if you are visiting the Hearst Castle Historical State Park after a walk through of Monterey and Carmel with lost of spare time or having 2 to 3 day extra time, I would suggest a timely stop along Big Sur and the historic Highway 1 that straddles the Santa Lucia Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean for spectacular panoramic vistas for a picture perfect view. Big usr is located roughly 40 miles south of monterey along the famous Bixby and Rocky Creek Bridges and there are many nature related activities in big sur like hiking trails, white water rafting, camping areas and more. Stay overnite then proceed to the Hearst Castle.
A shortish drive south of Carmel, along Highway 1, and you will find yourself in the Big Sur region. Big Sur is home to State Parks filled with redwood forests, stunning coastal scenery, secluded coves and beaches, and all manor of hiking trails for the active visitor.
We spent a day driving along Highway 1, exploring a couple of the State Parks, visiting a pretty beach and even going on a short hike through the forest. We also saw the historic Bixby Bridge which makes a great photo subject.
More information can be found on my Big Sur page.
South of Monterey is yet another long, spectacular coastline. Sur is Spanish for "south"; the name Big Sur means the big country to the south.