Big Sur: Untrammeled Wilderness
Collected by AFAR Traveler, AFAR Contributor
The stretch of California coast between Monterey and San Simeon is the stuff of dreams. Waterfalls, wildlife, and stunning sunsets—as well as world-class food—make for a meaningful weekend break. Splurge at the Post Ranch Inn or find a comfortable bed at Deetjen's.
47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The view from the Big Sur Bakery is right on par with the food. In the morning, fuel up on breakfast scones and strong coffee. After a day exploring the Henry Miller Library and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, return at dusk for baby lettuces,...
52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
48510 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
This restaurant/shoppe/cafe along Highway 1 in Big Sur has one of the best views in the area. The restaurant serves a full menu, but you can head to the terrace above the shoppe and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and ocean for miles.
48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a bookshop–cultural center dedicated to the bohemian author who once called Big Sur home. It has become a hot spot for concerts by the likes of Gillian Welch and Arcade Fire and a Thursday night summer...
55000 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
I was putting my bags in my car, getting ready to leave, when a man came up to me and said, “Is it really time to go?” I smiled and answered, “No.” There was mutual understanding that nobody is ever ready to leave this place, where a feeling of...
45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
One of my favorite campgrounds in Big Sur is the big open meadow at Andrew Molera State Park. It's great for large groups and it's one of the best bases for hiking and surfing in the area. More than 20 miles of trails run throughout the park's...
63025 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Limekiln State Park in Big Sur has it all—beach, woods, and history—and the trails are so short that you can actually see it all. First, follow the half-mile Limekiln Trail along a stream to four metal kilns that once fired limestone rock into...
46800 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Although the Big Sur Inn is a fantastic place on its own, the claptrap dining bus at the gas station has some pretty great food. There are fantastically fresh sandwiches and pastries and they do a mean espresso. And eating them in a fun and funky...
Pfeiffer Big Sur Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Sykes Hot Springs is a jewel in Big Sur country. Despite what the signs say it is a good 13-14 mile hike out to the springs up and down over 1000 feet of elevation. But the struggle is well worth it. There are three tubs of varying, yet...
47900 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Described by devotees as the most luxurious, one-of-a-kind lodging experience in all of California, the Post Ranch Inn was purpose-built to blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains. Opened in 1992, and designed by famed Big Sur architect Mickey...
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