Where you stop will depend on when you leave Los Angeles
. I would stop in Santa Barbara
, a town about a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles. That will leave you with about a 4.5-hour drive to Big Sur
after the overnight stay.
If you want to splurge on a luxury hotel, go to Hotel Californian, a historic hotel with an amazing rooftop pool bar. For an affordable hotel, check out The Wayfarer. While in Santa Barbara, you can enjoy the beaches and parks. Or just relax at the hotel's pool.
For a list of things to do in Santa Barbara, visit the Santa Barbara tourism website