A hundred and fifty miles south of San Francisco prevail the redwood shores of Big Sur in Los Padres National Park. Experiencing the indescribable beauty of this vast forest and pristine blue coast will instill in you things that you had lost or have never felt. If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to go Big Sur. The trip will drastically improve your life.
Visiting Big Sur without a car can be tough, but it’s more feasible than you may expect. The key is the MST – the Monterrey-Salinas Transit, which has connections running from San Jose throughout Monterrey county, including buses that travel along Highway 1 down to Los Padres. To get from San Francisco to San Jose, simply hop on the Caltrain: http://www.caltrain.com/
Caltrain runs to the San Jose Diridon Station, transit center for the MST. Don't waste your time in San Jose. The MST schedule and bus line information for buses going down to Big Sur are available on their website: http://www.mst.org/
For tips on where to visit and for camping information, check-out the California State Parks webpage: http://www.parks.ca.gov/
I suggest camping at Andrew Molera State Park, where you can dive, surf, hike, sunbathe, and fish. Camp sites are $15 a night and you can buy plenty of firewood for $2. Though there’s clean water, in order to eat, you’d have to supply your own food or hunt. On land there are deer, quail, squirrels, snakes, raccoons, snakes, skunks, and humans.
Andrew Molera is a short distance from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which also has camp sites as well as some breathtaking hiking trails that snake up the mountain.
Those are just two of the hundred outdoor opportunities offered in Los Padres. You should set aside 3 to 4 days if you intend to properly pull-off a roundtrip journey down to Big Sur.
If you do make it down there and have $30 to wisely spend, swing-by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, arguably the most beautiful aquarium in the world. http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/