Cliffs, curves, and beautiful colors (Finalist)
gallery best places to drive carmel ca
Place: Big Sur, CA
Submitted by: Neednsnow

The drive on Highway 1 between Carmel, CA, and the sleepy beach town of San Simeon is utterly breathtaking. Along this trek you can take in the wooded wonders of Big Sur, drive along spectacular cliffs of wildflowers that cascade into the Pacific, be awe-stricken by the 80-foot spout waterfall into McWay Cove at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and enjoy the magnificently ostentatious Hearst Castle.

Neither the northern point of Carmel nor the Southern Point are very close to a major metro area (San Francisco is an hour from Carmel and Los Angeles is four hours from San Simeon,) but this is a worthwhile weekend. Be forewarned, there are few lodging options between San Simeon and Carmel, so start your day early. Going south to north would be advised, as you could start your day with Hearst Castle, and end your day with a magnificent sunset. Spring is best when the flowers are in bloom and McWay Falls is at full flow. I've done two round-trip cross-country drives, and this drive tops my list.

- Last updated October 22 2012 02:02 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Full list: Top 100

These terrific small cities offer strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care, and a true sense of community.

Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.