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Big Sur Camping – 15 Campgrounds in Big Sur for Your Next Trip

Big Sur Camping - 15 Campgrounds in Big Sur for

Big Sur is without doubt one of the greatest locations to go to in California, and it is filled with wonderful seashores and mountaineering trails. You’ll additionally discover redwood timber galore, so if you wish to rise up near the tallest timber on the earth, then Big Sur is a must-visit spot. Big Sur is filled with nature and is a perfect vacation spot for a vacation spent outdoor.

We’ve established it is best to undoubtedly go to Big Sur, however what about going tenting in Big Sur? What do you could know, and the place do you have to keep? Whether you’re keen on glamping, staying in an RV, or hike-in tenting, Big Sur State Park has a variety of choices. This Big Sur tenting information will cowl all the most effective campgrounds, together with some further important particulars. Ready? Let’s get began.

Best Camping in Big Sur

best camping in big sur

Big Sur has many accommodations and locations to remain from luxurious accommodations to boutique lodging, nevertheless it additionally has loads of campgrounds to select from. We breakdown the most effective Big Sur campground to swimsuit each want.

1. Ventana Campground

big sur camping ventana
Inside our Glamping Tent at Ventana Resort, Big Sur.

Ventana Campground is without doubt one of the most lovely campgrounds in Big Sur and we extremely suggest staying right here. We beloved exploring the Big Sur coast from Ventana because it gave easy accessibility to most of the prime points of interest. The campground is located on 40 acres of redwood grove and is definitely accessible off of the Cabrillo Highway. And the principle draw? Ventana Campground has unbelievable glamping services. If you fancy a glamping expertise, Ventana’s tent cabins are probably the greatest locations to remain in Big Sur. The lodging is safari-style and a romantic strategy to spend an evening underneath the redwoods. See critiques on TripAdvisor

Ventana Campground has many facilities, together with two bathhouses, sizzling showers, picnic tables, a fireplace ring, and proximity (strolling distance) to cafes, eating places, and reward retailers. Guests have easy accessibility to Big Sur and its neighborhood. Ventana Campground additionally has some extra upscale services, corresponding to swimming swimming pools, health studios, and eating venues. You might also like: The Complete Guide to Visiting Redwood National Park

Big Sur Campgrounds: Hike-In Campsites

If you need a tent-only campground, hike-in campsites are a terrific choice. These websites additionally provide tent tenting that’s accessible after only a quick stroll, not like backcountry tenting which requires lengthy hikes to achieve every website. Hike-in campsites are a unbelievable compromise.

Hike-in campsites have so many advantages. You’ll be extra secluded, have extra wildlife sightings, and sometimes gorgeous views of the Big Sur Coast. This part is devoted totally to hike-in tenting alternatives. We’ll cowl the highest three hike-in campsites, excellent for tenting in and round Big Sur State Park.

2. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

big sur camping julia pfeiffer state park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is definitely a area relatively than a campsite. It is situated 12 miles south of Big Sur State Park. The park is famend for its coastal surroundings, with granite cliffs and dramatic ocean views, and forests of redwood timber that develop all the best way to the cliff edges. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is really a sight to behold and a very good base from which to discover the coast.

The park options two hike-in environmental campsites on the west aspect of Highway 1. Saddle Rock and South Gardens Environmental Campgrounds are only a quick stroll from the Cabrillo Highway. Don’t fear about being marathon-fit, however be ready to hold the whole lot you deliver, as there isn’t any automobile entry to both website.

The campsites characteristic fireplace rings, a picnic desk, and restrooms. You might want to deliver your individual water and firewood; cease by at a water station or retailers beforehand. Speaking of outlets, as a result of there are restricted native retailers, it’s best to plan a buying journey earlier than getting into Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

So, why keep right here? In quick, the unbelievable surroundings and placement. From Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park’s campgrounds, you may spot migrating grey whales, hike gorgeous trails like Ewoldsen Trail, and take a look at waterfalls like Mcway Falls (extra on that later). You’ll have a central location to discover the most effective of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and be shut sufficient to expertise all that Big Sur affords. Read: The Ultimate California Road Trip Itinerary

3. Vicente Flat Camp

big sur camping views of ocean

Vincente Flat Camp is a bit more remoted and situated on the junction of the Stone Ridge and Vincente Flat Trails. It is roughly 5 miles from Vicente Trailhead, so enable round two hours to achieve the campground and pack accordingly because you’ll have to hold all of your gear. The campground is ready in an atmospheric forest canyon. It is just a brief stroll from the panoramas of the Californian shoreline.

You’ll discover a freshwater stream (pack a water filter) and a fireplace pit on the campground. However, don’t count on another vital services. Vicente Flat Camp is right for individuals who need to ‘rough it’ just a little, and it’s a enjoyable spot to check your wilderness limits.

So, why keep in Vicente Flat Camp? The journey. If you need the joys of a barely longer hike-in expertise, the campground is an thrilling place to remain and probably the greatest walk-in campsites. You received’t discover restrooms or perhaps a picnic desk or dump station. But it’s the excellent campground to channel your inside Bear Grylls.

3. Andrew Molera Trail Camp

big sur campgrounds andrew molera state park
Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molera State Park is a way more undeveloped state park situated simply north of Big Sur State Park. It is legendary for its distant and numerous mountaineering and seashore entry. If you need a base simply exterior of Big Sur, Andrew Molera Trail Camp is a unbelievable alternative. Campers simply park within the car parking zone after which hike round 0.25 miles to achieve the campground. It is a handy hike-in campground and never as strenuous as reaching Vincente Flat.

The camp has fireplace pits, a meals storage locker, picnic tables, water, and restrooms. You’ll should do and not using a bathe, however the campground’s facilities are helpful for a number of nights. The campground has simply 22 customary tent websites and two hike-and-bike websites (24 tent websites in complete), so make sure that to guide upfront.

Andrew Molera Trail Camp is unbelievable if you wish to keep off the overwhelmed monitor and expertise a less-developed a part of the area. At the identical time, the campground additionally affords a few of the greatest services – a win-win in case you ask us. You can discover close by points of interest like Highbridge Falls and Cooper Cabin or drive simply ten minutes down the highway. The alternative is yours.

Big Sur Campgrounds: Car Camping and Glamping

camping in big sur glamping

Not so eager on hike-in campsites? Perhaps you need a spot with tent and RV websites. RV tenting is a well-liked strategy to discover the US wilderness, and Big Sur has many unbelievable areas the place you may pull up for the night time. RV and tent tenting each have their advantages.

Of course, it’s your decision extra luxurious than a primary tent or RV tenting. In that case, preserve your eyes peeled for the glamping campgrounds on this part. Some of those glamping websites even include a sizzling tub or two.

This part will cowl the most effective Big Sur campgrounds for RV tenting and glamping. Let’s dive straight in. You might also like: Top 10 Best Places to Camp in California

4. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park South Camp

campgrounds in big sur pfeiffer beach

This Big Sur campground is without doubt one of the greatest on this checklist. It is situated throughout the boundaries of Big Sur State Park – supreme in order for you a central location. South Camp is an enormous, spacious campground with over 100 tent websites. It is definitely accessed off Pfeiffer Big Sur Road and has loads of facilities. Yet, additionally it is massively fashionable with wildlife, and even deer wander onto the positioning. It doesn’t get significantly better for RV and tent tenting.

You can eat breakfast at a picnic desk after your morning bathe, unwinding with a morning espresso constituted of the campground’s water provide. South Camp is Big Sur tenting made simple – what’s to not love? Big Sur State Park South Camp is the best choice for anybody wanting a central location contained in the park and loads of services and facilities for a simple tenting expertise. Read: 24 Of The Best Beaches in California

5. Prewitt Ridge Campground

camping in big sur dave with marshmallows

Prewitt Ridge is without doubt one of the most gorgeous campsites round Big Sur. Set excessive upon a ridge, you’ll fall asleep and get up overlooking probably the greatest views within the park. Prewitt Ridge has unbelievable views of Los Padres National Forest and the Pacific Ocean. For ocean-view tent campsites and RV tenting, look no additional.

Getting there may be simple, and also you simply drive to the positioning on Prewitt Road. The monitor is just a little tough in sections, so a 4WD is advisable. Just take your time although, and also you’ll be advantageous. In phrases of facilities, be ready to tough it. Prewitt Ridge has no restrooms, showers, water, or dump station, so deliver the whole lot you want.

The better part about Prewitt Ridge Campground is, by far, the views. It is just a little farther from the middle of Big Sur (enable round an hour and twenty minutes as a result of windy roads). Still, if you’re planning a highway journey, it’s properly value basing your self at Prewitt Ridge for an evening.

6. Saddle Mountain Ranch, RV, and Campground

where to camp in big sur near carmel by the sea

Saddle Mountain Ranch blends the whole lot collectively – RV and tent tenting and glamping. It is definitely accessed off Carmel Valley Road and is only a forty-minute drive north of Big Sur. If you need to keep close by Big Sur, Saddle Mountain Ranch is superbly situated within the serene Carmel Valley. You’ll spend your downtime amongst Monterey pines and redwoods. See availability and extra critiques on TripAdvisor

Saddle Mountain Ranch has unbelievable services, together with a big outside swimming pool. It additionally has heated showers, restrooms, wi-fi, and a playground. Whether you need glamping or RV tenting, it’s a unbelievable luxurious base and is conveniently situated close to Big Sur. Read extra: Things to do in Carmel by the Sea, California

7. Arroyo Seco

where to camp in big sur redwood forest

Arroyo Seco is without doubt one of the greatest Big Sur campgrounds. Described as ‘semi rustic’, the campsite affords RV and tent tenting and is definitely accessed off Arroyo Seco Road. Arroyo Seco is situated inland, and entry is just a little restricted. Be ready to drive practically two hours since you must drive all the best way across the park to re-enter the east. It is a particular spot although, and the serenity of Arroyo Seco can be value it. The campground is surrounded by lakes, forests, and mountains – the right recipe for an escape to the good outdoor.

Each campsite within the campground has its personal fireplace ring, grill, and picnic desk. The campground additionally has accessible flush bogs, ingesting water, and showers. Arroyo Seco has hike and seashore entry. It is situated proper subsequent to Arroyo Seco Trailhead and The Lakes Beach (a small seashore space on the shores of a freshwater lake). You can fish, swim, hike, and even go horseback using while you aren’t exploring Big Sur.

Arroyo Seco is a unbelievable place to remain in inland Big Sur State Park. You don’t should miss out on water-side tenting since The Lakes are proper subsequent to the campground.

8. Kirk Creek Campground

camping in big sur rv camping
RVs can park in Kir Creek Campground

Kirk Creek Campground is round a fifty-minute drive from Big Sur. It is situated off Cabrillo Highway, simply south of Lucia. Kirk Creek Campground is a surprising spot with ocean views and direct seashore entry. Kirk Creek Campground ought to be on the prime of your checklist in order for you a campground for RV tenting with ocean views.

Kirk Creek Campground has a mixture of tent and RV tenting spots. The campground has a fireplace ring, vault bogs, BBQ services, and firewood on the market. There’s no ingesting water or showers, so preserve that in thoughts when packing. The campground is greatest for individuals who need to be close to a seashore and surrounded by nature – it’s not unusual to identify mountain lions and deer simply exterior the campground. See charges and availability on TripAdvisor

10. Riverside Campground and Cabins

camping in big sur riverside

Riverside Campground and Cabins is without doubt one of the greatest spots for RV tenting and glamping. It is situated simply south of Big Sur, off the Cabrillo Highway. The campground affords rooms, cabins, and RV websites with electrical energy and water hookups. You can ‘glamp’ in type with lovely wood cabins that includes snug queen-sized beds and optionally available non-public decks. Otherwise, park your RV and calm down amongst all of the campground facilities.

Riverside Campground and Cabins has fireplace pits, picnic tables, restrooms, sizzling showers, and laundry services. As its identify suggests, you even have entry to the river. You can reap the benefits of the campground’s tube leases to drift down the river – appreciating the surroundings as you go. Right on the riverside, you even have unmatched seasonal fishing to get pleasure from.

This campground is nice if you wish to be near the river and the middle of Big Sur. You aren’t removed from the neighborhood environment, retailers, and hospitality venues. However, Riverside Campground and Cabins nonetheless have a secluded, peaceable really feel. See charges and availability on TripAdvisor

11. Treebones Resort

camping in big sur redwoods

Fancy a very upscale and weird glamping expertise? Treebones Resort is the place to remain. Treebones Resort is situated an hour south of Big Sur, close to the hamlet of Gorda. The resort affords a choice of oceanfront yurts, the place you camp in luxurious with gorgeous views over the Pacific Ocean. Guests even obtain a complimentary breakfast and yoga.

The services embody an out of doors swimming pool with additional ocean views and a number of on-site eating places. Each yurt comes with complimentary wi-fi, and you’ll benefit from the vary of resort actions that Treebones affords. Treebones is greatest for individuals who need the comfiest, most luxurious tenting expertise out there. See extra on TripAdvisor

12. Limekiln Campground

camping in big sur california limekiln

Limekiln State Park is a 45-minute drive south of Big Sur and can be located alongside the Californian coast. Limekiln Campground is the park’s essential lodging choice and affords tent and RV websites. Limekiln Campground is definitely reached off the Cabrillo Highway and has a big parking space.

Facility-wise, the campground has restrooms and showers. It is primary however snug, and you’re inside driving distance of outlets for emergency provides. When it involves close by points of interest, your choices are even higher. You can take one of many mountaineering trails to Limekiln Falls or Old Limekiln Ruins, virtually straight from the campground. There’s even seashore entry.

Limekiln Campground is a spectacular place to remain. It is superb if you wish to be close to a seashore, have nice mountaineering trails, and never be too removed from Big Sur. Check out: 15 Best Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outdoors

13. Ponderosa Campground

camping tips for big sur california

Ponderosa Campground is located proper in the midst of the Los Padres National Forest amongst the mountains of Big Sur. It is round an hour and twenty-minute drive from the middle of Big Sur. It is right for individuals who need to expertise RV tenting on a extra mountainous aspect of the area.

Ponderosa Campground is handed by the Nacimiento River, offering swimming and freshwater alternatives. Drinking water can be offered (in case you don’t have a filter), plus a dump station, vault bogs, and a fireplace ring at every website. Ponderosa Campground has the whole lot you can want for a brief keep, and it’s the excellent base to wander, bike, or journey across the dramatic surrounding panorama.

14. Fernwood Campground and Resort

campgrounds in big sur california
Coffee by the hearth. Best strategy to begin the day

Fernwood Campground and Resort is the final word glamping keep in Big Sur. Situated within the coronary heart of Big Sur Valley, you’re only a twenty-minute stroll or two-minute drive into the middle of Big Sur. Fernwood encompasses a combination of cabins and canvas, safari-style ‘tent cabins’, and ‘adventure cabins’. If you need a glamping expertise, we’d suggest the journey cabins, primarily upgrades from customary canvas tent cabins. These choices characteristic electrical energy, a heat mattress, recent linens, and heating – bliss.

Each cabin comes with its personal fireplace ring and picnic desk. Fernwood Campground and Resort additionally encompasses a normal retailer and espresso cafe. These are excellent on-site choices for a leisurely morning relatively than having to go into Big Sur. Fernwood is a handy glamping choice with a perfect location.

15. Plaskett Creek Campground

camping in big sur sand dollar beach

Plaskett Creek Campground is a fantastic RV tenting choice and is only a quick stroll from Sand Dollar Beach, the biggest seashore in Big Sur. It is only a fifty-minute drive from Big Sur and simply accessed off the Cabrillo Highway.

The campground is likened by many to a park, and it’s a spacious, family-friendly place to remain in Big Sur. The campground has RV and tent websites, plus restrooms, picnic tables, and a fireplace ring in every particular person campsite. Plaskett Creek Campground is a superb alternative for these wanting nice services, plenty of area, and lodging close to Sand Dollar Beach. It is filled with open inexperienced area and proper subsequent to the ocean. Check charges on TripAdvisor

Big Sur FAQs

camping in big sur things to do

Now that we’ve lined the most effective locations for tenting in Big Sur State Park, we have now some important particulars for you. If you haven’t been tenting earlier than, it might probably really feel just a little daunting to organize. And moreover, even if you’re a pro-camper, a little bit of destination-specific info is at all times important.

This part is the whole lot you could learn about tenting in Big Sur State Park.

What to pack for a Big Sur tenting journey?

big sur camping tips what to pack

You can view our final tenting guidelines right here, however we’ll present a fast temporary on what to pack for a Big Sur tenting journey.

First, if you’re tent tenting, you’ll want a waterproof three-season tent, floor sheet, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and all of the tent-related emergency gear attainable (suppose further poles and a tent restore package). You’ll additionally need a number of luxuries like fold-up camping chairs, solar lanterns, and a camp table. After all, while you discover a fantastic view in Big Sur you need to have the ability to sit exterior comfortably to get pleasure from it.

Don’t overlook your tenting range and cooking tools both. Of course, relying on which campground you select, you received’t want some tools – so examine your campground services forward of time. 25 Of The Most Useful Camping Tips and Hacks

Kit-wise, you want a robust pair of mountaineering boots (plus a primary help package with moleskin for blisters), fast dry layers, a raincoat, and a hat. A filter water bottle, flashlight, sunscreen, and bug spray can even come in useful.

Most importantly, bear in mind your tenting reservations and any vital passes. It is important to analysis what paperwork you want forward of time and convey a paper model in case your telephone dies.

What there may be to do in Big Sur

things to do in big sur garrapata state park

So, when you’ve chosen an unbelievable campground and a few mountaineering trails, what else is there to do in Big Sur? The reply to this can be a lot. Don’t be fooled by the state park’s comparatively small measurement. These are the most effective issues to do in Big Sur – excellent additions to your tenting itinerary. Read our full information: The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Itinerary and The Best Viewpoints

New Camaldoli Hermitage

camping spots in big sur

The New Camaldoli Hermitage is a Camaldolese Benedictine monastery perched on a mountainous vantage level overlooking the ocean. If you get pleasure from spiritual points of interest, visiting the monastery is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Big Sur.

Hike Pfeiffer Falls Trail

big sur camping things to do hiking

Pfeiffer Falls Trail is the most effective quick hike to see redwood timber up shut. The route is lower than two miles return and is sweet and flat – making it a simple hike, appropriate for all sorts of walkers. The largest redwood known as the Colonial Tree. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

See Bixby Bridge

camping big sur bixby bridge

Bixby Bridge is an iconic spot alongside Highway 101, and the dramatic canyon crossing stands 85 meters tall. Bixby Bridge is a powerful architectural attraction and makes for a hanging {photograph}. We suppose the most effective view is from Castle Rock Viewpoint, however we’ll allow you to determine.

Drive the Big Sur Coast on Highway 101

big sur camping highway 1

The Big Sur coast is gorgeous. That’s no secret. Highway 101 is without doubt one of the hottest US highway journeys and runs round 1,500 miles from San Diego to the Olympic National Park in Washington. If you fancy a highway journey whereas visiting Big Sur, you may drive the stretch of the coastal freeway from San Francisco to Big Sur. This is properly mixed with touring to Big Sur anyway for the reason that park is greatest accessed by flying into San Francisco and renting a automobile.

Swim at The Gorge

The Big Sur River is filled with swimming spots, however none are as well-known because the Big Sur River Gorge. The Gorge is thought for its crystal-clear waters and calm water circumstances. Be warned, the water may be freezing, so you may want a wetsuit in case you go to in winter.

Visit Sand Dollar Beach

beaches of big sur

Sand Dollar Beach is without doubt one of the largest seashores in Big Sur. It will get its identify from sand {dollars} – tiny sea urchins with a singular shell- their endoskeleton. The shell is left behind when the urchin dies, and many individuals accumulate them as souvenirs. Apart from the very fact you’ll find shells, Sand Dollar Beach is magnificently lovely. A Sand Dollar Beach day ought to be on everybody’s itinerary.

Go mountain biking

camping in big sur things to do
17 Mile Drive: California Road Trip

For journey sports activities lovers, mountain biking in Big Sur is without doubt one of the most enjoyable issues to do within the space. Bring your individual bike, manage bike leases, or guide an organized mountain biking tour. You’ll be tackling difficult trails – egged on by the continual promise of gorgeous views and recent adrenaline.

Go horseback using

ranch in carmel by the sea

Going horseback using is an thrilling strategy to recognize the outside. We suggest occurring a path journey to expertise Big Sur and its surrounding areas. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center is a well-liked choice and affords a particular picnic and seashore journey.

Visit Point Sur State Historic Park

Point Sur State Historic Park is a tiny would-be-island linked to the mainland by a skinny sandbar. It is residence to Point Sur Lighthouse, which was in-built 1889 and remained useful till 1974. You can go to the historic constructing, taking particular moonlight excursions if you’re fortunate.

Visit McWay Falls

things to do in big sure video

McWay Falls is a 24-meter waterfall situated in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The waterfall is without doubt one of the most dramatic pure points of interest close to Big Sur State Park. During excessive tide, the water falls straight into the ocean. You simply take a brief, mile-long return hike alongside the cliffs to a scenic viewpoint to achieve the waterfall.

To Conclude

Hopefully, you are feeling good and ready after studying this Big Sur tenting information. Big Sur State Park is a fantastic place to camp; it’s filled with pure magnificence and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and native flora. Your days can be full of mountaineering, redwood and ocean surroundings, and plenty of enjoyable outside actions. You are going to have a unbelievable time.

Got a number of extra questions? Check out our article on the final word tenting ideas. You might even plan an enormous California highway journey – there are many wonderful tenting spots in California.

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24 Fun & Best Things to Do in Big Sur, California

24 Fun & Best Things to Do in Big Sur,

If you’re questioning what to do in Big Sur, look no additional! Big Sur is likely one of the most stunning locations on Earth, and it’s simple to see why. It’s full of scenic magnificence and quite a lot of wildlife on the facet. The space is dwelling to beautiful cliffs, tree-covered hills, ocean views, and a few of the greatest California State Parks. 

Big Sur can also be dwelling to a number of actions, together with climbing, browsing, and kayaking. While many of the actions in Big Sur are outdoorsy, there are some things you are able to do indoors, from visiting museums to artwork displays. For one thing a bit extra lively, you possibly can hike as much as some spectacular viewpoints and even strive your hand at mountaineering on the close by Willow Creek Picnic Area.

Visitors can discover Big Sur by climbing by way of the redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park or swimming and browsing on the various Big Sur seashores. If you’re planning to go to Big Sur or are in search of an adventurous vacation spot or only a fast getaway from the town, this vacation spot on the California shoreline is ideal!

Below are our prime enjoyable and greatest issues to do in Big Sur, California.

Big Sur Guided Half Day Tour
1. From Monterey: Big Sur Guided Half-Day Tour
Top Recommendation

Looking to discover the attractive Big Sur area? This Big Sur Guided Half-Day Tour is the right strategy to just do that! You’ll get pleasure from a scenic drive alongside the coast, with loads of stops to absorb the majestic surroundings and study extra concerning the space. The tour additionally make a cease at Bixby Creek Bridge, Hurricane Point, Nepenthe, and Big Sur Lodge. This is a perfect tour for anybody who needs to discover the beautiful pure great thing about the Big Sur area.

Big Sur California Pacific Coast Highway Self Drive Tour
2. Big Sur California: Pacific Coast Highway Self-Drive Tour

Looking for a wide ranging strategy to see the California coast? A self-drive tour of the Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur is the right resolution! With this audio tour, you possibly can discover the shoreline at your personal tempo, skipping forward or taking it gradual as you please. Best of all, you may be handled to commentary from locals that performs robotically alongside the route, offering an insider’s perspective on this superb area. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime alternative to see probably the most stunning stretches of shoreline on the earth!

Big Sur Monterey California Pacific Coast One Day Tour
3. Big Sur Monterey California Pacific Coast One Day Tour

Looking to discover the Pacific Coast with out having to fret concerning the driving? Then Big Sur Monterey California Pacific Coast One Day Tour is ideal for you! You’ll have your personal private driver-guide who will care for all the pieces, so all you should do is sit again and benefit from the views. This tour takes in a few of the most scenic routes within the nation, so that you’re assured to be impressed. Plus, you possibly can tailor the itinerary to fit your wants and pursuits, making this a very personalised journey expertise.


  • Most important landmark – Point Sur Lighthouse
  • Best park – Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
  • Best free exercise – Hiking at Partington Cove
  • Best exercise for teenagers – Beachcombing at Sand Dollar Beach
  • Best exercise for adults – Enjoying Sunsets at Pfeiffer Beach
  • Best meals – Nepenthe
  • Best all-round lodgingBig Sur River Inn

Fun & Best Things to Do in Big Sur, California

1. Spend an Afternoon at Garrapata State Park

Garrapata State Park Scenery

Address: 34500 CA-1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA

Spend a day at Garrapata State Park, and also you’ll be handled to a panoramic view of the Big Sur coast.

Perched on the sting of the continent, Garrapata State Park is a pure paradise. It’s dwelling to trails and seashores that host a variety of unforgettable adventures.

It’s a coastal state park on California’s Central Coast. The 3,000-acre park is located between the bottom of the St. Lucia Mountain Range and the rugged Pacific shoreline. 

Many totally different trails exist on this numerous space providing spectacular headland views, coastal canyon climbing trails, seashore entry, wonderful wildflower viewing, and mountain biking alternatives. Five most important marked trails of Garrapata State Park are grouped in a loop going up into the St. Lucia mountain vary. 

But, when you’re in search of one thing extra lively than climbing or strolling at Garrapata State Park, strive browsing at close by Garrapata Beach.

2. Take Some Pictures at Rocky Creek Bridge & Bixby Creek Bridge

Rocky Creek Bridge Scenery

Address: CA-1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923 – Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Rocky Creek Bridge & Bixby Creek Bridge are two of probably the most photographed bridges in Big Sur and for purpose. The two bridges sit on reverse sides of the freeway however are solely a few half mile aside.

Both bridges are stunning and supply a singular perspective on the rugged shoreline. The views of the ocean and mountains are spectacular, and taking footage at these two bridges is a should.

The greatest time to go to Bixby Bridge and Rocky Creek Bridge is early morning or late afternoon. But, another time will work as properly. During the day, there are many photograph alternatives alongside the path and beneath the bridge.

See Related: Most Famous Landmarks in California to Visit

3. Drive Along Old Coast Road

Old Coast Road Scenery

Location: Entrance simply north of Bixby Creek Bridge

If you’re in search of one thing extra adventurous than taking footage on the bridge, drive to the Old Coast Road. The Old Coast Road offers a gorgeous 10-mile drive by way of the coast and ranches with views of the shoreline at both finish.

Just north of Bixby Creek Bridge alongside CA-1, you’ll discover an unpaved highway that descends right into a redwood forest. Kids can be amazed at how far they’ll see within the surrounding forest. As you head south, the highway gently ascends, providing panoramic views of Big Sur Valley and Andrew Molera State Park.

Driving through this old coast road is a implausible strategy to expertise California’s pure magnificence whereas having fun with serene tranquility.

4. Enjoy a Sunset at Little Sur River Beach

Little Sur River Beach Scenery

Location: Monterey, CA 93940

If you’re in search of romantic issues to do in Big Sur, look no additional than Little Sur River Beach Little Sur River Beach. It’s one in every of California’s most stunning seashores. It’s additionally one of many 86th top-rated seashores within the State. It’s positioned alongside California State Route 1, solely 18 miles from Carmel-by-the-Sea, between Big Sur and Monterey.

The seashore is an absolute magnificence to behold. The surroundings is totally attractive and makes you’re feeling relaxed. The picturesque atmosphere creates such a peaceable ambiance that you’d by no means need to depart it.

The Little River Beach is a good place to cease throughout your coastal drive. It’s well-known for its stunning sunsets and its pure environment.

See Related: Best Black Sand Beaches within the World

5. Visit Point Sur State Historic Park

Point Sur State Historic Park Scenery

Location: CA-1, Monterey, CA 93940

Located roughly 6 miles south of Bixby Creek Bridge, Point Sur State Historic Park is a must-see for anybody within the Big Sur space. 

The park presents a scenic overlook with an expansive view of the Pacific Ocean and climbing trails that result in a number of different stunning areas on the property.

Point Sur State Historic Park additionally encompasses a historic lighthouse relationship again to the Eighteen Nineties. Constructed within the nineteenth century, the lighthouse has develop into an iconic landmark in California tradition and a distinguished icon alongside Highway 1.

Tours of the Point Sur Lighthouse can be found to the general public on weekends. Reservations usually are not required for the tour, however if you wish to make sure you get a spot, it’s higher to name forward or join on-line.

6. Hike at Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molera State Park Scenery

Address: 45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

If you need to hike Big Sur, Andrew Molera State Park needs to be on the prime of your record of greatest locations to go. There are many nice trails to get pleasure from, and probably the most superb sights await you to find.

The park is the biggest state park on the Big Sur coast. It’s comprised of over 4,800 acres of land and pure reserves. The State Park consists of sandy seashores, redwood groves, meadows, and a 20 miles stretch of climbing trails the place you possibly can get pleasure from biking and horseback rides.

The park is understood for its many out of doors actions and delightful pure landscapes. It has one thing for everybody, from tenting to climbing and biking to fishing and kayaking. I extremely advocate visiting Andrew Molera State Park when you’re ever in Big Sur!

7. Enjoy Surfing at Andrew Molera Beach

Andrew Molera Beach Scenery

Address: 45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

If you end up in Andrew Molera State Park, be certain to go to Andrew Molera State Beach. This superb seashore may have you wishing you lived nearer so you possibly can return each day. You’ll love the wild shoreline, beachcombing, and tenting below the celebrities right here.

The seashore is a gorgeous, secluded seashore alongside the Big Sur shoreline. It’s s a well-liked spot for surfers and beachgoers, with its broad sandy stretch. The seashore is accessible solely by climbing trails and a steep path all the way down to the water’s edge, but it surely’s well worth the effort. 

At the north finish of the seashore, you’ll discover Molera Point, which has good marine life recognizing alternatives and a view of crashing waves. Here you possibly can see marine life, observe native wildlife, and surf or lay within the solar. It’s additionally place to have enjoyable and revel in nature.

See Related: Best Beach Vacations within the World

8. Learn Big Sur History at Molera Ranch House Museum

Location: Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur, CA 93920

Molera Ranch House Museum is a good place to go to if you wish to study concerning the historical past of Big Sur. The museum is positioned on the grounds of Andrew Molera State Park.

Molera Ranch House Museum is a restored dwelling that after belonged to the ranch foreman. Throughout the museum, guests can get a glimpse of each Big Sur’s previous and current. It shows artifacts about Big Sur pioneers, artists, authors, and wildlife and vegetation of the area. Stop over on the Molera Ranch House to get a really feel of what a life-style within the Wild West was like.

9. Stop by Big Sur Station

Big Sur Station Entrance

Address: 47555 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Big Sur Station is a good place for vacationers to cease in and seize some provides. It’s a gateway for having fun with the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The customer heart has all the data you want on your subsequent journey in Big Sur. Here you could find a wide array of meals, souvenirs, maps, and postcards.

Then there’s the Big Sur Lodge, which has just about all the pieces you could possibly ever need, from meals gadgets to tenting provides and luxurious lodging in cottage-style rooms. 

Big Sur Station and Big Sur Lodge are the locations to top off on your journey to Big Sur. Here you can find gear, groceries, and nice native souvenirs you received’t discover wherever else in Big Sur.

10. Go Camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Sign

Location: Pfeiffer Big Sur Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920

Going tenting at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is likely one of the greatest Big Sur issues to do. Adjacent to Los Padres National Forest, this park is a part of the California State Park system and presents a variety of campsites and RV websites, with facilities like showers, flush bogs, dump stations, and water hookups.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is likely one of the hottest state parks on the California coast. The park boasts a river that runs by way of it and is surrounded by the steep Santa Lucia Mountains. 

The park additionally has a few of the greatest climbing trails in California. You’ll discover greater than 20 miles of trails that lead you thru meadows, forests, and coastal bluffs.

The Pfeiffer Big Sur campground is open year-round for tenting. Almost each campsite is booked months prematurely due to its reputation. But there are some restrictions throughout the winter months on account of snow circumstances.

See Related: What to Bring on a Camping Trip with Friends

11. Experience a Dramatic Golden Hour at Pfeiffer Beach 

Sunset in Pfeiffer Beach

Location: Sycamore Canyon Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920

Pfeiffer Beachis a hidden gem in Big Sur, California. It’s an extended, remoted sand strip positioned seven miles south of Andrew Molera State Park. Pfeiffer Beach is way from the crushed paths and abounds in pure magnificence, with towering bluffs and placing rock formations. 

Pfeiffer Beach’s most well-known stone arch is often generally known as Pfeiffer Keyhole Rock. It’s one of many most-photographed Big Sur sights. 

You can wade round Keyhole Rock throughout low tide, or you could favor to marvel at it whereas the solar shines brightly by way of it after sundown. This gentle impact makes the keyhole arch probably the most spectacular sights in Big Sur.

Another neatest thing about Pfeiffer Beach is the purple sand. The purple hue sand outcomes from erosion of the cliffs above which have created a pocket of Manganese garnet rocks which might be discovered as little beads of iridescent sand on prime. As you stroll by way of the sand, you can not assist however breathe within the ambiance surrounding you. 

Couples visiting Big Sur are certain to get pleasure from a night at Pfeiffer Beach, with its placing rock formations and delightful views of the purple sand.

12. Visit Henry Miller Memorial Library

Address: 48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Visiting Henry Miller Memorial Library is likely one of the distinctive issues to do in Big Sur. The library connects the neighborhood to the work of authors and artists who’ve hung out in Big Sur, gathering inspiration from the distant wilderness and sea air.  

The Henry Miller Memorial Library has a tremendous assortment of books, artwork, and memorabilia referring to Henry Miller and his work. It presents an ideal expertise of Henry Miller’s time in Big Sur. With a variety of enjoyable actions, you can be amazed at what you could find right here. 

There are additionally many different occasions held on the Henry Miller Library all year long which you can attend or participate in. The Henry Miller Library is open from Wednesday to Monday from 11 am till 5 pm. It’s additionally free to go to! If you’re in search of one thing new or thrilling to examine, that is the place for you!

13. Take the Kids to Seal Beach Overlook

Seal Beach Scenery

Address: 49664 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Visiting Seal Beach Scenic Overlook is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Big Sur. The overlook presents a gorgeous panoramic view of the elephant seals trumpeting and enjoying within the water, which is nice for pictures and Instagram posts.

The overlook might be reached from both Cambria or Hearst Castle. It’s an exquisite place to deliver kids and educate them about these majestic creatures. Visitors will be unable to go down onto the sandy seashore. But, there are boardwalk paths that make viewing simple.

The Seal Beach Scenic Overlook offers unimaginable views and is a spot you NEED to take a look at subsequent time you journey by way of Big Sur.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Malibu, California

14. Take in The Stunning Views of Partington Cove

Partington Cove and Skyline

Address: 51700 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

If you might be in search of a peaceable, quiet place to relaxation and revel in nature, Partington Cover is the place. The cove is a small, secluded inlet and rugged seashore. It sits off Highway 1, simply south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Visitors can attain the cove after climbing by way of a dust path, wood bridge, and tunnel. 

The hike to Partington Cove is about 2 miles spherical journey and consists of a number of brief ups and downs. Besides being stunning, the hike offers spectacular views of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It’s additionally a reasonably steep, family-friendly hike, so when you’re in search of one thing enjoyable to do with your loved ones on a sunny day, that is it!

Partington Cove can also be nice for photographers. The cove’s magnificence might be seen from many alternative angles, and every view is particular in its personal means.

15. Spend an Afternoon at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Road

Address: 52801 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a gorgeous place to spend a day. The state park sits on the sting of Big Sur and has many climbing trails that can lead you thru pine timber, previous creeks, and into the pure wonders of the redwoods. 

The stunning park is called after Big Sur’s most revered resident and rancher, Julia Pfeiffer Burns.  Visitors can get pleasure from climbing at any of the seven marked trails resulting in coves, waterfalls, creek-side groves, and extra. Although a lot of the park was broken by the Dolan Fire in 2020, it’s anticipated to reopen quickly.

What’s extra, the park can also be dwelling to 300-foot redwoods, that are over two thousand years previous. It additionally presents scuba diving and tenting alternatives. 

There are two campsites accessible for in a single day use solely for many who want to spend time in nature away from all of it. Each has entry to pit bogs and a picnic desk however no showers or firewood.

16. Get Some Fresh Air at McWay Falls

McWay Falls Aerial View

Address: 52801 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

If you end up in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, be certain to go to McWay Falls. McWay Falls is likely one of the most stunning waterfalls in California. It’s an 80-foot waterfall that flows straight into the Pacific Ocean from McWay Creek in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. 

The path to McWay Falls is a brief stroll by way of the woods. But after you arrive on the falls, there are many locations to sit down on rocks and watch the water stream over them.  Depending on the tide, you possibly can catch it both at excessive or low tide (it’s a tidefall, in spite of everything).   

The waterfall is a good place to get some contemporary air and benefit from the views of the ocean and surrounding hillsides whereas listening to the sound of speeding water. Unfortunately, entry to the seashore under is off-limits to maintain it pristine. 

See Related: Best Boundary Waters Waterfalls You Need to Visit

17. Enjoy a Peaceful Break at New Camaldoli Hermitage

Address: 62475 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

New Camaldoli Hermitage is an oasis of peace and an idyllic place to spend a day. The hermitage is a monastic retreat based by Saint Romuald in 1012.  The neighborhood of Roman Catholic monks lives right here for contemplation and prayer. 

It’s positioned on prime of a hill surrounded by nature, with views of the ocean under and the Santa Lucia Mountains within the distance. The grounds are peaceable, and you may admire the structure and art work all through the constructing.

Enjoy a break from society and the flood of sounds on this stunning place on a shocking Big Sur Ridge. You may also keep in a single day in one of many non-public rooms when you’d wish to spend extra time there than simply touring across the grounds throughout your go to.

18. Hike Cone Peak Summit Trail

Cone Peak Summit Trail Scenery

Location: CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

The Cone Peak Summit Trail is likely one of the hottest hikes in Big Sur, and for purpose. The path presents a singular perspective f the Big Sur space, together with beautiful ocean and coastal panorama views. 

The path is usually used for backpacking, climbing, and tenting. There are many locations alongside this hike the place you possibly can cease and benefit from the view, however don’t neglect to proceed! Once you attain  Cone Peak Summit, you’ll have beautiful views of your entire Lucian Range. The path additionally presents wonderful sundown views and is open year-round. 

The path is a difficult route that takes a mean of 13 h 26 min to finish—meaning you’ll want loads of time when you’re going to do it in sooner or later! 

This hike is nice for {couples} who will love exploring the forest and discovering a few of the hidden treasures alongside the best way.

19. Explore The Oldest Redwood Groves at Limekiln State Park 

Redwoods in Limekiln State Park

Address: 63025 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Limekiln State Park is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Big Sur with household.  It is a well-liked spot for many who love nature, particularly those that love redwoods and climbing. 

The park additionally has a few of the oldest redwood groves in California, which makes it a super vacation spot for lovers of nature and historical past. The park is known for its redwood groves, a few of that are over 100 years previous! 

Limekiln State Park additionally has three most important trails that result in beautiful views, bridges, 100 years previous lime kilns, and a towering 100-foot waterfall, all of which make for stunning photograph alternatives!  

The better part about Limekiln State Park is that it’s not crowded like another state parks in Big Sur. This means you possibly can get pleasure from your time with household there with out having to struggle crowds!

See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November

20. Go Beachcombing at Sand Dollar Beach 

Sand Dollar Beach Aerial View

Address: 69232 Cabrillo Hwy, Big Sur, CA 93920

TheSand Dollar Beach is positioned on Highway 1, about 7 miles south of Limekiln State Park. The sand is roofed with washed-up sand {dollars}, that are simple to identify alongside the shoreline.

The sandy seashore is understood for its lengthy and constant wave patterns, making it an ideal spot for browsing. It’s additionally an ideal place for beachcombing. There are additionally loads of rocks to discover when you’re not into browsing.

Sand Dollar Beach can also be dwelling to a number of actions, all inside strolling distance. Besides browsing and swimming, it’s additionally place for birding or fishing. The close by campground has campsites with picnic tables, barbecue pits, and lots of extra services.

21. Go On A Wildlife Adventure at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Scenery

Address: 62 CA-1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

If you’re in search of a wildlife journey that’s enjoyable for the entire household, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a good place to go. The reserve presents spectacular views and quick access to wildlife. 

Point Lobos is positioned simply north of Garrapata State Park on Highway 1. The state park is dwelling to one in every of California’s largest kelp forests (70-foot excessive) and lots of species of marine life, resembling dolphins, sea lions, seals, and porpoises. You may also see otters within the space and even catch a glimpse of an elusive grey whale passing by. 

The greatest strategy to benefit from the space is by its quite a few climbing trails or kayaking alongside the shoreline. You can hike by way of the park’s coastal meadows or discover tide swimming pools with your loved ones. If you’re not up for that, loads of different actions can be found as properly.  

You can go on nature walks and bird-watching excursions the place you possibly can study every species that inhabit this space. You may even participate in guided hikes if you’d like extra details about the animals or vegetation residing right here.  

22. Enjoy Moon Bathing at Slates Hot Springs

Address: 55000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Slate Hot Springs is a spot the place you possibly can clear your thoughts and unplug from the world. It’s a scorching spring pool positioned on the Esalen Institute, 3.5 miles south of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. 

One of the most well-liked actions at Slates Hot Springs is “night bathing” – from 1:00 am to three:00 am. It is an entire expertise that permits you to calm down whilst you get pleasure from your time within the springs. 

There are a number of campgrounds for staying in a single day at Slates Hot Springs. If you have an interest in utilizing the recent springs for day use, you must register for one of many workshops that happen at Esalen institute. 

Escape to a gorgeous location in Big Sur and revel in a calming, peaceable day soaking in Slates Hot Springs. Advance reservations are required, so e book right this moment!

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Monterey, California

23. Visit Hawthorne Gallery

Address: 48485 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

The Hawthorne Gallery is your one-stop store for all issues artwork. The family-operated gallery is dwelling to native artwork, work, and lots of different well-known items.

It has been 20 years because the Hawthorne’s arrived in Big Sur. As an artist household, they’ve contributed to and discovered from one another and the neighborhood they’re part of. 

The Hawthorne Gallery prides itself on representing solely the best artists within the nation. Their galleries in Big Sur, CA, and Port Orford, OR, supply spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and are open each day 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Hawthorne gallery is a singular expertise the place you possibly can spend hours, even days, exploring what you like most! And afterwards, take a look at Nepenthe, a scrumptious restaurant throughout the road perched on the Big Sur cliffside.

24. Drive Along John Little State Natural Reserve

Address: 55420 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Visiting John Little State Natural Reserve is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Big Sur. It’s a small, 21-acre nature reserve positioned only a mile south of the Esalen Institute. 

A reserve is a good place for a scenic drive and a pleasant break from the extra in style sights in Big Sur. You’ll additionally discover a number of climbing trails close by, together with one which results in some stunning Pacific Coast ocean views. 

Sunset watching at John Little State Natural Reserve can also be a world-class expertise — a view of the blue ocean, azure skies, and rolling waves, and the country great thing about an historical redwood forest. It’s a spot the place you possibly can escape the hustle and bustle of on a regular basis life and calm down.


What is Big Sur recognized for?

Big Sur is understood for its stunning panorama, which has been described as “the most stunning coastline in all of California.” It presents many climbing trails resulting in waterfalls, caves, swimming holes, and different pure sights, making it an ideal place for out of doors recreation year-round. 

What is the most effective factor to do with youngsters in Big Sur? 

The neatest thing to do with youngsters in Big Sur is to get them out in nature. There are many out of doors actions resembling climbing, biking, kayaking, and mountaineering you are able to do within the space. These actions will enable your kids to strive totally different, enjoyable issues whereas being lively on the identical time.

What are some enjoyable issues to do in Big Sur? 

There are just too many issues to do in Big Sur to record all of them. You may spend the entire day exploring the shoreline, driving the Pacific Coast freeway, climbing the coastal trails or mountain biking by way of the woods, recognizing sea otters, or driving alongside the winding again nation roads.

What are some issues to do in Big Sur when it’s raining? 

During a wet day in Big Sur, you’ll nonetheless have loads of issues to do moreover simply hiding from the rain. Take benefit of the Esalen Institute, Hawthorne Gallery, and Henry Miller Memorial Library. The Big Sur space is stuffed with thrilling museums, artwork galleries, and a few libraries, so take your choose!

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