Big Sur Travel Information and Travel Tips Header Photo for Best Big Sur Restaurants Page featuring a Pacific coast sunset and of Sierra Mar Restaurant at Post Ranch Inn; click for a larger file of this beautiful scenic picture taken in Big Sur California. is your Go To First Website to visit for planning your travel vacation to the scenic Big Sur Coast. A condensed Big Sur Travel Guide with visitor information, tricks, and tips to enhance your vacation and save you money at California’s famous Big Sur. Don Smith Webmaster/Travel Guide.

Thinking of traveling or vacationing around California's Big Sur Coast this Fall, you will have to get tricky? But you've come to the right you will find loads of timely information, the latest news plus tips, and tricks to help make your trip a memorable and affordable one.

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ATTENTION IMPORTANT CAL TRANS PCH 1 CLOSURE NOTICE UBDATE 11/17/17: The new Pfeiffer Canyon Bbridge is open but Pacific Coast Highway 1 is still closed from 4.6 mi. north of Ragged Point Inn roadside motel at just north of Salmon Creek called "Mud Creek slide" (PM 8.9) until late summer 2018 - Nacimiento-Fergusson Road can provide a useful scenic crossover between Highway 1 at Kirk Creek, Big Sur & Jolon, Highway 101 King City: More Info From: Highway 1

Know before you go...
Weather and Road Conditions:

Check Current Big Sur Weather click to check current Big Sur California weather contitions.

Check Highway Conditions click to check current California Higheay contitions.
**Check with Mobile
or call 1-800.427.7623
Big Sur California and the Tourism Business Changes Through the Seasons:
HOT TIPS: don't postpone because of Highway 1 closures or fire damage)... Summer has ended but the heat goes on…in fact this fall 2017 has even gotten hot at the coast in between the typical summer like foggy mornings and evening mists. The seasons here don’t turn on a dime, the changes often slow and subtle and this year like is often the case it’s looking more like Indian summer than fall. Because of the continuing dry weather and low price of gas a whole new crop of tourists that have been awaiting the end of the busy season to take their vacations are hitting the coast. This is my preferred method of operation too but one problem is that it can still get busy even now especially on the weekends. On the brighter side many businesses are offering deeply slashed off-season rates…It is ironic how eventually the skies get crystal clear as the marine layer of clouds and fog gets pushed far away. More about the changing seasons at Big Sur ...
Indian Summer / Fall Autumn Big Sur Vacation Travel Tips Logo
The Soberanes Fire Footprint area remains closed but the he wildfire season is still in full swing for the west US...
Level III Fire Restrictions; outside designated Campfire Use Sites: no campfires, no charcoal fires, portable stoves and lanterns require fire permit to name a few; click for the current conditions and fire saftey rules. click for current regulations
The rainy season is usually now but don't be afraid to hit the coast highway in-between storms but make sure it is open and it is always a good idea travel Big Sur driving carefully during the day and before you go to check weather and highway 1 road conditions.

... Post-Tourist Season Shortened Days & Hours and Special Off-Season Offerings and Opportunities...

In a normal September the tourist season in Big Sur starts to wind down and this year it is already dead and it is especially slow because of the fire and rain catastrophes, there is less traffic on the highway weekdays and during inclement weather; even some weekends get quiet. There is less to do as business practices have changed shortening operational hours and refraining from extra offerings like live music and service may suffer as seasonal staff gets laid off. But some magical things begin to happen as some animals begin their migrations and the wonderful relaxing stillness of the wilderness returns and lodgings begin offering extreme "winter specials".
Autumn is my favorite time to travel the Big Sur… continue about Fall in Big Sur ...

Photo Big Sur Highway 1 Closed.

attention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers messageSOME SOME LIMITED USE or CLOSED PARKS AND BIG SUR BUSINESSES Nov 17, 2017attention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers message

Garrapata State Park Partially opened, some closures. Phone: (831-624-4909)
Andrew Molera State Park Now partially reopened for hiking to beach and more... sorry no camping (831-667-2315).
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Now partially reopened, some trail closuers, no camping (831-667-2315).
Partington Cove and the trails on the East side of the highway are closed.
USFS: The forest is closed mainly on the Pine Ridge trail and within the Soberanes fire “footprint”, there are some other closures to, call Big Sur Station 831-667-2315 to verify.

Some, not all of places OPEN:
Pfeiffer Beach (831-385-5434)
Post Ranch & Sierra Mar Rest
( 800-527-2200)
Big Sur Bakery (831) 667-0520
Deetjen's Inn (831-667-2377)
Hawthorne Gallery (831) 667-3200
Esalen Institute (831) 667-3000 Ventana Spa, Rest & Campground
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (now mostly open 831-667-2315;)
Point Sur Lighthouse (831) 625-4419
Big Sur Center / Deli etc (831-667-2225)
Nepenthe Restaurant (831-667-2345)
Limekiln State Park 831-667-2403
(These Parks Management Co Day Use & Big Sur Campgrounds
Pfeiffer Beach
Sand Dollar Beach
Mill Creek Day Use Area
Willow Creek Day Use Area
Plaskett Creek Campground
Kirk Creek Campground

6 Things You Need To Know Before You Go...
Traveling PCH 1 & Nacimiento-Fergusson Road:

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is narrow, curvy, twisty, prone to storm damage, fun to drive and breathtakingly beautiful! Try it! Watch for other drivers and construction equipment, best done daytime.

Pacific Coast Highway Traveler Big Sur Vacation Travel Tips Logo
#1 -- It is Always Best to Plan Ahead: Cell phone service and internet access in the Big Sur area is spotty so do your research and make your plans before you go. A well researched good plan will help keep you from getting taken to the cleaners; dedicate a minimum of at least one full vacation day to Big Sur and many more if you can. Check ahead at all venues and if you are planning a stay over you may want to make a reservation to be sure you get exactly what you want especially if it is a weekend; although if money is a major concern you can "dicker at the motel check-in desk at dusk" but at this time checking ahead is more important than ever. Also falling rocks and slides can continue even after the rains have stopped.
#2 -- Now is a good time to get off the main roads especially if you have a 4X4. Big Sur roads are about the scenic views but are dangerous drives at the best of times. Go Slow, Be Conscientious, Careful and Considerate, don't try to circumvent any road closures, it is dangerous and the fines are sizeable; watch out for trucks and construction equipment.
#3 -- The new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is finished soon opening up the outdoor dining options.
The weather can get quite nice this time of year, if that should be the case during your visit look for places which offer some dining outdoors; you can enjoy Big Sur beauty and nature, the forest, a river, ocean view and take your well behaved pet along too. The flavors even seem enhanced and it becomes more of an "experience", not just a meal. Two of my favorite places to dine outdoors are Ragged Point, (805-927-5708), Nepenthe (831-667-2345)
831-667-2394 and the California Market 831- 622-5450.
You can picnic or fine dine but enjoying some good local Big Sur type grub is mandatory for a great Big Sur area vacation. Picnicking allows you to mix with the environment and save some $$$ but out in the Big Sur boondocks there are actually some world class cutting edge gourmet dining to be had at several restaurants. Big Sur has always had a great attraction for artistic genius and a great chef falls into this category. READ MORE: information about restaurants near Big Sur California -- READ MORE: information about PICNICS near Big Sur
# 4 -- NOTICE: CA STATE PARKS HAS A NEW RESERVATIONS WEBSITE Staying Overnight in Big Sur Proper is NOT Crucial but if you do want to stay do your research and be "motel smart", "campground coherent" and well informed (Big Sur thrives on suckers): You can save lots of money and be much closer to services and entertainment if you stay on one end or the other of the scenic Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 Drive…I usually like to stay in Carmel just north of Big Sur at the Carmel River Inn (800-966-6490) or at the southern end and get a room at the Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort (800-826-8168) right on the beach to appreciate the great Pacific; either one will save you big $$$$ compared to the normal Big Sur gouging; my favorite along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is the historic Hacienda Guest Lodge (831-386-2262) at Fort Hunter Liggett. If you have some money to burn on your vacation and want to get a little taste of the Big Sur Coast ocean view experience you might consider Ragged Point Inn (888-584-6374) down in the southern portion of the Big Sur only 15 miles north of Hearst Castle (805-927-2138) and less pricey than many. If you have a LOT of money to burn kick out the stops, get on the helicopter in Monterey and go for the paramount of all Big Sur Lodgings Post Ranch Inn. (limited operations 800-527-2200)
Many Big Sur accommodation are offering radical discounts right now so there are many more reasonably priced options but myself if I want to stay in Big Sur I quite enjoy the majestic Redwood Forest and Big Sur River from the historic Big Sur Lodge (800-424-4787) located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (831-667-2315); the Ragged Point Inn like the Lodge carries a medium high cost. During the road closure you can dicker at the motel check-in desks especially at dusk for an even further discounted price. READ MORE: information about staying near Big Sur
# 5-- Big Sur Is Isolated, Spread Out, Extremely Popular and a Real Expensive Tourist Trap: Because of their locations the tourist businesses often have a captive audience, a steady stream (small at the moment) of new customers coming up or down PCH 1. They charge high prices and they have underpaid, and at times overworked amateurish service people and this goes for the luxury resorts as well as the more rustic businesses. Sure it’s all highway robbery but be patient and prepared; go for the options you find most important and you will get taken for as little or as much as you are comfortable. Looking to save $$$, pack a picnic lunch, be sure to gas up outside of Big Sur, enjoy some attractions and lodgings to the north or south of Big Sur. You can actually vacation Big Sur on a shoestring or lavishly like a king it’s your choice.
# 6 -- NOW is an extra fine time for camping and hiking Big Sur: The Highway 1 road closures have opened up some amazing camping opportunities for people willing to make the trip. You may be able to occupy that usually unavailable camp site because there are less campers meaning less competition for sites because access problems created by the closures. Some campers have recognized these camping opportunities so it is best to try and get reservations; California State Parks has a new reservations website:
Most of Big Surs' camping facilities are open but regretfully some of the best of the trails in the Big Sur backcountry are still closed because of fire and/or storm damage. The authorities are working with lack of funds and labor trying to devise a plan to deal with the trails damaged by Soberanes Fire and 2017 storms. Trails in areas that are currently OPEN include the Cone Peak Trail Network, the Arroyo Seco area, The Indians, and the trails in the Silver Peak Wilderness.
More Information Travel Tips and Vacation Tricks by Clicking button: Hiking trails and sightseeing the beautiful natural waterfalls of Big Sur California.

California Dept of Transportation Road Closures and Conditions
Click for interactive California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) map with road closure and construction information.

Big Sur Coast Interactive Maps with Local Area Names & Mile Markers
Click for interactive map of northern Big Sur with mile markers, links to local area interest points information and coastal location photographs.
Click for interactive map of central Big Sur coast with mile markers, links to local area interest points information and coastal location photographs.
SOUTHClick for interactive map of southern Big Sur coast with mile markers, links to local area interest points information and coastal location photographs.
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