Big Sur is hands down one of the most beautiful places you can visit along the California coast. If you yearn for hikes through towering redwood trees, incredibly coastal views, and crystal clear blue ocean water, then you’re in luck!
If you have never seen or heard of McWay Falls stop reading this blog right now, go Google McWay Falls, and then come back to finish reading. Yes, we are talking about a waterfall onto a beach that is encompassed by bouldering rocks. Now that you’ve been enlightened, you know just why McWay Falls is at the top of our list.
The National Park Service (NPS) prohibits anyone from accessing the beach (which would be difficult because the only way down is by climbing down the cliff side). Although it’s unfortunate that you can’t actual swim on this beach, the fact that it is protected keeps the topography from being destroyed and also adds some mystery to the place. Walk down to the lookout to enjoy the view and take some pictures. If you get there extra early, you may even have the place all to yourself.
Being the outdoor enthusiasts that we are, we obviously had to include an amazing hike as Big Sur and hiking are quite synonymous. Starting directly across the street from the McWay Falls lookout make your way to Ewodsen trail head. This is by far one of the most beautiful, yet equally challenging hikes in all of Big Sur.
This 6 mile round trip hike offers amazing forest trekking as well as the most incredible ocean views. At the top you reach a meadow where you can relax and take it all in.
By this point in the journey you are probably wondering where you can grab a good bite to eat to revive yourself from the 6 mile hike you just completed. The River Inn is our top pick! (But don’t ask them if you can use their house phone to make a call…cell phone service in Big Sur is virtually non-existent, but they will point you outside to the payphones….yes, payphones in 2015). This country style restaurant offers healthy choices and has a gorgeous creek that runs right behind it. We think Huckleberry Finn might have been their inspiration because they have provided chairs for the guests to enjoy the creek up close and personal.
This iconic bridge is something you cannot leave Big Sur without seeing. The drive between the main town of Big Sur and Bixby Bridge is about 13 miles of drastically changing coastline. Again, the shift from forest to Ireland reminiscent coastline captures you on the drive. Be sure to stop at the turnout near the bridge to grab some photos!
Seriously, this beach is incredible. After a 10 minute drive down a windy one lane beach road (be careful), you are able to park and walk down to the beach. Pfeiffer Beach boasts incredibly soft sand, beautiful coves, massive rocks in the water and mind-blowing cliffs that make this beach any photographers dream. Many surfers were enjoying the gorgeous sunset from the water as the waves were actually quite good. After an exhausting day of adventure, watching the sunset and going for a sunset swim at Pfeiffer Beach is the perfect way to end your Big Sur adventure!
Have you ever been to Big Sur? Let us know your favorite things to do below in the comments!