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 Spring, 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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Here is a recent (May 14th) article from the SLO Tribune about camping while the Highway 1 is getting rebuilt: "Highway 1 closure creates a remote escape for campers in Big Sur"

Highway 1 closure updates 6/10/17: There are 3 closures on Highway 1 along the scenic central California coastline leaving a few areas isolated and harder to reach. The furthest closure north is just above Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge at Big Sur Station (MON 46.3) the bridge is being replaced and is tentatively scheduled to allow at least one line traffic by September 30 (there is a walk-around trail); Paul’s Slide (mile marker 21.6) is scheduled to be partially repaired by July 4 allowing for at least one lane of traffic. There’s no word yet on when the damage at Mud Creek (SLO PM 72.87) will be repaired but it looks like it will be closed at least be one year getting repaired.
There are still a few parks and businesses closed or limited, sorry but Maiden Publick House has closed but Big Sur Village Still Welcomes Visitors; Tourists who drive north towards Big Sur from San Luis Obispo County have been blocked off at Ragged Point Roadside Motel since late February and could be until sometime in 2018. Those headed for Big Sur must drive south via the Monterey Peninsula on Highway 1 open up to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge construction area.
Campers and such who want to access Highway 1 from Limekiln on the north end to Gorda on the south need to use the beautiful Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd cut-off, there are also a some nice campgrounds near Fort Hunter Liggett.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is open to the public; Public access on Highway 1 coming off Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd will be south to Gorda (PM 10), and north to Limekiln State Park (PM 20).
Highway 1 from the north is opened through Monterey/Carmel south down to Big Sur Station (MON 46.3); Big Sur can not be reached from the south on Pacific Coast Highway 1; in SLO county you can get no further north than the Ragged Point Roadside Motel because multiple barriers are placed on PCH 1 just to the north (SLO PM 72.87).
GREAT NEWS !!!: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (831-667-2315) is partially reopen for limited hiking, camping and day use beginning Wednesday May 17th.
attention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers messageNo reason to circumvent closures and road barriers there are now legal ways to vacation in Big Sur and there are very large fines for going around closure signs & barriers barriers; this is against the law which IS enforced... a violation is a serious offense. THIS INFORMATION PROVIDED IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE!attention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers message

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:

SPRING BIG SUR TRAVEL TIPS: don't postpone because of California's road closures or wild fire damage... take a different kind of Big Sur vacation... be a steward, make repairs, build trail, volunteer...

Spring in Big Sur Vacation Information Guide Visitor Tips and Pacific Coast Highway Travel Wildflowers Logo

Big Sur experienced a bad one-two punch, first the 19,000-acre Soberanes fire then the epoch rainfalls... Yes it has all happened before but to say the least it wasn't the typical year in Big Sur and the drought relief is wonderful... the rainy season usually ends in February but who knows anymore... but right now the place is divided into "islands" with some parts virtually inaccessible for tourists.
But if you are looking to experience its natural wonders now is the perfect time to enjoy the Big Sur coast and avoid all the usual crowds. Complete repairs aren't expected in the north until September and the southern closure is expected to open the middle of June. Travel restrictions are starting to ease up though, some access roads have now been opened for public access, the beautiful natural Big Sur Waterfalls are at maximum flow, they are spectacular and provide nice short hikes through the newly greened lush countryside and the wildflowers are bursting into massive blooms (video & article Flowers after Fires). Now is a good time to get that prime campsite that is always full and to view the whales migrating south to feed and give birth. Epic rains (Big Sur rain totals history) and road closures (Big Sur road closure history pdf) are nothing new to the Big Sur Coast.
Although the two "island areas" are cut off and some California State Parks are damaged and shut down it is actually only a few of the private businesses and state parks that are now closed, most are open at least on a limited basis, although it can take some time to trouble to get to get to them and operations may not be as usual.
Hiking some Big Sur trails could be good right now but check Ventana Wilderness Alliance (831-423-3191) or Big Sur Station (831-667-2315) for trail conditions; much of the Ventana Wilderness remains CLOSED because of fire and flood damage. This includes backcountry camps like Sykes, Terrace Creek, Barlow Flat, Pat Spring, Carmel River, Pico Blanco Public Camp, and many others. Unauthorized entry is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and imprisonment up to six months.
Some areas that are currently OPEN include the Cone Peak Trail Network and the Silver Peak Wilderness. However, winter storm damage has made it difficult to access these areas.

This spring is a great time to try to get a really big jump on the busy summer tourist season rush that will begin as roads open and word gets out. You may also get the opportunity to experience some unique things that only a privileged few have experienced since many years ago.
You should probably plan a trip to Big Sur before it fully awakens.Take advantage of the Pacific Coast Highway 1 closure travelers... read more about typical Spring in Big Sur

Photo Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Closed.

attention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers messageSOME CLOSED PARKS AND BIG SUR BUSINESSES 05/26/17 attention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers message

Andrew Molera State Park (831-667-2315)
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (")
Ventana Spa, Rest & Camp (800-628-6500)
Post Ranch & Sierra Mar Rest (Limited Operations 800-527-2200)
Big Sur Bakery (831) 667-0520
Deetjen's Inn (831-667-2377)
Nepenthe Restaurant (831-667-2345)
Big Sur’s Hawthorne Gallery (831) 667-3200
Esalen Institute (831) 667-3000

Some places OPEN:
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (now open on a limited basis 831-667-2315;)
Point Sur Lighthouse (831) 625-4419
Big Sur Center / Deli etc (831-667-2225)
Limekiln State Park 831-667-2403
(These Parks Management Co Day Use & Big Sur Campgrounds
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!

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 Bid 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 check-in desk" 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 -- It is best right now to stay on the main roads but take great care and 4X4 if you don't. With the damaged back country the Scenic Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 is a good bet (parts of the highway as well as the wilderness are out-of-bounds to the public), It’s about the PCH 1 Picturesque Drive which is dangerous 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 -- You Should Enjoy Some Fine Big Sur Food & Dining: Nice Weather Dining Tip: 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 (CLOSED)
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 $$$ but out in the Big Sur boondocks there are actually some world class cutting edge gourmet dining to be had at several restaurants. Big Sur has always had a great attraction for artistic genius and a great chef falls into this category. READ MORE: information about restaurants near Big Sur California -- READ MORE: information about PICNICS near Big Sur
# 4 -- Staying Overnight in Big Sur Proper is NOT Crucial but if You Stay do your Research and be Motel Smart, Campground Coherent and Well Informed (Big Sur thrives on suckers): You can save lots of money and be much closer to services and entertainment if you stay on one end or the other of the scenic Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 Drive…I usually like to stay in Carmel just north of Big Sur at the Carmel River Inn (800-966-6490) or at the southern end and get a room at the Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort (800-826-8168) right on the beach to appreciate the great Pacific; either one will save you big $$$$ compared to the normal Big Sur gouging; my favorite along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is the historic Hacienda Guest Lodge (831-386-2262) at Fort Hunter Liggett. If you have some money to burn on your vacation and want to get a little taste of the Big Sur Coast ocean view experience you might consider Ragged Point Inn (888-584-6374) down in the southern portion of the Big Sur only 15 miles north of Hearst Castle (805-927-2138) and less pricey than many. If you have a LOT of money to burn kick out the stops, get on the helicopter in Monterey and go for the paramount of all Big Sur Lodgings Post Ranch Inn. (limited operations 5/06/17 800-527-2200)
Myself if I want to stay in Big Sur I quite enjoy the majestic Redwood Forest and Big Sur River from the historic Big Sur Lodge (800-424-4787) located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (831-667-2315); the Ragged Point Inn like the Lodge carries a medium high cost. During the road closure you can dicker for a discount price. READ MORE: information about staying near Big Sur
# 5-- Big Sur Is Isolated, Spread Out, Extremely Popular and a Real Tourist Trap, Which Can Be Quite Expensive and at the moment it is even cut up with inaccessible "islands": Because of their locations the tourist businesses have a captive audience, a steady stream (small at the moment) of new customers coming up or down PCH 1. They charge high prices and they have underpaid, and at times overworked amateurish service people and this goes for the luxury resorts as well as the more rustic businesses. Sure it’s all highway robbery but be patient and prepared; go for the options you find most important and you will get taken for as little or as much as you are comfortable. Looking to save $$$, 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 -- Although it is almost fire season is the rainy season still happening???: A storm can increase road hazards, falling rocks, rocks on the highway, slips and slides can cause highway closures. Cal Trans takes great care of the highway but it is a never ending challange...still don't let a little rain spoil your vacation plans. Check Highway 1 Road Conditions.
The upside is rain provides much needed drought relief and pumps up the beautiful Big Sur waterfalls. READ MORE about Big Sur waterfalls...(waterfalls mobile)
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 central Big Sur coast with mile markers, links to local area interest points information and coastal location photographs. Click 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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