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Getting Here

Our Location

We are located along a scenic and relatively remote stretch of California's central coast, approximately 12 miles south of Big Sur. Our address is:

Esalen Institute
55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA, 93920

Traveling by Air

Our closest airports are in Monterey and in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) – 47 miles, approximately 75 minutes
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC) – 120 miles, approximately 2.5 hours
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – 150 miles, approximately 3 hours

Beginning November 16, 2014, we will expand our shuttle van service and offer transportation from all three airports on Fridays and Sundays. For van service schedules and pricing, please click here.

Prior to November 16, 2014, our existing van shuttle service will operate from Monterey to Esalen and back on Friday and Sunday afternoons. Please see details below. For transportation to Monterey from San Jose International Airport (SJC) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) before our expanded shuttle service launches, please see the Monterey Airbus website for details and a shuttle schedule.

Driving Directions

If you live in Monterey or in the San Francisco Bay Area and prefer a greener alternative to driving your own car, consider carpooling or taking our expanded shuttle service.

From San Francisco or points north:

  • Take Route 101 South.
  • At Prunedale, take Route 156 west to the Monterey Peninsula and Highway 1.
  • Take Highway 1 South approximately 45 miles, past 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.
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is 3 miles north of Esalen.
  • Look for the Esalen Institute sign on the right side of the highway, at mile marker 32.4.

From Los Angeles or points south:

Those coming from the south should take Route 101 north to San Luis Obispo, and then take Highway 1 north to Esalen.

Depending on weather conditions, there is also an alternate route for cutting off from Hwy 101 to Hwy 1 using the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Click here for details.

  • 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.
  • Look for the Esalen Institute sign on the left side of the highway, at mile marker 32.4.

Be sure to check here for any weather and road updates prior to your travel!

Current Road Conditions

For traffic updates and other Caltrans projects in Monterey County, call (800) 427-ROAD (7623) within California and (916) 445-7623 from outside of California, or visit the Caltrans District 5 website.

Rideshare/Carpool to and from Esalen

Click here for current rideshare/carpool opportunities.

Van Service Before November 16, 2014

If you require van shuttle service to Esalen on or after November 16, 2014, please click here for details.

On Fridays and Sundays prior to November 16, 2014, we have van service from the Monterey Airport at 4 p.m. and from the Monterey Transit Plaza (corner of Pearl and Alvarado, next to Ordway Drug) at approximately 4:20 p.m.

If you plan to use this service, please inform the Esalen office at least 24 hours prior to your arrival. The $65 one-way fee (subject to change) is payable to the Esalen office when you check in.

Return reservations from Esalen to Monterey may be made during your stay. The only departing van service from Esalen is on Fridays and Sundays, leaving between 5:30-6:00 pm and generally arriving in Monterey between 7:00-7:30 pm. If you plan to use this departure service, please make sure that your airline reservations depart Monterey after 8:30 p.m.

For transportation between Monterey and San Jose International Airport (SJC) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO), please see the Monterey Airbus website for details and a shuttle schedule.

Getting to Esalen by Plane, Car, Rideshare, and Van


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