Big Sur Tour | See Monterey, Big Sur and the California Coast

Why We Love this Tour

“Big Sur is the quintessential image that I think of when I think of California, and should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already! There’s nothing quite like it when you stand above the crashing waves along the rocky coast at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. As a Santa Cruz resident, I try and make my way down there as often as I can. You will LOVE checking out the sights along the way, like the boardwalk that hosts one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the world, and the aquarium in Monterey with all the adorable otters.”

– Lauren Chouinard
Digital Marketing Manager

Tour Highlights

  • 2-day guided tour with overnight in a comfortable hotel
  • Explore the majestic coastal redwoods of Big Sur
  • Snap photos of the rugged & dramatic coastline on the PCH 
  • Visit the famous Monterey Aquarium or cruise 17-mile drive on an e-bike tour
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Price: $469

Get 10% off all winter tours!
Use code IAWINTERWONDERLAND for tours departing before June 1, 2020


Special EARLY BIRD deals on summer 2020

Book 90+ days out from your tour date
20% off with code EARLY90

Book 60+ days out from your tour date
15% off with code EARLY60

Book 30+ days out from your tour date
10% off with code EARLY30

* Rate based on double occupancy. Child rate available for those under 12.

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Friends explore Big Sur, Monterey County, California
Take in the beautiful California Coastal sunsets.
McWay Cove Big Sur
Explore hidden coves along the way.
Beach Big Sur
Visit the rocky beaches full of tidepools and awesome wildlife.
Bixby Bridge Big Sur Coastline
Head down the winding roads along the iconic California Coast.

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Visitors view the newly renovated Open Sea exhibit

Join a Californian rite of passage as you experience the journey down the Pacific Coast Highway 1, exploring the natural grandeur of the nature and small-town vibes that captured the imaginations of John Steinbeck, Henry Miller, and Jack Kerouac. You’ll step away from the big city into the laid back beach towns just a few hours south of San Francisco, where you’ll experience entirely different scenery. Enjoy 2 full days of exploring and adventuring along the rugged PCH while spotting marine wildlife around Monterey, reveling in the majestic giant redwoods of Big Sur and getting active on either a kayak or e-bike tour. A night, enjoy one of Monterey’s specialty seafood restaurants before sleeping comfortably at a hotel nearby.


Sample Itinerary


DAY 1 – San Francisco to Monterey

We’ll meet bright and early to begin our escape to the sun-drenched coastline of Monterey Bay. On the way, you’ll pass through the ‘salad bowl of the nation’ so make sure to keep an eye out for produce stands filled with everything from fresh artichokes to juicy strawberries. Depending on the time of year, you may even catch the famous super blooms, an explosion of wildflowers that yields a vibrant scene of poppies, primroses and lilies. Upon reaching Monterey County, you’ll stop for your first chance at spotting marine wildlife at Elkhorn Slough, an estuary known for being critical habitat for sea otters, harbor seals, cormorants and brown pelicans.

Around lunchtime you’ll be met with expansive ocean views as you arrive to beautiful Monterey Bay.  A crown jewel of the Central Californian coast, Monterey has a range of activities to pick from. Choose to explore the coastline and 17-mile drive on an e-bike tour or get right onto the water in search of more sea otters on a kayak. If you’d rather get a closer look at what is beneath the water (like the world’s largest octopus), head over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Of course, you’ll have to check out historic Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf where adventure, history and clam chowder await. Once you’ve enjoyed the best of what this picturesque city has to offer, stay overnight within Monterey County at a nearby comfortable hotel.


DAY 2 – Full Day Big Sur

Strap on your walking shoes and pack your camera, today you’ll trade in the small-town charm for the brilliant beauty of the rural Big Sur coastline. As you drive south on the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll stop for photos of the dramatic scenery and famous landmarks. Don’t forget to watch for whales too, depending on the time of year you can see Gray and Humpback whales even from the highway. Venture through the lush greenery in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where nestled in a beachy enclave of emerald water, you’ll see one of the most photographed waterfalls on the Pacific Coast, McWay Falls. Ready to wrap your arms around a mighty redwood? You’ll also get the chance to hit the trail and wander among the most southern habitat in the U.S. for these coastal giants.

After a full day exploring this memorable stretch of coastline, you’ll make your way back to San Francisco. Depending on the time of year, make a stop at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for classic Americana culture or in the quaint town of Half Moon Bay to grab a bite to eat. With hints of saltwater still on your skin, you’ll arrive back to the twinkling lights of San Francisco by 9pm.

See More of What California Has to Offer!


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