Drive. Dine. Walk. Gawk. Find joy. Explore 735 gorgeous miles of the iconic road with these essential stops along the way. (Editor's note: The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, connecting north and south Big Sur, is currently closed due to storm damage. For more information on how to enjoy Big Sur this season, check out our planning guide.)
Landmark Stearns Wharf has panoramic ocean views. But when you reach the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., skip them and eat at this no-nonsense seafood shack’s bar so you can watch cooks make such favorites as lobster tacos, a delicacy you shouldn’t miss. Need a good place to stay post-taco? Nearby, the Old Yacht Club Inn is suitably nautical, with knockout breakfasts. Shellfish Co.: $$; 230 Stearns Wharf. Old Yacht Club: From $159.