Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

big sur

The Best of Big Sur: Hiking, Camping, Beaches, and Waterfalls

Big Sur is one of the country's most iconic road trips. Some folks wing it, driving the 90-mile stretch of California coastline between San Simeon and Carmel and taking in the views through the car window and stopping at popular spots, but some of Big Sur's best hikes and waterfalls are easily missed when you don't veer from Highway 1. Check out these hidden attractions next time you're in the area. 

The Explorer's Guide to Big Sur

Sure, we all know the best places for a spa-tastic weekend getaway in Big Sur (the Esalen Institute) and where to get the best pastries while you’re down there (Big Sur Bakery). But while you’re at it, don’t forget to hit up at least a bit of all the spectacular natural beauty Big Sur has to offer.

5 Scenic Spots to Get You Out of the City

We’re all in agreement that San Francisco is one of the very best urban spots you could ever choose to live in. But ever now and then, we have to admit that these city mice have to get out into the country. Need a break from late buses, brunch lines, and your rent? Here are five gorgeous spots to camp out this weekend.

Five Must-Visit Stops on a Big Sur Road Trip

Few would argue against Big Sur as one of the great road trips, not just in America, but the entire world.  While the entire length of the California coastline is known for its dramatic landscape, rugged coastline, and sweeping views, Big Sur ups the ante. Today we highlight a few of the best stops on a Big Sur road trip.

The Road to Big Sur is Open: Go Now

A few weeks ago, Highway 1—which, since a landslide in March, had been closed about 13 miles south of Carmel—finally reopened, allowing drivers to pass both ways, shaving off about 3 hours of a hellish detour. Which means get thee to Big Sur before the tourist hordes know the better.

Recently, I did just that. Once you get through Carmel, driving down Highway 1 is a cliffhanger. It's exhilarating, for sure—while you're marveling at the scenes of immense beauty, you're also curling your toes as if this will keep your car from careening off the cliff. 

Help The Henry Miller Library Build Their New Stage

We've lusted after many an instantly sold-out show at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur (Arcade Fire last year, Animal Collective this April). Now the library is working to build a new stage––giving us even more reason to freak out at the ticket-sale hour and make the trek down south––and you can help make it happen.

Animal Collective at Henry Miller Library, Plus Henry Rollins & British Sea Power at Brookdale Lodge in April

Big things are coming up in Big Sur and Santa Cruz this April. folkYEAH! just announced three shows more than worthy of the gas money it'll take to see them.

Weekend Sherpa: Head to the Yurts!

Yurts are traditionally found on the vast steppes of Mongolia. But perched high above the Pacific Ocean, in California's own Big Sur, the quirky Treebones Resort offers all-yurt accommodations—though the Mongols wouldn't recognize the polished pine floors, queen-sized beds, and cozy quilts to keep you warm. All yurts feature wooden decks from which you can watch the water churn below.  And the large communal hot tub overlooking the ocean is a nice way to warm your bones while watching the sun sink below the horizon. If you're inspired to explore, Treebones' homemade guidebook offers detailed information on nearby hikes and beach walks. One favorite local pastime is jade-hunting along Jade Cove.

Daily Newsletters

Essential SF knowledge in your inbox