Latest Posts

The Best Beaches in Big Sur

Big Sur is renowned for its stunning beaches and dramatic rock formations. No matter if you’re here to sunbathe, hike, or pack a picnic – Big Sur offers something special to everyone.

For the ideal time to visit Big Sur, the shoulder seasons of early spring and fall are ideal. These times tend to be quieter and offer better weather.

Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches in Big Sur. Not only is it ideal for a family day trip, but it’s also a favorite among photographers.

Sycamore Canyon Road, two miles west of Highway 1, leads you to this secluded beach. After passing the state park entrance, take a sharp left down an unmarked, paved road that takes you directly to the coast.

As you approach Sycamore Canyon Road, you’ll see a small parking lot marked with the iconic rock sign “Pfeiffer Beach.” Unfortunately, this lot tends to fill up quickly on most days; so be sure to arrive early for your desired space (first-come, first served).

Pfeiffer Beach’s purple sand is caused by erosion from manganese garnet rocks that wash down from the mountains and into the ocean. Additionally, there are small beads of iridescent sand throughout, creating an unusual visual.

This beach is a photographers dream with its dramatic cliffs and rocky outcroppings that provide stunning sunset shots. Additionally, you may spot whales during their migratory season here.

Pfeiffer Beach offers no shade, so bring a picnic meal and plenty of drinking water with you. Alternatively, take a hike along the nearby hiking trail for an even closer view of this secluded beach.

Pfeiffer Beach is a great spot for building sandcastles, but if you’re not confident getting wet it’s best to stay away from the waves and rocks. Additionally, swimming at Pfeiffer Beach is not allowed due to its potentially hazardous waters.

To reach this beach, you’ll need to drive on a narrow one-lane road that winds its way five kilometers through the mountains and wilds of Big Sur. Be prepared for some time spent driving if you aren’t familiar with the area. If camping at the beach, bring your own tent and other necessary gear like sleeping bags. Also check the weather forecast beforehand as conditions in Big Sur can change rapidly.

Bixby Bridge

The Bixby Bridge in Big Sur is one of California’s most iconic landmarks, perched between two cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s considered a must-stop on any California road trip itinerary.

This open-spandrel arch concrete bridge is a major landmark on the Big Sur coastline and known for its striking design and stunning setting. It has been featured in postcards, music videos and television shows alike.

In 1932, a bridge was constructed to replace an outdated road that cut off residents of Big Sur during winter months. The 11-mile journey required travelers to traverse treacherous terrain over three days.

Thankfully, the new road was designed for safety and convenience – travelers can now cross it in less than half an hour. As one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges worldwide, it has become a popular tourist attraction.

When visiting the Bixby Bridge, it’s essential to adhere to traffic laws. Vehicles aren’t permitted on the bridge for photos or selfies, and visitors should park in designated pullouts.

Bixby Bridge features several pullouts, both on the ocean side and landside of Old Coast Road. However, the most popular spot to park is along the ocean side, close to the parking lot.

Arriving early is recommended, as the bridge can get busy during peak periods. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks for a sustained trip, as it may be a long walk from your parking lot to the bridge.

The ideal time to visit Bixby Bridge is during sunset, when its colorful and stunning views are enhanced by mellow rays from the sun casting a golden glow over it.

For a closer look at the bridge, there is an accessible vista point on its north side. This free spot provides an amazing panoramic view of both the bridge and surrounding landscape.

Point Sur Lighthouse

One of the most stunning sights to behold in Big Sur is Point Sur Lighthouse, rising 361 feet above the chilly Pacific Ocean. This historic landmark has been included on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978 and continues to provide breathtaking views for visitors.

Point Sur Lighthouse was constructed to alert of shipwreck hazards along the coast. Unfortunately, over the years lightkeepers worked here, more than a dozen vessels have perished on its rocks below; one such vessel being the US Navy Dirigible MACON which went down in 1935, much to the dismay of keepers at this site.

A striking stone lighthouse perches atop a steep, rocky outcrop on the California coast, 19 miles south of Monterey. The automated lighthouse and its restored outbuildings are open to visitors as part of guided tours, ghost hunts and whale watch excursions.

Experience a 3 hour walking tour with volunteers who will guide you through the site, providing an intriguing glimpse into its fascinating history. Discover tales of shipwrecks and ghost stories that have occurred at this historic spot.

This tour is an ideal way to spend the day with your family and gain a newfound appreciation of California’s breathtaking natural splendor. Not only is the view breathtaking, but you’ll also have time to explore so many interesting landmarks like the stunningly restored lighthouse keeper’s house!

My favorite part of the tour was undoubtedly the keeper’s house, which was restored from 1950s era. This house is stunning and it boasts tons of cool features like laundry rooms, kitchens and all bedrooms you could desire. Plus you can pick up souvenirs at their small shop if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

It is essential to be prepared for strong winds in this area. You should also wear hats and gloves as it can get quite cold up here on the ocean shoreline.

Sand Dollar Beach

Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur’s longest unbroken stretch of sand, is a popular spot for surfers and those simply looking to take a leisurely walk along the shoreline. Its bluffs offer shelter from winds during hot summer days, making it an ideal spot to cool off.

Sand Dollar Beach is a popular spot for swimming and fishing, but if you’re seeking something more thrilling than just taking a leisurely dip, be sure to explore the cliffs above Sand Dollar Beach for stunning scenic views.

This beach is one of the most stunning stretches along Highway 1 and a must-stop for travelers wanting to experience the splendor of Big Sur. Plus, there are plenty of tables along the shoreline for picnicking!

Hike to Jade Cove, a small cove that boasts an array of jade rocks and caves. Although this trail is open to rock hounds, you must adhere to guidelines and respect the local community in order to enjoy yourself.

Hikers will be rewarded with breathtaking clifftop views and the beauty of sea stacks, caves, and jade boulders in the area. It makes an excellent destination for photographers as well as a great spot to take in some coastal wildflowers.

To reach this hike, drive north on Highway 1. Park at Los Padres National Forest’s Day Use Area just north of Plaskett Creek Campground (across Highway 1); it features a parking lot, restrooms and picnic tables.

The day use fee is $5 and dogs are welcome on the beach but must remain leashed at all times.

Reaching this beach is a breeze; just a short walk down some stairs leads you up the cliffs above. Though not an especially long trail, the view of this spectacular part of California’s coastline makes the effort worthwhile.

Walking to Sand Dollar Beach may prove challenging at times, but it’s definitely worth the effort if you’re in Big Sur for an outdoor adventure. Along this iconic stretch of highway, there are few places where you can take a leisurely walk on the beach without having to pay for parking.

Latest Posts