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Getting Here


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

Please call our Guest Services Office at 831-667-3000 if you have questions regarding your travel plans.

Flying to Esalen

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

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

Driving to Esalen

Before You Drive

Please check road conditions for Highway 1 in Central California prior to departure, as there may be road construction causing intermittent lane closures and brief delays, or weather-related closures in the winter months. Use these interactive maps if you need help determining whether any trouble spots reported by Caltrans will impact your route. The Caltrans District 5 Facebook page can also be a helpful resource.

From San Francisco or Points North

  • Take US-101 S.
  • At Prunedale, take Route 156 west to the Monterey Peninsula and Highway 1.
  • Take CA-1 S approximately 45 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.
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is three 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

  • Take Route 101 north to San Luis Obispo, then take Highway 1 north to Esalen.
  • We are approximately 100 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1.
  • 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.

Alternate Route via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road

In the event of a closure along Highway 1, an alternate route connecting Highway 101 to Highway 1 may be available via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. This is a mountain road that is subject to closure during winter months. Get detailed directions.

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.

Our Location

Esalen Institute is located at:

55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA, 93920


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