Any California road trip would not be complete without driving the stretch of coast known as Big Sur. This Central California coastline is one of the country’s top scenic drives and stretches for around 90 miles between the Carmel River and San Carpoforo Creek.
As well as offering some breathtaking coastal scenery the wilderness of Big Sur extends for several miles inland though there’s a difference in opinion as to exactly how far this region actually extends! Whatever it is you’ll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation along this coast, encouraging visitors to do more than simply drive by.
Big Sur is best when driven from north to south as this means you’ll always be driving closest to the coast and have the easiest and best access to the numerous pullouts along the way. While it’s tempting to stop at every single one it’s going to take you a very long time to drive Big Sur if you do! Definitely do take your time though as this is an area of outstanding natural beauty that should be relished and enjoyed. Perhaps you could attempt one of the 80 different day hikes in the region; hikes that offer stunning vistas, remote beaches, riversides, and forests.
Keep a look out for some of Big Sur’s famous landmarks – there’s Bixby Bridge to the north of Big Sur Village. This bridge was built in 1933 and is said to be one of the most photographed in the world. Also to the north is Point Sur Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark that is reputedly one of the most haunted places in the country! The lighthouse is open to the public, if you dare to enter! Meanwhile, 12 miles south of Big Sur Village are the beautiful McWay Falls which can be seen via a hike to the viewpoint.
There are numerous campgrounds for those family vacations in an RV, or make use of the many hotels, especially in the Big Sur Village area. We can make all your accommodation arrangements for you as well as organize a memorable horseback ride into the Redwood forests that line Big Sur.
- The name Big Sur comes from the original Spanish language ‘el sur grande’ meaning ‘the big south’.
- The northern end of Big Sur begins about 120 miles south of San Francisco, and the southern end is about 245 miles north of Los Angeles.