Travel Advice for the Big Sur International Marathon


Travel Advice for the Big Sur International Marathon


Getting there (and back): Headquarters for the Marathon is located in Monterey, 120 miles south of San Francisco, 320 miles north of Los Angeles. We recommend flying directly into Monterey Airport, only five minutes from downtown Monterey. Other airport options include San Jose, (70 miles away), San Francisco and Oakland (110 miles). If you are going to opt for a car and have some extra time at the end of your trip, you could plan to fly out of San Francisco and explore a bit more of this beautiful area of the country on your drive from Monterey to San Francisco.


Getting around: A rental car is not necessary, but it is recommended. This will allow you to drive and trace out the (breathtaking) marathon route and see more of the coast around this beautiful area.


Weather: Due to it varied landscape, weather in Big Sur could differ from place to place. That being said, Big Sur enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year. For weather forecast during the time of your visit, check the Weather Underground website.


Accomodations:The Monterey Marriott Hotel and the Portola Hotel & Spa are in the heart of historic downtown just steps from the Monterey Peninsula, making it an ideal choice for BIg Sur Marathon weekend.  


Must Do/See:

  • Spend some time in Carmel-by-the-Sea, a beautiful coastal town located off of  Highway One just five miles South of Monterey City.  The town itself is very small, but there is plenty to see and do there, including: art galleries, cafes, restaurants and inns.
  • Go for a ride (or a few). Monterey and the surrounding area are known for legendary scenic drives. Here is a list of top drives and maps,  including Highway One and 17-Mile Drive: Scenic Drives.  (It's good to note that gas stations are few and far between and gas can be expensive in the Big Sur region.)
  • Experience the culinary delights that Monterey County has to offer. The area has a yearlong growing season and it offers a variety of cuisine to appeal to any palate.  Wine connoisseurs  will be happy to note that Monterey County was nominated one of the  "Top Ten Wine Travel Destinations" in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine this year.  Here are some area restaurants we can recommend:

Le Bicyclette located in Carmel-by- the-Sea offers great French food.

Cibo Ristorante Italino is great for some Italian cuisine and jazz. Located right across from the Portola Hotel & Spa



To see more activity and dining options in the area please visit the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau: