Giada
        Mon Ami Gabi
        Wicked Spoon
        Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
        Lotus of Siam
    questions about Las Vegas:
        Best new restaurants in Vegas?
        What time of year is the best for scoring a cheap deals in Las Vegas
        Best tips and casinos for first time gambler?
        Is it better to stay on or off the Las Vegas strip?
        Top things to do in Las Vegas that don't include gambling?

Zion National Park  (83 mentions)
    questions about Zion National Park:
        When is the best time to visit/hike Zion national park?
        Canyoneer boots, Keen sandals, or old tennis shoes for Narrows hike?
        What's the best time of year to hike in Zion?
        Poisonous plants/ Venomous animals in Zion Canyon
        Are hiking boots necessary now if I hike Angels Landing

Torrey  (2 answers)

Arches National Park  (43 mentions)

Grand Junction (Colorado)  (16 answers)


Where's the best place to stay in Vail?

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 Vail.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out Vail Ski Resort, which was mentioned 4 times on Trippy.

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




Where's the best place to eat in Vail?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Minturn Saloon, which was mentioned 2 times.

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




What are some things to do in Vail?

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

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 Vail. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Claudia from Santiago asked:
Outlet for ski clothing?  (2 answers)

profile  Judy from Bethesda asked:
Summer Restaurants in Vail  (1 answer)

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




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 Vail to Big Sur drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Big Sur to Vail. Or get a full Big Sur to Vail 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 1,184 miles
driving time of 17 hours, 35 minutes
Vail is 1 hour ahead of Big Sur
203 Big Sur travel answers
122 San Luis Obispo travel answers
19 Bakersfield travel answers
13 Barstow travel answers
324 Las Vegas travel answers
2 Torrey travel answers
16 Grand Junction (Colorado) travel answers
53 Vail travel answers





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