Esalen Emergency Closure Relief Fund

 Help support Esalen through our Emergency Closure Relief Fund.


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

We offer shuttle van transportation to Esalen from all three airports on Fridays and Sundays. For van service schedules and pricing, please click here.

Traveling by Car

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.

Parking at Esalen

Please note that Esalen does not have adequate parking spaces for large vehicles on the campus. Large vehicles need to park on Highway 1 at the Esalen entrance.

Driving Directions

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

If you have a reservation at Esalen and are interested in sharing a ride with someone else driving here from your area, let us know where you're coming from and whether you need a ride or are offering a ride. Then check back with the office from time to time to see who else has signed up to participate. Upon request, we'll provide you with the contact information of other people that you can potentially carpool with who are heading to Esalen on the same day you are.

To be added to the ride share list or to inquire about possible carpool matches, please contact Esalen Reservations at 888-837-2536 between the hours of 9AM and 5PM Pacific Time every day, or email

Kindly note that participation in the ride share program is variable. We cannot guarantee a match will be available on the day you intend to travel, and encourage you to plan accordingly.

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


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