I grew up in Northern California, just south of San Francisco in a city called Cupertino. Sometimes when you’re from an area, you take it for granted. Although my parents took my siblings and me on trips around the area to Carmel, Monterey, and more, I guess I was just too young to appreciate it. So, when my friend Lauren came to visit, I decided it was time to head down south to give some of those cities and Big Sur a visit. It was just a weekend trip, Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, but we stopped by some of the coastal cities on the way to and back that it felt so long! In a good way of course. The coastal city tour part of the photo diary to come, but I thought I would share some of my highlights from our Saturday in Big Sur. A day was not enough to explore everything that Big Sur has to offer! The entire trip (coastal drive included) is probably my new favorite CA experience.
We drove down on Saturday morning from Carmel (which is where we were staying) and stopped at many of the beautiful points to take pictures (above). After passing the famous Bixby Bridge, our first stop was Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for a 2+ mile hike to see the Pfeiffer Falls. Although it was pretty hot, the path was mostly shaded and kept us mostly cool. Such a pretty hike.
After finishing up the hike, we worked up our appetite for lunch and headed up to Port Ranch Inn to eat at Sierra Mar (reservations needed). The restaurant is at top of a hill and I imagine it could have amazing views. Since it was very foggy, it felt like we were eating on clouds which was actually pretty cool. The temperatures were perfect to eat our indulgent three-course lunch. We lounged there for awhile, enjoying amazing food and a few fun cocktail (vodka, cilantro, jalapeno, lime – yum!) and a cappuccino before heading on our way to the McWay Falls.
Big Sur has many sights and parks to choose from but the McWay Falls is the one that must make your list. It is one of the few waterfalls in the US that goes into the ocean. And it’s a very short walk (not a hike) once you park. It feels very tropical and you forget that you’re only in California.
Our 3 stops (“official” stops – we made a few stops along the coast for pictures and to soak in the scenery) took the entire day, so after the waterfall we headed back to Carmel to enjoy our evening in town. More to come on the rest of our trip, which also comes highly recommended! I am looking forward to heading to Big Sur again soon to check out some more sights.