Big Sur, California

If you live in California and buy a new car, the only real way to celebrate and to break it in is to take to the winding roads of Highway 1 on the central coast.

As you snake above the sea cliffs, you might find yourself imagining you are racing through Monte Carlo; even better is when you remember where you are and what lies ahead.

As you twist along the rocky coast, North of San Simeon and South of Carmel you will find yourself in Big Sur, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Last week C and I did just that, to break in the Tesla and visit one of my favorite escapes. We set out to test the range and availability of charging stations, and fortunately found ourselves in good supply of electricity when needed.

As much as I hate to use the tired cliche, Big Sur truly is like no place on the planet. It is where the Redwood Forrest meats the Pacific Ocean, where the mountains really have crumbled to the sea. It is where the Beat Poets shared rowdy nights of drinking and found inspiration in the roaring of the sea, where Hunter S. Thompson and Henry Miller found much needed solitude. It is where you go to breathe, to really breathe, and the air has a delicious woodsy, salty, fogginess that simultaneously envelopes and invigorates you.

One of the southern most parks, Julia Pfeiffer Burns park, holds what is probably the most iconic view of Big Sur:

McWay Falls

There are many places to stay; we found that Big Sur campgrounds/RV park/ cabins fit our needs. (RV parks are a perfect place to recharge an electric car!) Here we cozied up in a small cabin nestled among the redwoods.

To the north, you can find the Point Lobos nature reserve, where you can spot otters frolicking in the sea (though you might need binoculars to see them).

Andrew Molera State Park has one of my all time favorite hikes. You can begin by taking a flat path across a creek, through a meadow to the sea shore. (A pair of fawns seemed to find that trail as lovely as we did.)

Once you reach the shore, you can hike for several miles through the bluffs and enjoy spectacular views. If you make a little detour off to the Spring Trail that will take you along a spring at the bottom of a canyon. If you discover a massive piling of driftwood that looks like this, climb over it. Trust me.

Once you get past it, you will find yourself alone on a secluded beach, where the crimson rocks from the mountains above have eroded onto the sand to create patches of purple sand, the likes of which can only be found in Big Sur.

After a long day of hiking (and it will be long if you complete that loop) the famed Nepenthe restaurant is a wonderful place to refuel and enjoy a glass of wine on the panoramic deck that overlooks the ocean. The fog had rolled in by the time we were dining, so rather than watching the sun dip into the Pacific, we watched the thick whipped cream of the clouds lick the cliffs below us–which in my opinion was an even more impressive view.

Just across the highway from Nepenthe is the Henry Miller Memorial Library, a beautiful garden/bookstore/homage to the bohemian lifestyle Big Sur has become known for. It is the perfect place to read, contemplate, and/or enjoy a cup of tea, where books hang from the ceiling and a fat, indifferent cat named Theo “does as he pleases.”

Contented sigh…

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Comments on: "Big Sur, California" (17)

  1. my goodness what a gorgeous sort of living. I'm off to dream of big sur. =)Following you now from the GFC Hop. I'm getting my groove back in this silly little bloggy world and I would love, love, love for you to be a part of the story we're writing at Local Sugar Hawaii . I'd so love for you to share your sweet story with us at our no rules link up with friends. Save ya a spot?xo,Nicole

  2. Ah-mazing pics! Looks lovely, it's grey and raining here 🙂

  3. What an adorable little cabin. Beautiful pics! I will definitely have to put this on my bucket list 🙂

  4. So beautiful! I want to be there right now.

  5. This is all gorgeous! It looks so peaceful too. I'd love to visit!

  6. So many pretty photos! I love love love cali!MichelleFierce & FashionableAre we Facebook friends yet?

  7. Thanks, Michelle! I found that it was hard to take a bad picture in such a beautiful place!

  8. I hope you can visit there soon so that you don't need to be jealous! 😉

  9. Very, very peaceful! I hope that you get the chance to check it out soon!

  10. Hehe, me too! It was hard to come back from there and jump into a busy week!

  11. The cabin, while small, was so very cozy! If you go (and you should if it is on your bucket list!) I recommend that campsite (Big Sur Campsite)if you want to tent camp or have an RV, and Big Sur Lodge (just down the road) also has lovely cabins and a wonderful restaurant!

  12. Thanks! It is often foggy and damp in Big Sur, but in a very pleasant way. 🙂

  13. Thanks Nicole, and welcome back into blogging! Thanks for the link up!

  14. This is stunning! We are going to be car shopping around August, I think we need to play a similar road trip. Thanks for the idea! Great way to break the car in. 🙂

  15. Um… Your photographs are beautiful!! What kind of camera do you shoot on? Such details…. lovely!

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