Big Sur California Visitors Guide


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Welcome to - your complete visitors guide for all things Big Sur including comprehensive information on Big Sur lodging, restaurants, camping, hiking, beaches and things to do!  Please check back often as we will be frequently adding new reviews on the best restaurants, hotels, outdoor activities and upcoming events.  Check out our Live Weather Camera updated every 60 seconds 24 hours a day.


Big Sur was originally named the "El Sur Grande" or the "Big South" by early Spanish Settlers and stretches along 90 miles of rugged Central California coastline.    Although there are no specific boundaries for Big Sur, the town is located approximately 25 miles south of Carmel.  The rugged Big Sur coastline is situated between Carmel River stretching approximately 90 miles south to San Simeon.  With it's majestic landscape,  Big Sur is widely know as one of the most scenic driving routes in the world.


 Featured outdoor activities - hiking at Garrapata State Park


 Top things to do in Big Sur

Pfeiffer Beach Scenic Highway One - Bixby Bridge           Julia Pfeifer Burns State Park- Big Sur

Go camping: With its natural beauty and one of the largest road less areas near a coast in the Continental United States, Big Sur has been a longtime camping destination.  Choose from a choice of nine State Parks and multiple private campgrounds.  Many big Sur campgrounds feature overview camp sites.

Go Hiking:
 The vast Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range features incredible hiking for for the Beginner and expert hikers alike.  Choose from your choice of nine California State Parks from Carmel to San Simeon.  Many trails feature waterfalls, soaring peaks and multiple microclimates.

Visit Pfeiffer Beach:  Pfeiffer Beach is located off the beaten path two miles down windy Sycamore Canyon Road approximately 26 miles south of Carmel (Rio Road).  This picturesque day use beach is open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and features a long white sand beach, sculpted rock formations, steep bluffs and awe-inspiring sunsets.  Be sure to bring layered clothing as this beach is often windy.

Visit Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: 
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is nestled in the heart of Big Sur and stretches over 1000 acres of dramatic landscape.  Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is named after John Pfeiffer who was the son German Immigrants known to be one of the first European settlers in Big Sur.  This scenic state park is known for its incredible hiking trails and family friendly camping.  The park also features a hotel, restaurant, gift shop and general store.

Visit Bixby Bridge:  Bixby Creek Bridge is located on Highway One approximately 13.4 miles south of Carmel, California.  Bixby Bridge opened in 1932 and is currently the longest concrete arch span in California at 320 feet.  Prior to the opening of Bixby Bridge, travelers used the Old Coast Road which starts at Bixby Creek and continues 11 miles inland.  The Old Coast road is often impassible during the winter months.

Tour Point Sur State Historic Park:  Point Sur is located on Highway One approximately 20.4 miles south of Carmel, California.  The Point Sur Lighthouse is situated 360 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a volcanic rock and originally opened in 1889 to help ships navigate the rugged Big Sur coastline.  Point Sur is open for tours and is currently the oldest lighthouse in California open to the public.

Visit Nepenthe:  Be sure to stop by world famous Nepenthe restaurant (29 miles south of Carmel) for a wonderful dining experience.  Nepenthe is a landmark situated 800 feet above the Pacific Ocean and features panoramic awe-inspiring ocean views.

Register for a workshop at Esalen Institute: Esalen Institute is a non-profit retreat center dedicated to personal growth workshops specializing in spirituality, meditation, music and art, just to name a few.  Esalen is locate on Highway One approximately 41.3 miles south of Carmel (Rio Road) and 2 miles south of Lucia.

Visit Limekiln State Park: Limekiln State Park is located approximately 55.2 miles south of Carmel California featuring a 100 ft. waterfall, beautiful redwoods, scenic beach and steep coastal cliffs.  This California State Park is named after its four lime kilns used to harvest limestone in the late 19th century.

Visit Henry Miller Memorial Library: The is located approximately 29.6 miles south of Carmel, California.  The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a cultural art center and book store dedicated to the works of world renowned artist and painter Henry Miller.

 Search for Big Sur hotels online or call 1-800-780-5733  with Promo Code: 346957 for great savings!



 Upcoming Events
Big Sur Half Marathon
Big Sur International Marathon
April, 2013
Featuring one of the most scenic marathons in the world.

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Point Sur State Historical Park and Lighthouse 
Point Sur Moonlight Tours
August -September, 2013
6:45pm, Point Sur State Historical Park and Lighthouse, Big Sur CA
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Big Sur Jade Festival
October, 2013
12:30pm-2:00pm, Ocean Avenue, Carmel
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Point Sur 
Point Sur Ghost Tour
October, 2013
5:15pm, Point Sur State Historical Park and Lighthouse, Big Sur CA
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Big Sur Lodge
Big Sur River Run
October, 2013
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, 47225 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93921

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Nepenthe Halloween Bal Masque
October 31, 2013
5pm-Midnight at Nepenthe,48510 Highway 1 Big Sur, CA
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Point Sur 
Point Sur Ghost Tour
October, 2013
5:15pm, Point Sur State Historical Park and Lighthouse, Big Sur CA
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