Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dreaming of California ~ Driving the Big Sur Coast

No more "California dreamin', California dreamin', On such a winter day". (Can you hear The Mamas and The Papas singing?)

Now, I'm just reminiscing about the two amazingly beautiful trips we've taken to California, this past year.
Today, I have been thinking about driving the famous Highway 1, down the Big Sur coastline. 

Here are some of the highlights that I would recommend:
  • Just south of Carmel is Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, the "crown jewel of the California State Parks system".  There are plenty of hiking trails and numerous views of the Pacific.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

  • Bixby Bridge is 13 miles south of Carmel and is one of the most photographed bridges along the Pacific coast.
Bixby Bridge
  • Pfieffer Beach is a really fun beach area.  It is a little tough to find, so check the website for directions and watch closely for signs.  If you have time, plan to stay a couple of hours to play in the sand and waves.
Pfieffer Beach
  • Nepenthe Restaurant has beautiful views, but it was too pricey to take the kids.  We enjoyed it on our anniversary trip last year.
  • Partington Cove is Josh's favorite spot along this stretch of Highway 1.  It is free to enter and there is a mile long trail that has three branches; one to a stream in the Redwoods, one through a tunnel and one to the beach area.  It has an interesting history, too!
  • Keep your eyes open for California Condors flying overhead through the Big Sur area.  It is one of North America's largest birds.  We were able to spot a few.
California Condors
McWay Falls
  •  Ragged Point is a fun place to stop and explore, stretch your legs and have a snack.
Ragged Point

There are so many places to stop along this scenic drive, that it takes books to list them all.  I just listed a few of my favorites. What are some of your favorites?

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