Traveling in California? Make sure to put Big Sur on your short list of places to visit. The Highway one is a gorgeous winding route suspended between two awe inspiring natural elements. Poised on one side of the road is the Santa Lucia mountain range, and on the other the vast Pacific Ocean meets the North American continent.
Travelers can stretch their legs at the beautiful vistas and pull-outs littered all along the route. At one sandy beach elephant seals come to sunbathe. Other roadside stops allow travelers to peek over the edge, down the steep cliffs, into the frothy sea below. Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of a sea otter playing and eating among the boulders down in the waves. Whales are a common sight here.
There are hiking trails along the roadside. Some paths lead down the slopes to craggy rocks where waves crash and send up spumes of froth and foam. The pink blooms of the succulent ice plant, which grow wild here, tinge the air with their sweet smelling fragrance. Sea water collects in pools, and the huge rocks are great for climbing around on or stretching out in the sun. Other paths take visitors to one of the stretches of sandy coast where the powerful surf endlessly pounds the beach. There are quaint restaurants, inns and general stores along the way too.
In the summer months, like San Francisco to the north, the area is frequently blanketed in fog for at least part of the day. Some days this fog rolls in like a gray wool blanket and shades the area, limiting visibility and giving it a dusk feel.
Other times the incredibly blue sea shimmers under azure skies when the sun shines. All this moisture and moderate temperature is perfect for the vegetation here. RV’ers can back their rigs up to the bubbling Big Sur River beneath towering ancient redwood trees.
There are plenty of places in Big Sur to pitch a tent or pull in a trailer including state and privately owned parks. Make sure to call ahead to reserve a spot in the state parks because they tend to go fast. The privately owned parks are a little easier to get into, but they’re also more expensive. In fact, camping in Big Sur is not an inexpensive venture. Make sure to fill up the tank before hitting highway one. The fuel here is marked up to an outrageous degree. However, with a little planning this gorgeous locale can be enjoyed with minimal expense.