The 85 miles of stunning scenery of Highway 1, from San Simeon to Carmel, in California coastline, can be done by driving in couple of hours, but you will never do! Why? Because, if it is your first time, 100% guaranteed that you will stop several time to take photos, to eat while join the view, or even to spend a night in one of the (not many) hotels in Big Sur (or camping, if you have planned for it with much advance). Big Sur after all, is right up there with New York’s Times Square on the list of must-sees for many visitors to the United States (I said, to the world).
The guide book “Lone Planet” said “Big Sur itself is more a state of mind than a place you can pinpoint on a map. There are no traffic lights, banks or strip malls, and when the sun goes down, the moon and the stars are the only streetlights – if summer’s dense fog hasn’t extinguished them, that is. Much ink has been spilled extolling the raw beauty and energy of this precious piece of land shoehorned between the Santa Lucia Range and the Pacific Ocean, but nothing quite prepares you for your first glimpse of the craggy, unspoiled coastline”.
Forget Google Maps or the Waze App, forget your phone entirely! By the way, service drops off pretty much instantly and stays scarce the entire route. If you want to know what the best hikes are, where the best food is, which state parks you can skip and which ones you absolutely have to brake for, you need to find that out in advance. Just like ten years ago or pre-2006, when we had not all this technologies into our smartphones.