Seven Gables Inn, 555 Ocean View Blvd., Pacific Grove, CA - 831-372-4341              


Beth Warner’s Big Sur Coast Drive

We are fortunate to be just a short drive away from the beautiful and famous stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) that travels along the Big Sur coastline. The entire Big Sur coastline is about 90 miles long, stretching south from Carmel down to San Simeon. Writer Robinson Jeffers called Big Sur “the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world”. Why not check it out next time you come stay at the Seven Gables?

Here are some recommended places to stop along the way as you explore the north end of the Big Sur. You will have plenty of time to take in these sights after enjoying breakfast at the inn and be back in time for wine and cheese!
Or stay long enough to enjoy dinner while watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean at one of the restaurants in Big Sur itself.

When you start at the inn’s small parking lot on Grand Avenue in Pacific Grove, set your vehicle’s trip odometer to 0.0. Start by turning left at Ocean View Boulevard and then turn left again onto Forest Avenue. Consider fueling up at the Shell Gas Station on Forest Avenue (1.5 miles). Here you will find the lowest gas prices along the entire route. Continue up Forest Avenue and at 4.3 miles you will be at the Highway 1 junction heading south.

Remember that if you wish to explore one or more state parks, there is a $10 per vehicle admission fee for day use and parking. This one $10 fee gets you in to ALL state parks during the same day. And for visitors age 62 and over the fee is $9 per vehicle.

While all of the trails we mention here are mostly easy walking, if you aren’t much into hiking, there is still much to see. Galleries, shops, redwood trees, breath taking views of the rocky coastline, and restaurants can be found as well.

Continue along with the mileage chart and brief descriptions of what you will find along the way.
Mile markers have also been used in some cases. Please take notice of the Vista Points and other plentiful turnouts along the highway that can be useful for stretching your legs, snapping a photo or two as well as to allow faster moving traffic pass you. Courteous and cautious driving along this twisty highway is much appreciated by all travelers. When you reach the end of our day trip guide, turn around and come back! Or continue on exploring as your schedule allows. The mileage chart below will take you nearly half way down the Big Sur coastline. Enjoy your drive and don’t forget the camera!

Miles from Seven Gables  Mile marker Hwy 1 Landmark/      Destination Comment
0   Seven Gables Inn Start from our small parking lot on Grand Avenue. Proceed to Forest Ave. traveling away from the bay.
1.5   Shell Gas Station, Forest Ave., Pacific Grove Low gas prices, recommend filling up here.
4.3   Hwy 1 Junction, South You are now on Highway One, Pacific Coast Highway
6.8   Rio Road, Carmel Safeway, Chevron Gas Station, Public Restroom, CVS Pharmacy, Crossroads Shop Center, Bank of America
7   Road Sign "Big Sur 26 Miles" The 'town' of Big Sur is, indeed, 26 miles away, but from now on you are officially traveling along the Big Sur Coastline.
9.1   Point Lobos, State Reserve Easy walking trails among the trees, gorgeous views, sea life.
12.4 67 Garrapata State Park Bluff trails along the rocky coastline
17.1   Vista Point Photo opportunity, Turnout to let cars pass
17.8   Rocky Point Restaurant Landmark, great view
19.8   Traffic Light, Road Construction  0 - 5 minutes delays.  This is where a wash out occurred earlier this year.  Easily passable.
20.2   Bixby Bridge / Old Coast Road  The 10.5 miles on Old Coast Road takes about 1 hour, four-wheel drive recommended; exits back to Hwy 1 at Andrew Molera State Park.  Great photo ops from Bixby Bridge (written about by Jack Kerouac)
21.5   Hurricane Point Photo opportunity, Turnout to let cars pass
25.8 54.1 Point Sur Lighthouse Call (831) 625-4419 ahead of time for info on scheduling for guided tours; restricted access.  Interesting land formation. 
28.7   Andrew Molera State Park Hiking, Horseback Tours, $10 day-use admission gets you into any state parks during the same day.  Try the Headlands Trail for an easy 2 mile round trip walk to where the Big Sur River meets the Pacific Ocean.  Call Molera Horseback Tours for reservatons: 831-625-5486.
31.2   Big Sur, River Inn Restaurant, Shops, Public Restrooms
33.2   Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Hiking, Redwood Forest, $10 day-use admission gets you into any state parks during the same day.  (Pfeiffer Falls is not to be confused with McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park)
33.7   Big Sur Ranger Station Local Information, Friendly Rangers, Info on more adventurous trails if you really want to do some serious hiking
34.3 45 Pfeiffer Beach turnoff Sign says: "Narrow Road, No RVs or Trailors", 2 more miles to beach  down Sycamore Canyon Road, $5 for parking
34.9   Big Sur Bakery and Spirit Garden Food and Events
35.5   Ventana and Post Ranch Restaurants, Spas
36.2   Nepenthe/Café Kevah/Phoenix Shop Food, Gift Shop and Views
36.5   Henry Miller Library Book Store and Events
36.9   Deetjen's Big Sur Inn Restaurant among the Redwoods, Historic, rustic property
40 40 Actual drive time 1 hour and 10 minutes from Seven Gables Inn General timing measurement.  It took us about 1 hr. 10 min. to get this far driving straight through
43.2 37 Vista Point Great View, Photo opportunity, Let other cars pass.
44.2 36 Turnout; Large Rock with dedication to Julia Pfeiffer Burns Overlook McWay Falls from the Hwy.  Park near large rock.  If you don't want to walk the Overlook Trail, you can SEE McWay Falls from this point on the Highway.  80' waterfall that spills onto beautiful, protected beach.
44.4   Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Entrance 0.25 miles Overlook Trail to McWay Falls, $10 day-use admission for parking gets you into any other state park in the same day

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