A day trip to Big Sur and back is completely doable from the Bay Area. My husband and I would often go as far as we pleased, then turn around to make our way back home. This is a very magical and special place and there is no wrong way to enjoy Big Sur! So, grab your coffee and get comfy… I’m here to take you on a journey to experience this beautiful patch on California’s coast!
The cypress trees and cool ocean breeze of the Monterey Peninsula feels worlds away from the bustle of silicon valley. The first stop is at Point Lobos. The sheer jagged cliffs, lush wooded patches, canyons, and wildflowers to one side, and the crashing waves of the Pacific on the other gives you a hint of the goodness in store. The landscape looks like it’s just out of a painting – the turquoise water, and the contrasting white rocky cliffs are indescribably spectacular. Great way to start the day off!
Next up is the most photographed feature along the coastline – The Bixby creek bridge. It is one of the highest bridges of its kind in the world, standing 260 feet above the bottom of a steep canyon. We spent a lot of time taking portraits against the backdrop of this iconic bridge.
Pfeiffer Beach is a pristine beach hidden behind an easy to miss turnout from Highway 1. The fine silt in the sand almost gives it a purple hue and together with the plethora of washed-up marine organisms give it an out worldly look. The Keyhole Rock is a popular spot here, offering gorgeous views and picture-perfect stills during sunset… Be prepared to encounter an army of photographers with their tripods.
As you drive down Highway 1 from here, the ocean turns to the most pretty blue-green color! It’s an amazing view with easy access from either side of the road and we took a short trail to get an incredible view of McWay Falls. This waterfall streams from an 80 feet high cliff onto a beautiful white sand beach below. It offers the prettiest sight of all, be sure to check it out!
It was getting dark and we decided to turn around. On the way back, we stopped at Garrapata State Park. This park is another gem with a beautiful beach and great views of the cliffs next to the ocean, with wildflowers blooming everywhere.
We saw more beautiful coastal formations and even pulled over to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, what a great way to spend a fantastic weekend together!