Drive the Magnificent Coastline of California! The highway cuts through an iconic meeting of land and ocean. Named after one of Big Sur's most beloved pioneers, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a favorite among both locals and tourists. Located about 7 miles north of Sand Dollar Beach, Limekiln State Park is one of the smallest state parks in Big Sur, but it packs some serious history. If the beach is all that you're looking for, there are various coastal trails that take you around and down to Garrapata Beach. Set at the foothill of Pacific Valley cliffs lays crescent shaped largest sandy beach of Big Sur, named as Sand Dollar Beach. The Valley View Trail takes visitors to a lookout point with a bench situated in the middle of the Big Sur Valley, affording views as far as the historic Point Sur Lighthouse. Expect to spend the whole day or more to drive the Big Sur coast, with places like Pfeiffer Big Sur and Limekiln State Parks offering hours to explore and some of the best campgrounds in Big Sur. Ranking of the top 7 things to do in Big Sur. The top attractions to visit in Big Sur are: What are the best outdoor activities in Big Sur? Doug Meek / … Discover Big Sur, California with the help of your friends. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. A great option for those who don't want to work up a sweat on the trails but want to experience Big Sur's beauty from outside the car is Sand Dollar Beach. Not to be confused with Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or Pfeiffer Beach, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest and covers 1,600 acres on the western slope of the St. Lucia Mountains. Top Attractions in Big Sur 1. Here’s a list of some of our favorite things to do in Big Sur if you are planning a visit to the area. There are nine trails that comprise Andrew Molera State Park, five of which are main trails and three that are considered alternative trails. The most popular activity, however, is beachcombing. John Little State Natural Reserve. The shortest and most traveled path is Waterfall Overlook Trail. The end-goal for the hike is to soak in the hot springs in Sykes camp, which is an additional half mile down Big Sur River once you arrive to the campsite. Highway 1 Self-Driving Audio Tour (Pacific Coast Highway) The weather can range from damp and cold in the morning to warm and dry in the afternoon, so be sure to pack appropriate attire. Pfeiffer Beach 1,343 reviews See 2 Experiences Sights & Landmarks 2. With more than 90 miles of jagged Pacific coastline to the west and the St. Lucia Mountain range to the east, Big Sur is truly nirvana for nature lovers. This shoreline gets its name for a reason, as its often graced with washed-up sand dollars. Many strongly suggested bringing a jacket, as the area can get windy and also said that even if you're not a photographer, you should bring a camera or make sure your phone is charged to capture the impressive scenery. Private Sightseeing Tours. Beaches in Big Sur; Horseback Riding Tours in Big Sur See all. Visit the Andrew Molera State Park Toms Auzins / Shutterstock.com. In the past, some have even come into the mouth of the cove. State Parks. Garrapata has five main marked trails, four of which are grouped together in a loop going up into the St. Lucia mountain range. The beach at the park acted as a harbor to ship out the powdered lime to other regions. Soar over Colorado's pristine landscape on one of these adventures. Book these experiences for a close-up look at Big Sur. More than 50 countries currently allow U.S. citizens to visit, but some restrictions apply. Search for restaurants, hotels, museums and more. Big Sur is one of the most amazing places in California and one of the most spectacular coastlines in the United States. Beaches in Big Sur; Gardens in Big Sur; Geologic Formations in Big Sur; Nature & Wildlife Areas in Big Sur; Parks in Big Sur; State Parks in Big Sur; Hiking Trails in Big Sur; Waterfalls in Big Sur; Outdoor Activities in Big Sur. There are also various pathways on the Bluffs Trail that go directly down to the shore. The beach is also safe to surf, and is considered to be one of the best surfing spots in Big Sur. The most popular is the 1.4-mile hike to Pfeiffer Falls. Places to Visit in Big Sur. The drive along Highway 1 is characteristically followed by the awe-inspiring seaside vibe and raw beauty. This 4,800-acre park is the largest state park on the Big Sur coast and offers multiple activities and attractions, not to mention several hiking trails. This trail is considered to have some of the best redwood groves in the entire park, on top of its beautiful 60-foot waterfall. See the Valley Isle from above on one of these excursions. The Loop takes travelers along the coast via the Bluffs Trail then around into an equally beautiful wooded area via the Panorama Trail and Ridge Trail. See humpback whales as they migrate through Hawaii during one of these trips. Multi-day Tours. Experience a road trip like no other on California Highway 1. 1. Take your time, both to drive safely and for stops at overlooks, where you can watch tendrils of fog drifting into the redwood canyons. Because of the park's flatter geography, visitors are allowed to bike and can take horseback rides throughout the park. Although it's secluded, Pfeiffer Beach can get crowded; some recent visitors reported having to wait in line just to secure a parking spot. But the best time to see the rock is at sunset when the sun shines brightly through the keyhole, creating a spectacular photo op. The 716-acre park is named after the limestone business that once thrived here. View map Map. The diverse flora and fauna along with the marine as well as the aerial species- Big Sur lures every tourist. Sample some of Texas' finest vino on one of these trips. Hiking Trails. Outdoors, Beach, View Point. From the storybook-like storefronts to the ocean views along the coastal walk, the hamlet enthralls all who fill its shops, galleries and restaurants. At low tide, visitors are able to wade through the water and take a Pfeiffer Keyhole Rock look at the surrounding tide pools. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Beach in Big Sur. It... Visit a … Bixby Bridge Pfeiffer Beach 1,343 reviews See 2 Experiences Sights & Landmarks 2. Less than a mile long, the trail takes visitors to one of the most popular attractions in Big Sur: McWay Falls. Big Sur is known for McWay Falls, Keyhole Arch Rock, and the Bixby Bridge. Big Sur is best explored on foot as it is covered in a network of hiking and biking trails that pass through spectacular redwood forests and descend down flower-filled valleys before reaching lovely, small secluded beaches. This process produced powdered lime, which is an important ingredient in making cement. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Beach Sunset in Big Sur, California. 4WD Tours. Buzzards Roost Trail. Located about 7 miles south of Limekiln State Park, Sand Dollar Beach is the largest unbroken stretch of sand in Big Sur. But despite the inconvenience, travelers said a visit to the beach to see the unique keyhole rock was worth the hassle. The Bluffs Trail, Panorama Trail and Ridge Trail are all main trails that connect to make the Andrew Molera Loop. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. If you're planning to hike the Pfeiffer Falls Trail, consider adding the half-mile-long Valley View Trail to your itinerary, as it extends left of the Pfeiffer Falls pathway. Along with the beach at Andrew Molera State Park, this crescent-shaped shoreline is considered to be one of the best surfing spots in Big Sur, and is also a hot spot for fishing. Mill Creek Picnic Area. Today, many buildings in both Monterey and San Francisco contain lime that was created in Limekiln State Park. Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation, Beaches, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation, Beaches, Natural Wonders, Free, Parks and Gardens, Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Beaches, Natural Wonders, Hiking, Recreation. The beach's most famous rock formation, however, is located a few feet out into the ocean. Named after the man who brought the artichoke to California, Andrew Molera Park's natural wonders include secluded beaches, redwood groves, meadows and the Big Sur River along its 20 miles of hiking trails. What are the top attractions to visit in Big Sur? Visitors said Sand Dollar Beach is a beautiful and relaxing spot to lay out or have a picnic, adding they appreciated its captivating geological features. 9 things to do once you finally install Big Sur Here are nine macOS Big Sur features that should be of interest to people using their Macs for work. Unlike Andrew Molera State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Garrapata, which all offer treks along the edge of the coast, this park is further inland and doesn't offer many ocean views. Like most state parks in this region, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park features redwood groves, open meadows and waterfalls, but what sets this park apart is its location. Big Sur is the place to go for those looking for an escape from their everyday routines. If you're on a tight itinerary and don't have time to traverse any state park trails, head to Pfeiffer Beach. Hours/availability may have changed. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Canada. It is also one of the only parks in Big Sur that offers direct beach access. more, Top Things to Do in Big Sur, CA - Big Sur Attractions. Taking a photo here is one of the best things to do in Big Sur. Travelers favorites include #1 Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, #2 Andrew Molera State Park and more. The Pfeiffer Keyhole Rock is hard to miss thanks to its distinguishable arch. Things To Do In Big Sur; Best Things To Do in Big Sur, California. Willow Creek Beach. Big Sur is a beautiful stretch of coastline along the central coast of California spanning between San Simeon, CA and Carmel, CA. Your guide for everything from travel advisories and rewards status to vacation and staycation ideas. With so many awe-inspiring attractions to choose from, there is no such thing as boredom in Big Sur. This mountainous and rugged land is accessible by Highway … Located about 7 miles south of Andrew Molera State Park next to Los Padres National Forest, Pfeiffer Beach is secluded in feel, offering expansive shorelines covered by towering, vegetation-heavy bluffs and striking rock formations. In the late 17th century, the Rockland Lime and Lumber Company would quarry limestone then smelt it in a series of wood-fired kilns located in the park. Top Attractions in Big Sur 1. Some travelers also mention being able to spot migrating whales from the shore, while others suggest taking the short trail to the lookout point over the beach bluffs. It is seldom crowded, but even when there are lots of people, the beach is so big that it doesn't feel jam-packed. From coastal headlands to redwood canyons and a valley lined with calla lilies, there is terrain to appease every type of traveler. There are also a plethora of rocks located at the southern end of the beach, which are known to contain minerals like serpentine and jade. The Rocky Ridge Trail takes travelers through shrub-lined canyons, leading up to two towering lookout points. You will also find 90 miles of coastline, deep blue water, redwood forest, rocky coves, purple sand, whales, sea otters, sand dollars, and jade treasures. Along with some unique history, Limekiln State Park is located on the steepest coastal canyon in the continental United States. Protect Your Trip » Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance for the lowest price, With more than 90 miles of jagged Pacific coastline to the west and the St. Lucia Mountain range to the east, Big Sur is truly nirvana for nature. It's a great drive in both directions, crossing through some of California's most scenic... Visit the Point Sur Lighthouse. Types of Things to Do in Big Sur Nature & Parks (22) Outdoor Activities (22) Sights & Landmarks (16) Tours (6) Shopping (4) Museums (4) Spas & Wellness (3) Traveller Resources (2) Nightlife (1) Commonly Searched For in Big Sur Big Sur hosts one of the most unique beaches on the planet: Pfeiffer... Camp at Kirk Creek Campground. Instead, the main water source is the Big Sur River, which runs through the entire park and is a feature hikers will see while traversing some of the park's trails. It's also considered the most-photographed attraction in Big Sur after Bixby Bridge. Nature & Parks in Big Sur. This beautifully sited lighthouse just north of Big Sur has an interesting history. 1. It has beautiful California poppies in spring. The falls, flowing from atop one of the cove's granite cliffs, tumble 80 feet down into the cove and get swept up by the ocean. Things To Do In Big Sur You’ll want to spend all of your time outdoors in Big Sur appreciating all that nature has to offer. Tourists flock here to go on a thrilling adventure or take eye-catching photos. The cove is also a prime place to spot migrating gray whales that pass through Big Sur from December to February, as well as March to May. Find out when you can cruise again and when each cruise line will be sailing in 2021 and beyond. Edging the cliffs and twisting through stands of towering redwoods, California Highway 1 is Big Sur’s main drag. Not to mention, it is one of the few areas in Big Sur where scuba diving is allowed. The state park is located less then a 1/2 mile south of the Big Sur visitor center/ Big Sur station.We stayed at the campground here and it was a beautiful park with its redwood forests and redwood groves. Top Things to Do in Big Sur, CA. It is both a beautiful beach and a nice hiking trail offering majestic view of the coast. Ride along this winding road while enjoying a seemingly endless view of the Pacific Ocean. The most popular things to do in Big Sur with kids according to Tripadvisor travellers are: Hotels near (MRY) Monterey Peninsula Airport, Points of Interest & Landmarks in Big Sur, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: Tickets & Tours, Point Sur State Historic Park: Tickets & Tours, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Tickets & Tours, Andrew Molera State Park: Tickets & Tours, Seal Beach Scenic Overlook: Tickets & Tours, Big Creek Cove Vista Point: Tickets & Tours, Grimes Point Scenic Overlook: Tickets & Tours, Things to do near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Things to do near Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Things to do near Seal Beach Scenic Overlook, Things to do near Pacific Valley Bluff Trail, Things to do near Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort, Things to do near Plaskett Creek Campground, See all attractions in Big Sur on Tripadvisor, See all outdoor activities in Big Sur on Tripadvisor, See all kid friendly things to do in Big Sur on Tripadvisor. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content. Big Sur is … Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur all boast stunning natural beauty, but these Central Coast gems also have their own distinct appeal.. Carmel’s charm is undeniable. With fragrant canyons on one side and the turquoise Pacific on the other, Bixby Creek Bridge delights visitors from around the world. Types of Things to Do in Big Sur Nature & Parks (22) Outdoor Activities (22) Sights & Landmarks (16) Tours (6) Shopping (4) Museums (4) Spas & Wellness (3) Traveller Resources (2) Nightlife (1) Commonly Searched For in Big Sur With many others, including Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Beach and Sand Dollar Beach, you must take a trail to reach the sand. The site is lauded for its beauty, and is a culmination of all geological features typical to Big Sur: The secluded beach is flanked by jagged bluffs covered in shrubs, wildflowers and cypress trees. There are 8 miles worth of trails to explore within Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. These 'grammable properties offer picture-perfect decor, settings and more. Ways to tour Big Sur. All things to do in Big Sur; Popular Big Sur Categories. Bixby Bridge Andrew Molera State Park and Garrapata State Park offer treks that take visitors to the edge of the coastline, while the Keyhole Arch Rock at Pfeiffer Beach is considered to be one of the most photogenic sunset spots on the central coast. The more coastal (and flatter) 2-mile-long Soberanes Point Trail snakes around Whale Peak and makes a pit stop at the scenic Soberanes Point. At Limekiln, all you have to do is park your car and the beach is steps away. Heading either north or south, each stop seems more amazing than the last on the Big Sur coast, with areas like Pfeiffer Beach and the Bixby Bridge providing one … The best outdoor activities in Big Sur according to Tripadvisor travellers are: What are the most popular things to do in Big Sur with kids? Top Things to Do in Big Sur, California: See Tripadvisor's 26,616 traveller reviews and photos of 52 things to do when in Big Sur. CDC information for travelers. Catch your own dinner during one of these expeditions. 17-Mile Drive 9 Best Things to Do in Big Sur, California Visit One of the World's Few Purple Sand Beaches. Lopez Point. See some of Key West's best underwater sights on one of these trips. 10 Great Things to Do in Big Sur Take a Drive on Highway One. Things to Do in Big Sur Grimes Point Scenic Overlook. Gamboa Point Baech. Sofanya's Big Sur Gallery & Studio. Named after one of Big Sur's most beloved pioneers, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a favorite among both locals and tourists. Our guide for the best things to do in Big Sur California. More Things to Do in Big Sur CA Sand Dollar Beach – the largest beach in Big Sur Whale Watching and Condor Spotting (weekends in January) Esalen Hot Springs Cone Peak Summit Trail – 3.5 mile hike, out and back. Sand Dollar Beach. Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance for the lowest price, California Do Not Sell My Personal Information Request. While you're here, hike the 3,379-foot-tall Manuel Peak at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, excavate jade at Sand Dollar Beach, wander through some of Monterey County's oldest redwood groves at Limekiln State Park, or watch McWay Falls gracefully cascade directly into the ocean at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. For photos arriving from the south, cross the bridge and park at the view point on either side of Highway 1. When we hiked, there was a strict “no campfire” rule, but you could use propane camping stoves … Mountain lions, deer, fox, coyotes, wild boars, and endangered California condors live in the area. State Park in Big Sur Andrew Molera State Park Named after the farmer who first planted artichokes in California, this oft-overlooked park is a trail-laced pastiche of grassy meadows, … Vicente Flat Trail. A feast for the eyes, the park features seven marked trails that take travelers to tucked away coves, up to waterfalls, along miles-long creeks, through redwood-clad forests and more. Popular things to do. Situated between the base of the St. Lucia Mountains and the rugged Pacific coastline, this 3,000-acre state park is overflowing with trails highlighting the park's diverse landscape. These are the top 15 things to do on your vacation in Big Sur. West 's best underwater Sights on one of these expeditions Rock look at Big are... 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