Places to See: Dramatic & Strikingly Unconventional Big Sur

Big Sur Rock Formation on Seashore | Vlada Karpovich | Pexels

If you love dramatic scenery, rugged coastlines, and rocky shores, Northern California’s Big Sur area will blow you away! Big Sur is approximately 90 miles of relatively isolated and sparsely populated scenic views, with the Santa Lucia Mountains dropping precipitously toward the Pacific Ocean’s crashing waves below. A visit to Big Sur will find you driving along a two lane highway (one lane in each direction) that hugs the mountains on one side and allows for bungee-jumping-style downward-views on the other side. But don’t worry, it’s a perfectly safe drive as long as the driver isn’t doing too much of the sightseeing!

Big Sur | Veronika Bykovich | Pexels

In addition to the spectacular views of the mountains and the ocean, you’ll find a diversity of experiences to take your breath away: wilderness areas, State Parks, beaches, the only California waterfall that drops into the Pacific Ocean, and camping in exotic settings.

Big Sur is also recognized for the diversity of its micro-climates. From sea level to a thousand feet in way less than a mile; redwoods growing within spitting distance of cacti; variances in temperature and humidity often resulting in fog along the coast at the same time as hot, sunny days inland; these factors all contribute to Big Sur’s reputation for drama as well!

Fog Over Big Sur | Loraine Ilia | Pexels

Then there’s the diversity of experiences in terms of lodging and dining. You’ll find everything from backcountry camping to 4- and 5-Star accommodations; from cooking your own hotdogs over an open flame, to buffalo burgers at a local pub, to a spectacular ocean view served up with your fillet mignon and your Raymond “Generations” Cabernet. These, too, add to Big Sur’s dramatic reputation!

Big Sur also offers up a quirky, unconventional personality that stems largely from its isolation. Before Highway 1 was completed in 1937, you couldn’t reach Big Sur except on horseback, and an arduous journey it would have been! Today, Big Sur’s inhabitants are often descendants of the original Ohlone people, or the first hearty homesteaders, or the Bohemian poets, writers and artists who came a bit later. The mixture of the people, their establishments, and the more or less solitary existence they’ve enjoyed in one of Mother Nature’s truly exotic wonderlands has given them a charming eccentricity all their own.

Big Sur, CA | yle Collins | Pexels

Drive along the coast, enjoying the spectacular views; explore the beaches and the mountains; hike; swim in the rivers; watch whales, sea otters, porpoise, and sea lions cavorting; visit the hamlet of Big Sur & shop the local shops; explore the many art galleries; and most especially, talk to the people, the locals, and learn all you can about the Big Sur experience. You won’t be sorry you did!

Source: Suzi Rosenberg

1 comment

  1. Yes such a great place we visited..but it’s raining here.Anita

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