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California's Central Coast

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Running from Point Conception to Monterey this is one of the most magical areas of California and one of the most beautiful. The drive along the coast is breath-taking and there is something for everyone to do - forests, beaches, resorts, retreats, camping, fine dining to burritos, there truly is something for everyone.
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Pacific Grove, CA, USA
Creatures from another world are here at the aquarium, giving you a feeling of awe and amazement.
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48510 CA-1, 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.
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700 Cannery Row KK, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
A Taste of Monterey is kind of hard to find, it's located on Cannery Row in Monterrey- you have to go to the back of a little shopping square beside the courtyard to find it. Because of this, it's rarely crowded since many tourists probably don't...
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San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Carmel is a gorgeous little town nestled on California's Central Coast. There's hiking in nearby Big Sur, wine tasting, the aquarium in Monterrey is 10 minutes north of Carmel and lots of unique shopping and dining right there in Carmel. The...
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Dolores St &, 7th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
They have all sorts of great food but I found the Chimay beer and cheese soup to be particularly appealing.
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700 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Had a great seafood at this somewhat touristy restaurant. Service was great and view of the monterey bay was just amazing!!! recommend dining in the patio. Order their local red wine from monterey region - so good.
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5th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Great food, decor. They even have a table that belonged to van Gogh.
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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
This jewel is 5 minutes walk from highway 1 so it is crime driving by and not stopping. In any season but particularly the spring, you can get drunk by the fragrance of flowers and trees. And have I mentioned you get to see a waterfall that goes...
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Pacific Grove, CA, USA
Ice plant knows ways to conquer the dryness of sand and brings subtle visual richness to the already spectacular blue - green lanscapes of Pacific Grove, California. At every step, remember Steinbeck, and not only because this trail is at the end...
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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...
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Plaza del Cavalier, 250 San Simeon Ave, San Simeon, CA 93452, USA
We were driving south from Monterey, hugging the coastline for the views, when we found the elephant seals. Thousands of them, heaved up onto stretches of sand to give birth and suckle fat-rich milk into skinny black pups, the males keeping a...
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Big Sur lies along what is surely one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in California, if not the world.Skip the famously fabulous and outrageously expensive hotels, and head to Deetjen's. It's a ramshackle but romantic historic inn on...
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46800 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Most people drive Highway 1 through Big Sur, but each April, a few thousand crazy people like myself decide to run 26.2 miles from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to Carmel. The course has plenty of grueling stretches, such as the two windy miles of...
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2400 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA 93446, USA
Driving thru the wine fields of central California wasn’t technically on ‘the list’ of things to see or do while we were out exploring, but wow was it pretty awesome! If I remember right this was right outside Paso Pobles, and the best part about...
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48510 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA

Though I had read a lot about Nepenthe, as it is a "must-see" if you are in the Big Sur area, I still wasn't prepared for just how beautiful the views were. We were planning on setting up camp and then coming back the few miles to eat dinner at...

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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...
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45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Initially, we were going to hike another trail further down the road but when we arrived, the portion we wanted to hike was closed due to a landslide. We headed back north and decided to hike this trail since we pass the trail head often. The...
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46800 CA-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...
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62 CA-1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
I've been all over the California coast and Point Lobos is my favorite place to hike. We have hiked every trail in this reserve and never tire of this magical place. You can see many animals, such as sea otters, seals, elephant seals,sea lions,...
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The Monterey Bay area on California's central coast is possibly my favorite part of California--it is that beautiful. On a recent cold January morning, I took my dogs to Asilomar State Beach at one end of the town of Pacific Grove. As the clouds...
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Mission St & 5th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA
De Tierra vineyard has a tasting room in Carmel California and they are now offering a food and wine pairing class. Initially, I didn't think much of it since my husband and I are really into food and wine. We just thought this would be a great...
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Bixby Creek Bridge, California 93940, USA
Featured in songs and films, the Bixby Canyon Bridge is a spectacular welcoming to Big Sur. My friend had been talking to me about it non-stop before our trip to the area. It wasn't until we were sat together on a cliff looking at the marvel that...
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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Point Sur, California 93940, USA
On a craggy rock in north Big Sur, the Point Sur lighthouse has beamed through furious fog, rain, and wind since 1889. Volunteers lead moonlit tours from late April through October that allow visitors access to the lighthouse tower, old housing...
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47900 CA-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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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant serves housemade granola, ginger scones, and seasonal fruit strudels in a cabin built in 1937. Wood-fired pizzas, with toppings such as squash and prosciutto, stand out on the dinner menu, and the blackberry...
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47080 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Retro furniture, bright textiles, and in-room yoga mats characterize the Glen Oaks motel. Guests who book the Big Sur Cabin can stargaze from an outdoor clawfoot tub. From $225. (831) 667-2105. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue.
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39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
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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...
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55000 CA-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...
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701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
Pacific Grove's Passionfish is enjoyed by both locals and tourists. This simple restaurant focuses their menu on sustainable seafood, local veggies and modestly priced wines. For dessert you must try the lemon verbena creme bruleé... lemony with a...
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46800 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The best way to sit amid the Redwoods while watching your worries wash away is to grab a seat in the middle of the river. This inn isn't fancy, as it doesn't want to compete with natural beauty.