Things to do in Big Sur
Coastal Landmarks Along Highway One
California’s Central Coast is one of America’s premier natural gems – a 90-mile stretch of unspoiled territory, filled with world-class beaches, parks and coves. Some of the most enlightening and enriching things to do in Big Sur are easily accessible from Ventana via Highway One.
Carmel River State Beach
Tucked away just south of Carmel, this easily accessible beach provides a placid place to walk alongside the ocean, enjoying cool Pacific breezes and beautiful views.
Point Lobos State Reserve
Called “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world” by landscape artist Francis McComas, Point Lobos includes rocky coves, shallow tide pools, broad kelp beds and wind-sculpted pines.
Garrapata State Park
This 2,879-acre coastal park has no official entrance, but features 19 turnoffs from Highway One. Choose one of the turnoffs and enjoy a coastal hike or a bike ride along Rocky Ridge Trail.
Andrew Molera State Park
Big Sur’s largest state park, this 4,766-acre plot boasts 20 miles of hiking trails that offer access to the Big Sur River mouth and estuary, Molera Beach and other scenic spots.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
This park is the perfect place for a hike through a Redwood forest, a demanding climb up Mount Manuel, a couples’ picnic, or a dip in Big Sur’s natural swimming holes.
This easily accessible beach provides one of the Central Coast’s most stunning sunsets, along with scenic rocks, sea stacks, and an impressive cave. The beach is part of Los Padres National Forest.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
This state park combines the dramatic coastal and mountain features that define Big Sur with picnic areas, hiking trails and spectacular views of McWay Falls.
Limekiln State Park
Pull off the highway and experience the essence of Big Sur at Limekiln, where you can easily access a rocky Pacific beach and an epic waterfall.
Sand Dollar Beach & Jade Cove
Surf, fish and explore the vast, easily accessible expanse of Sand Dollar Beach, or rock-hound your way around Jade Cove, a scenic coastal spot.