Directions, Transportation, and Lodging FAQs
What is the Campus Renewal Project? Will it affect my visit?
Scheduled to begin in late Spring 2015, the Campus Renewal Project will involve renovations to our historic Lodge while most of Esalen’s campus remains untouched. We are committed to ensuring that your Esalen experience will continue to be as magical and deeply transformative as ever and have taken steps to minimize any impact on your visit. For more information, please see esalen.org/renewal.
Is there a Shuttle or Van Service to Esalen?
Shuttle van service is available from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) on Fridays and Sundays. For shuttle schedules and pricing, please click here.
What is the Road Like? Where Do I Check Road Closures?
For the most up-to-date information about Highway 1 toward and through Big Sur from the north and south, please call the Caltrans Highway 1 Big Sur Hotline toll-free at (888) 836-0866.
Alternatively, you can check the Caltrans Website on their District 5 page at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/road_information.htm
We also recommend checking the Caltrans Facebook page for updates at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caltrans-Central-Coast-District-5/1658706...
Can I Come Take a Tour and Just Look Around?
Unfortunately, we do not offer guided public tours. To preserve the sanctity of the Esalen experience, self-guided tours and walkabouts are also prohibited.
What Time Can I Check In?
Feel free to arrive at Esalen any time after 2 pm. Room keys are available from the Gate or the Office after 2:30 pm. Room check-out is 10:30 am on the day of departure.
Can I Bring a Guest or my Spouse?
Unfortunately, no. We are small by design (with only 125 beds on property) and when you make the pilgrimage to Esalen you (and you only) become part of the community. For this reason, and to protect the privacy and experience of our other community members, we request that you not bring visitors or guests.
Is There a Pharmacy or a Doctor on Property?
We carry only basic sundries in our Bookstore. The nearest pharmacy is 40 miles away in Carmel, so you will want to make sure to bring your prescription medications with you.
Esalen does have an on-call doctor for emergencies, but there are no other medical services available on site. If you will require medical attention or supplies during your stay, please come prepared to administer to your own needs, or make advance arrangements with the Big Sur Health Center in Big Sur.
How do I get to Esalen? How far is Esalen from the Nearest Airport?
Esalen is approximately three hours from SFO, 2 and a half hours from San Jose Airport (SJC), 2 hours from SLO, and an hour and 15 minutes from Monterey Airport (MRY).
From the north:
- If you are driving from San Francisco or points north, take Route 101 south.
- At Prunedale, take Exit 156 west to the Monterey Peninsula and Highway 1.
- Take Highway 1 south approximately 60 miles, passing Monterey, Carmel, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Nepenthe, a popular restaurant located on the ocean side of Highway 1, is 11 miles north of Esalen.
From the south:
- Those driving from the south should take Route 101 north to San Luis Obispo and then Highway 1 to Esalen. We are approximately 100 miles north of San Luis Obispo.
- When you reach Lucia, a bend in the road where there is a restaurant, and motel, you are 10 miles south of Esalen.
From either direction, watch for the Esalen Institute sign on the west (ocean) side of the road.