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 888-837-2536 if you have questions regarding your travel plans.
Passenger van service to Esalen is available from Monterey, with connecting service from San Francisco and San Jose airports available separately through Monterey Airbus. Learn more about shuttle service.
Our closest airports are in Monterey and in the San Francisco Bay Area:
- Monterey Regional 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
Before You Drive
Please check road conditions for Highway 1 in Central California prior to departure, especially during the winter months. Use these interactive maps if you need help determining whether any trouble spots reported by Caltrans will impact your route.
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 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
- 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.
Please note that Google Maps and Mapquest may not refelct the reopening of Highway 1 south of Esalen, which occurred on July 18, 2018. We always recommend checking road conditions before you begin your journey to Esalen, however, if you're coming from southern California it should no longer be necessary to detour through Monterey.
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. For detailed directions, click here.
If you are interested in sharing a ride with someone from your area, we can add you to a ride share list. We will attempt to match you with other people who are scheduled to arrive at Esalen on the same day and from a similar location. To be added to the ride share list or to inquire about possible carpool matches, please contact Guest Services at 888-837-2536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Esalen Institute is located at:
55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA, 93920