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The musings of Lisa Love about travel, art, design, and whatnot.

Monterey, California – Things to Do in 6 Hours

Garrapata State Park

Day 1: 6 Hour Tour

If you only have a short time to spend in the Monterey area my recommendation is to catch some breakfast or lunch at Caffe Trieste then head out for a drive. Make a stop at the Carmel Mission and take a self-guided tour in time permits. Continue the drive from Carmel by the Sea and head towards Big Sur on Highway 1. The scenic drive is absolutely spectacular! There will be plenty of opportunities to pull over for photo opps. You can even get out at Garrapata State Park, put your feet in the sand and walk down to the water. Keep heading down Highway 1 through Big Sur. For a $10 entrance pass you’ll have park access all day. You’ll be able to walk through a red wood forest and smell the crisp cool forest and then travel on to see a waterfall that is fed by a river that drops into the ocean. If you are lucky you can even time it to see a brilliant sunset over the Pacific Ocean at Nepenthe.

Driving Directions

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

  • Drive Highway 1 to Big Sur
    • Drive by Carmel Mission
    • Stop at Bixby Bridge for a photo opp
       
  • Drive down to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
    • Take a short flat hike to McWay Falls
    • Stop for dinner at Nepenthe (no reservations)

Nepenthe at Sunset

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

While in Monterey I stayed at the Hotel Abrego. They had cozy comforters, a fireplace in the room and a yummy Oatmeal Crème Brulee that they served up for breakfast. It is a short walk into town.

What about your Big Sure experience?

Follow me on the journey!