Travelling from San Francisco to Big Sur

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We’re visiting northern california this summer and I was wondering about how to get to Big Sur from San Francisco. I’m not an experienced driver so would prefer not to hire a car if that’s possible. Are there any public transport options to get us there?

streety 23/03/13    Getting aroundUSA Link Report

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This is a great drive from SF to Big Sur. Take Hwy 1, which is Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) all the way. It is a beautiful trip with lots of hairpin turns, amazing ocean views, beaches where you and the Sea Gulls will be the only ones on the beach. Stop in Pacifica just south of SF. If you ever wondered where all the Hippies went, stop in this funky town also known as the fog capital. You will pass Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and many small towns are just off the highway. Stop and discover laid back communities just off of PCH. Great seafood restaurants along the way, but not cheap! This is one of the best drives in America!!!!!! I use to live in Pacifica and it’s a beautiful part of the California coast line!!!!!!!!

Time of my life 24/03/13    Link Report

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Hi,
While driving Coast Hiway 1 is a great drive….it’s definitely NOT for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable driving as …well, it is on the coast and is usually a 2 lane road when it gets close to Big Sur. .
For all of Time of my life’s enthusiasm, I know you need practical non-driving info.
There is a regional bus service, Monterey-Salinas Transit:
There is a Route 22 from Monterey to Big Sur, and a 55 Monterey to San Jose express. The 55 bus takes you to/from the Caltrain station.
You’ll have to check out the schedules, etc., here are the links:

http://www.mst.org/riders-guide/how-to-ride/overview/

http://www.caltrain.com/schedules.html

There is Amtrac service as well, it’s shown on the pdf from MST. (same train station)

So you’d have two transfers…SF to San Jose, San Jose to Monterey, Monterey to Big Sur.
Since it represents a fair amount of travel time, I’d suggest considering spending the night in Monterey (lots to see there) unless you’re spending several nights in Big Sur.

Hope this helps, and that you have a great time.

SFGirl 29/03/13    Link Report

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On the subject of San Francisco…not that you asked…but one of my favorite places is the cafe in the San Francisco Art Institute, on Russian Hill above North Beach and overlooking Fisherman’s Wharf.

http://www.sfai.edu/caf%C3%A9

You’ll have to check that it’s open and parking in the area (if you’re driving) will still require some steep hill walking but you enter through a hacienda type garden, there’s a Diego Rivera mural and lots of student art on the walls so there’s food for mind as well as body. And the view is…the best..because it’s open air.
If you don’t want to drive, DO get a visitor passport..it not only makes riding the cable cars affordable, it gives discounts on other things: (don’t forget the bus up to Coit Tower, either!)

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passports.htm

Cheers

SFGirl 29/03/13    Link Report

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In response to SF Girl, taking a bus or train defeats the purpose of traveling down PCH. It’s not that diffficult of a drive. Yes it’s 2 lanes, but that’s part of the fun. You can’t get off the train to check out a beautiful beach or a small town off of PCH. If you drive you have the freedom of choice, if you take the bus or train you are at the mercy of their schedule. It’s a fun drive and you never know whta you might se if you drive, rather than take public transportation.

Time of my life 30/03/13    Link Report

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Big Sur, one of the finest place to visit. Public Transportation is available to and from Monterey on Monterey-Salinas Transit. Monterey Airbus shuttle can help you out in this. Bus service from Monterey/Carmel – http://jrabold.net/bigsur/activ-pubt.htm

Big Sur Without car is not so easy, rent a car from company who provides you driver, like http://www.carhirelosangelesairport.com, they have pick up facility at San Francisco and can drop off you at your destination, call there helpline number for further confusion . Good Luck for your Journey

richardson 17/05/13    Link Report

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