Monterey & Big Sur Discovery 2-Day Tour from San Francisco
Join a Californian rite of passage as you experience the journey down the Pacific Coast Highway 1, exploring the natural grandeur of the nature and small-town vibes that captured the imaginations of John Steinbeck, Henry Miller, and Jack Kerouac. You’ll step away from the big city into the laid back beach towns just a few hours south of San Francisco, where you’ll experience entirely different scenery. Enjoy 2 full days of exploring and adventuring along the rugged PCH while spotting marine wildlife around Monterey, reveling in the majestic giant redwoods of Big Sur and getting active on either a kayak or e-bike tour. A night, enjoy one of Monterey’s specialty seafood restaurants before sleeping comfortably at a hotel nearby.
Day 1: San Francisco to Monterey
Pass By: San Francisco, San Francisco, California
We’ll meet bright and early to begin our escape to the sun-drenched coastline of Monterey Bay. On the way, you’ll pass through the ‘salad bowl of the nation’ so make sure to keep an eye out for produce stands filled with everything from fresh artichokes to juicy strawberries. Depending on the time of year, you may even catch the famous super blooms, an explosion of wildflowers that yields a vibrant scene of poppies, primroses and lilies.
Stop At: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, CA
Upon reaching Monterey County, you’ll stop for your first chance at spotting marine wildlife at Elkhorn Slough, an estuary known for being critical habitat for sea otters, harbor seals, cormorants and brown pelicans.
Duration: 20 minutes
Stop At: Monterey, Monterey, Monterey County, California
Around lunchtime you’ll be met with expansive ocean views as you arrive to beautiful Monterey Bay. A crown jewel of the Central Californian coast, Monterey has a range of activities to pick from. Choose to explore the coastline and 17-mile drive on an e-bike tour or get right onto the water in search of more sea otters on a kayak. If you’d rather get a closer look at what is beneath the water (like the world’s largest octopus), head over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Of course, you’ll have to check out historic Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf where adventure, history and clam chowder await. Once you’ve enjoyed the best of what this picturesque city has to offer, stay overnight within Monterey County at a nearby comfortable hotel.
Duration: 4 hours
No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Monterey County.
Day 2: Big Sur Coastline and return to San Francisco
Stop At: Big Sur, Big Sur, California
Strap on your walking shoes and pack your camera, today you’ll trade in the small-town charm for the brilliant beauty of the rural Big Sur coastline. As you drive south on the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll stop for photos of the dramatic scenery and famous landmarks. Don’t forget to watch for whales too, depending on the time of year you can see Gray and Humpback whales even from the highway.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, 52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Venture through the lush greenery in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where nestled in a beachy enclave of emerald water, you’ll see one of the most photographed waterfalls on the Pacific Coast, McWay Falls. Ready to wrap your arms around a mighty redwood? You’ll also get the chance to hit the trail and wander among the most southern habitat in the U.S. for these coastal giants.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California
After a full day exploring this memorable stretch of coastline, you’ll make your way back to San Francisco. Depending on the time of year, make a stop at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for classic Americana culture or in the quaint town of Half Moon Bay to grab a bite to eat. With hints of saltwater still on your skin, you’ll arrive back to the twinkling lights of San Francisco by 9pm.
Duration: 1 hour
No meals included on this day.
No accommodation included on this day.
- Reservations are REQUIRED for all bookings
- Book Your Package On-Line and Receive Your Confirmation
- Departure point: Traveler pickup is offered
Please meet on the Mason Street side of the Hilton Union Square to find our white Incredible Adventures biofuel mini-coach.
- Duration: 2 days (Approx.)
- Departure Time: 8:15 AM
- Return Details: Returns to original departure point
- Accommodation included: 1 night
- Central San Francisco Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Narrated guided tour
- 1 night hotel or campsite accommodations (double occupancy shared or private single supplement)
- All taxes, fees and handling charges
- Entry/Admission - Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
- Additional optional activities (contact us to arrange in advance)
What To Bring
- Confirmation Voucher (printed or mobile)
- Any required or suggested items listed on your confirmation email.
- A Smile!
Hotel pick-up is offered for this tour. Note: if you are booking within 24 hours of the tour/activity departure time, we cannot guarantee hotel pick-up. Once your purchase is complete, we will send you complete contact information (phone number, email address, etc.) for our local operator to organize pick-up arrangements.
- Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
- Wheelchair accessible
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
- Accommodations are double occupancy same-sex or couple share.
- Private rooms for single occupants are available only if option chosen & supplement paid.
- Stroller accessible
- Near public transportation
- Infant seats available
- Most travelers can participate
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 13 travelers
Still have questions?
We’re here to help. Call (800) 814-2665 to speak with a Destination Specialist.
Product code: COOL-3454P38