This much awaited drive truly captured the spirit of our iconic California Dreamin’ trip. By this time, our Pinterest board was full of pictures of the vast and rugged green shoreline, and that beautiful Pacific blue dotted with ships along the horizon. “Don’t forget to spot the whales”, AM yelled in an excited tone! Big Sur was the highlight of the trip, and the experience cannot be described in words – so we’ll just let the photos do the talking! 🙂
The route was simple…Take the 101 North and follow the Pacific ocean along State Route 1 (aka. Pacific Coast Highway) – the name itself screams vacation!
It should take you about six hours, but with all the stops and little “finds” and “hidden gems” along the way, it’s probably close to ~12 hours. You should plan to spend an entire day along this part of the coast. We sure did!
1. Bixby Creek Bridge
The scenic location of this bridge makes it one of the most photographed bridges along the Pacific Coast.
Drive a little further to reach flat beds and be amazed by the scenery…
And while you’re admiring the views, look out for shooting plumes of water, followed by a glimpse of the grey head – yep, that was a whale! We spotted several of them 🙂
2. Pfeiffer Beach
Along a winding side road, make a quick stop at this beach in Big Sur. Follow the sign to the Sycamore Canyon road and drive down the trail to the beach. The beach can be very windy and cool, so dress accordingly since this is not a lay-on-the-warm-sand kinda beach. But the views from here are spectacular!
The cool thing about Pfeiffer is the purple tinged sand! The color is from the manganese garnet particles that wash down the large rocks surrounding the beach. The purple is brightest after some rain; but we could still see some hints of it in this California drought!
3. McWay falls
Drive to the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for a short hike to see the famous McWay Falls.
The 80 foot falls cascades down onto the sandy floor to meet the ocean.
4. Amazing Sunset
Time your drive with the sunset. Find a good spot and get your cameras ready for the most beautiful sunset. The colors of the sky were absolutely breathtaking!
5. Elephant Seal Boardwalk
And while you’re driving on, look out for this sign by an empty parking lot. This is THE best place to see the Elephant Seals up-and-close. Although…you may not want to get close because the stench can be really nauseating!
That marked the end of Big Sur and we docked in Santa Barbara for the night. An end to another epic journey in California. Until next time…
Hope this was helpful for your own California Dreamin!
Thanks for reading 🙂
xo, – A&A