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a VirtualTourist member from Johannesburg

Big Sur

Driving the Big Sur - advice

Hi all,

I would love some advice please. We will be arriving in San Francisco in 3 weeks time. After a few days acclimatizing we will be driving down to Santa Barbara for a few days and then back up to San Franciso, with stops at Solvang and San Luis Obispo on the way. What I'm unsure of is it better to drive the Big Sur on the way down to Santa Barbara? Or is it better to drive it when we return back up to San Francisco?

Many thanks, Matt

3 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Westlake Village

If you like to stop along the way and look down at the ocean then going down is the way to go. Also remember that the sun in the afternoon will glare off the water, so driving down early, if no fog, is the best bet. Fog sometimes appears in September and could burn off by noon. Going back up to San Francisco on Hwy 101,after leaving San Luis Obispo is the wine country of Paso Robles. If possible, be overnight in San Luis Obispo (SLO) on a Thursday, for Farmers Market Night in town. See my VT page on the Farmers Market: [original VT link]
If interested, I also have tips for Solvang and area as well as Santa Barbara. A great drive, Hwy 1, enjoy it.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Marina

Just from my general vacation experience, it's better to do things like this at the beginning. That way, you're rested and still have that vacation buzz that comes at the beginning of them.
But I totally agree about the ocean view thing: the viewpoints are all going to be on the right side when you're going south, so it'll be easier to enter and leave them.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Oregon

Drive it heading South so you can see the amazing views downcoast. Stop at Nepenthe for lunch and you can sit outside and see 50 miles south.

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