Big Sur Travel Answers

change location
phil_and_den's Profile Photo

Carmel by The Sea to San Luis Obispo

by phil_and_den Online Now Aug 23, 2008 at 5:05 AM

Hi

Driving from Carmel to San Luis Obispo in September.

Would ideally like to book a tour of Hearst Castle, but am worried about rushing through the Big Sur.

This is our first trip to this region, and hotels are booked either end.

Would you recommend not tying ourselves up with the Castle, or do you think we could fit it in?

Suggested iterniaries and estimated timescales would be most welcome

many thanks

Phil

Quote & Answer
4 Answers
  • phil_and_den's Profile Photo

    Re: Carmel by The Sea to San Luis Obispo

    by phil_and_den Online Now Aug 23, 2008 at 7:04 AM

    ... Will be setting off from Carmel Headlands after an early breakfast at our hotel. I note that Tour One (recommended for first time visitors to the castle) lasts 1 hour 45mins. I assume with the bus to and from the castle, I was expecting 3 hours? I was thinking of taking the 3:20pm tour.

    Maybe we are expecting to do too much this one day?
    thanks
    P

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Re: Carmel by The Sea to San Luis Obispo

    by KimberlyAnn Online Now Aug 23, 2008 at 9:33 PM

    We visited the Hearst Castle in 2005, and our tour lasted a little less than two hours, and that included the bus trip to and from the castle. We both found the tour very interesting, and would take another if we went back another time. I think that if you leave early in the morning, and book a tour for late in the afternoon, you should have time to make a few stops along the way and still make your tour. Keep track of your time, however, as driving hwy 1 is a little slower than out on the flat, so expect it to take time. The road is two lane, curvy, with drop offs on the ocean side. The scenery, however is some of the most spectacular in the country.

    Visiting Piedras Blanca Elephant Seal View Point is a fun and interesting activity, which is free of charge and well worth a side trip if you have time before or after your tour of the Castle. Since it is only a mile from the Castle, if you are running short of time and need to get to your tour, you can pass it up, then go back for a look before heading south again. This viewing area is located north of the Hearst Castle and south of the Point Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Look for a large parking lot on the ocean side of highway 1 north of the Hearst Castle. Pull off and park, so that you can take a short walk to observe elephant seals that use the beach year round. A fence bordering the beach protects the seals from human interference. A series of signs will give you information about the lives of elephant seals, as well as explaining which elephant seals can be seen during the different times of the year.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Jamesr3939's Profile Photo

    Re: Carmel by The Sea to San Luis Obispo

    by Jamesr3939 Online Now Aug 24, 2008 at 2:56 PM

    You should have plenty of time if you leave Carmel after an early breakfast, even if you book the afternoon tour. Once you leave the castle it is only a short drive +50 miles to San Luis Obispo and most of the road is four lane divided. I would say stop at the Castle it is well worth the time.

    I can not see you spending more than an hour at Big Sur and maybe another hour total stopping at some of the turn outs along Hwy 1. So you should ahve plenty of time. In September it will still be light late, but keep in mind the fog can roll in along the coast at early as 3:00 or 4:00 PM. However, once you leave the castle you will be headed inland after a few miles and will not see the fog.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • phil_and_den's Profile Photo

    Re: Carmel by The Sea to San Luis Obispo

    by phil_and_den Online Now Aug 25, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    many thanks to you both - will probably book the last tour of the day

    all the best

    phil and den

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
Your Answer
Advanced Editor View Guidelines