Things to do in Big Sur to Santa Barbara

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  • 1

    Hearst Castle

    750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA
    66 reviews

    Amazing Castle, a must visit no doubt. Rating had to chop off to 1 star since they admission is getting a bit high. But still a must for first timer./

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesLocal
  • 2

    Old Mission Santa Barbara

    2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3611
    47 reviews

    Called "The Queen of the Missions", be sure you tour the chapel, museum and rose gardens that date back to the 1700's.

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesLocal
  • 3

    Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

    47225 California 1, Big Sur, California
    34 reviews

    Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a great place to camp, hike, and be out in nature. The beach is a short hike from the parking lot.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesBudget
  • 4

    Santa Barbara Zoo

    500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
    32 reviews

    Awesome zoo. Great aviary. Bring a picnic and enjoy the wild animals and scenic from your picnic table. Afterwards, walk to the beach.

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorLocal
  • 5

    Highway 1

    Big Sur, California
    23 reviews

    Highway One, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway can definitely show you a good time. It's got great beaches, views, bridges, lighthouses, whales. birds, elephant seals, sea kayaking, hiking, cycling and yes, more. Cycle, motorcycle, walk, drive your camper or whatever, it's always a great trip.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesBudget
  • 6

    Pfeiffer Beach

    Off Highway 1 on Sycamore Canyon Road, Big Sur, CA 93920
    20 reviews

    Best for Dramatic Landscapes: The miles of cliff-lined Pacific Coast that parallel California’s Highway One are all scenic, but Pfeiffer beats out nearby stretches for its rocky coves and unusual purple sand, earning the No. 2 ranking for its dramatic landscape.

    Popular withOutdoorGreenFamilies
  • 7

    Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

    CA, United States
    20 reviews

    Watching these blubbery, noisy beasts is such a delight! The experience was heightened when we talked to a Friends of the Elephant Seals volunteer (they wear blue jackets) who gave us the low down on superweaners, creepers, and all things elephant seals, which made us feel like amateur marine biologists.

    Popular withFamiliesAdventureOutdoor
  • 8

    Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

    47225 California 1, Big Sur, CA
    19 reviews

    I love Pfeiffer State Park. With a bit of a hike you're rewarded with a beautiful beach. There might be some surfers out there, but it's otherwise uncrowded since many people won't make the effort.

    Popular withOutdoorGreenBackpackers
  • 9

    Channel Islands National Park

    Oxnard, CA
    20 reviews

    Wonderful trip. Boat in or fly in. See details at Beautiful scenery, wonderful birding and native plants. Great kayaking on a calm day.

    Popular withOutdoorAdventureGreen
  • 10

    State Street Shopping & Dining

    State Street, Santa Barbara, CA
    19 reviews

    Local architecture in an outdoor experience. A great place to spend part of the day wandering around the curved pathways to shop and eat .

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesLocal
  • 11

    Santa Barbara Bowl

    1122 North Milpas Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103-2336
    17 reviews

    Best place for a show IMHO - not a bad seat in the house- only holds about 4500 - good food, better than average beer, great setup.

    Popular withFamiliesLocalDesign
  • 12

    Santa Barbara County Courthouse

    1100 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2002
    17 reviews

    Head to the top of the courthouse for a great panoramic view of the hills and ocean surrounding Santa Barbara. The historic courthouse itself is great to see, too - classic Spanish mission architecture.

    Popular withHistoryLocalAdventure
  • 13

    Andrew Molera State Park

    Big Sur Station #1, Big Sur, CA 93920
    15 reviews

    What a great all-around park! Excellent hiking trails, wild beaches, stunning vistas of the Big Sur coastline, a pristine clear water river and a backcountry adjacent to Central California's only Federally-declared coastal wilderness. Wild and beautiful, Andrew Molera is a great spot for visitors of all kinds as it is easily accessible, has a wide range of user facilities, and ...

    Popular withOutdoorAdventureBackpackers
  • 14

    Montana De Oro State Park

    13 reviews

    This very large state park is a jewel along the Central Coast. It provides coves and rugged coastline walks. There are picnic areas and an information kiosk with Indian artifacts.

    Popular withOutdoorAdventureFamilies
  • 15

    Bixby Creek Bridge

    Pacific Coast Highway 1, Big Sur, United States
    13 reviews

    Cross this amazing bridge that you see on many car commercials on your way to Big Sur. This is the road trip the Europeans love the best.

    Popular withOutdoorBudgetDesign
  • 16

    San Luis Obispo County Farmers' Market

    Higuera Street (between Osos St and Nipomo St), San Luis Obispo, CA
    12 reviews

    Farmers Market is one of the biggest events on thursday nights in SLO. People from all over come to enjoy the entertainment, food and produce. Starts at 6 and goes till 9. Come and get your fresh fruits and veg. and take in some great food.

    Popular withLocalOutdoorGreen
  • 17

    Butterfly Beach

    12 reviews

    Really fun place to take the kids, build sand castles, play catch and jump in the water (wet suit recommended)! Check the tide levels before you come out - at high tide, you only have 15-20 feet of beach to work with. Plus, the Four Seasons is across the street if you dont pack a picnic. Food is pretty good ...

    Popular withFamilies
  • 18

    Avila Valley Barn

    560 Avila Beach Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA
    12 reviews

    Great place with little ones. Can pick your fruits:) and enjoy the petting Zoo. Very cute

    Popular withFamiliesGreenBudget
  • 19

    Arroyo Burro Beach County Park

    2981 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA
    13 reviews

    Known by the locals as Hendrys Beach, this public beach is located adjacent to a beach popular for dog owners to walk their pets off leash. Arroyo Burro itself is actually on-leash and is also home to The Boathouse Restaurant. Surfers also frequent the beach's waters, and outdoor showers facilitate the sport. The beach's other recreational features include a grassy ...

    Popular withOutdoorBudgetFamilies
  • 20

    Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

    11 reviews

    Nice museum with a good variety and many local exhibits. Seasonal exhibits are great like the butterflies alive and dinosaurs currently. Beautiful indoor/outdoor setting. Not like the one in NYC but a great visit nonetheless.

    Popular withFamiliesHistoryOutdoor
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