StyleOnTheCouch Travels: Big Sur

Driving along the Big Sur Coastline in my Chrysler Sebring was one of the highlights of my recent US road trip (I know, I know, there were so many!)  What had been forecast a grey and overcast afternoon for the drive between Carmel and Santa Barbara turned into blue skies and candy floss clouds that yielded perfect views across the Pacific.  The Big Sur offers plenty of places to stop and pull in to admire the views, especially around Hearst Castle, where if you are lucky you will see elephant seals asleep on the sand – at Piedras Blancas, a protected vista for the mammals.  A perfect stop off along the journey is at Carmel, on Highway 1, where you really must spend a few hours to sit and take breakfast or eat lunch in one of the many pretty restaurants in the town.

Picture above: oh so slightly overheating on a cliff top along the Big Sur.  Pictures below: al fresco dining: lunch at the delightful Carmel Food Company.

Carmel by Sea is a wonderful town, founded as a seaside resort in the 1880s and now full of pretty cottages and charming streets, quaint restaurants and delis.  (Interesting fact for you, Blog Reader: Clint Eastwood was once non-partisan mayor here).

Driving south from Carmel along Highway 1 the scenery is a stretch of craggy coastline and raw, unspoilt beauty – it reminded me of the Scottish Highlands (the Western Highlands) somewhat, albeit much much warmer.

The drive ended up at the very chic and Mediterranean style Santa Barbara.

Have you driven along the Big Sur, Blog Reader?



  1. says

    Yes! I’ve even camped out in Big Sur and gone surfing! Such an amazing place to take a drive though and get some lunch, also very much in love with Carmel and it’s shopping!!


    • says

      Oo now where did you go surfing? I read that was pretty big along the coast. I’m not really a camping sort (do they have hairdryers? I need a hairdryer lol) but I think that there would be many places with amazing views along Big Sur.

  2. says

    Yes. This is one of my favorite places on earth, along with Yosemite Valley. I grew up near San Francisco, and so these places are part of what feels like home to me. The photo at the top of my blog was taken in Big Sur.

    • says

      Ella did you see my Yosemite posts? I’ll go back and check. You’re so fortunate to grow up surrounded by these places, they took my breath away. You have some amazing parks in the US.. thanks for stopping by!

  3. says

    This looks like such a lovely journey – I haven’t been to California in more years than I can count, which really doesn’t make sense considering how close I live. Of course, I do have an irrational fear of tidal waves, so these views would probably scare me to death in real life. Maybe it’s best that I’m just living them vicariously through your post :)

    • says

      Cee, with my psychologist hat on I really want to take to you about this fear of tidal waves!! With my blogger hat back on however, I meant to ask if you got over your wanderlust or if you decided on any travel plans of your own this year?

  4. says

    These photos bring back memories of my time driving along Highway 1 from San Jose to Santa Barbara. My friend and I did lots of traveling along the coast when we were working in San Jose. I remember it being so beautiful! Thanks for sharing photos with me. I might go and hunt for mine!

  5. says

    I have visited carmel and loved it!! I love the classic outfit you have on of black sweater and jeans. You are so stunning I love to see your beauty shine in basics!! xoxo

    • says

      Hi Molliee and a big thank you! I was overheating just a little that day on the big sur but you know I’m inclined to agree with you sometimes I just feel so at home with my flares and a simple plain top. Hope all is well over on the West Coast xo

  6. says

    yes!! my family and i went there a few times back when i lived in CA. how gorgeous these photos are – makes me miss it so… p.s. i love your outfit, you look fab as always!
    xoxo, kristina

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