Monterey, Big Sur & Carmel

This is possibly the best of the best of the magnificent Highway 1 but there is more than just the scenery to enjoy.

Just 2 hours from San Francisco – longer with stops which you will be making! – is Monterey, an old sardine packing industry town immortalised by John Steinbeck’s novel. Cannery Row is now home to a myriad of shops and restaurants. The world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium has over 200 galleries and exhibits and is also a must-visit, especially with families.

Leaving Monterey for Carmel, take the long way round via the 17-Mile Drive; there is a small charge to pay but worth every cent as it is one of the most scenic drives in the world, passing the renowned Pebble Beach golf course, the Lone Cypress which has stood on its rocky promontory for over 250 years and many other wonderful bays and viewpoints.

Carmel is a charming and romantic seaside village taking its name from the Carmel Mission dating back to 1771 and its lovely beach is but one of its charms. From here, the rugged 90 miles or so of the Big Sur coastline to San Simeon, where you will find Hearst Castle, is probably the highlight of the drive and includes the iconic, and much-photographed, Bixby Bridge.

Everything went to plan. The car was excellent, we had no problems with the ferry bookings or the hotel reservations and the information we received was all accurate. We appreciated the very convenient seats that were reserved for us on the flights. Overall, an excellent holiday experience, you did an excellent job in putting it all together for us and in responding to my many queries

Mr Goodyear