Awesome that you're traveling to Monterey and Big Sur! Two days is a short amount of time for the amazing area, but here are some must-sees, along with a few fave restaurants:
Carmel (Don't miss it if you're in the area!):
- The best place to walk is Scenic Rd or just around town.
- Ocean Ave is the main drag, lined with what seems to be an endless amount of charming side streets.
- For food, check out Katy's Place (BEST Eggs Benedict!), Dametra Cafe , Pastries and Petals
- Mission Ranch Hotel also has a restaurant, which is a really fun experience. The piano bar draws locals and tourists and while the food is only so-so, it's sure to be a night to remember (with a possible Clint Eastwood sighting).
- Explore Point Lobos State Reserve . The trails range in difficulty, but this place is one of the most spectacular sights in all of California!
- Garrapata State Park , a short distance before Bixby Creek Bridge , is my favorite beach in Big Sur.
- For food, try Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant or Nepenthe . Nepenthe is the best on a clear day, where you can often see whales migrating from the coast. Order the hamburger with the ambrosia sauce - even if you think you don't like it.
- Spend time at the Coast Gallery & Cafe . Not only does it have a large collection of Henry Miller crafts (the Henry Miller Memorial Library is nearby) but has a great rooftop where you can snack or drink delicious coffee/hot chocolate and look at the water.
- Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a beautiful place to hike. The natural waterfall is a mile walk from the parking lot and draw crowds, but the trails are much less populated.
- Hike to the hot springs. There are a variety of options, written about nicely here .
- More of my Big Sur faveshere .
Have a great time!