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5 Best Things to Do in Big Sur, California

Maya Pillai Aug 1, 2019
Big Sur nestles between Carmel and San Simeon in California's central coast. On its eastern border is the rugged stretch of Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean on the west. This place offers a panoramic view of the coastline, winding roads and seaside cliffs. Big Sur has numerous state parks for beachcombing, hiking and camping.

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Hike in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to see the McWay Falls

The state park is popular among the locals as well as the tourist. It has several trails that snake through forests to lead you to the hidden coves, waterfalls and creeks.

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One of the trails that is favorite among the hikers is the Waterfall Overlook Trail. The trail leads you to the McWay Falls that is known for its scenic vista.

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Carry your scuba diving gear with you. This is one of the places in Big Sur where Scuba diving is allowed. Visit this beach between December to May to get a glimpse of migrating gray whales.

A Visit to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer state park should not be confused with Pfeiffer beach. It is closer to the Los Padres National Forest with St Lucia Mountains on the western border.

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It is a hiker's paradise as Big Sur River transverses the entire park. There are many hiking trails here. The most popular is the trail to Pfeiffer Falls.

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Consider extending your hike up to the Valley View Trail, if you are hiking in Pfeiffer Falls Trail. The trail leads you to the historic 19th century Point Sur Lighthouse. It is situated on a top of a huge rock at a height of 361 feet above the Pacific Ocean. You need to schedule a guided tour to visit this place.

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Sand Dollar Beach Welcomes the Beachcombers

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If you are not interested in hiking trails then experience the largest stretch of unbroken shoreline in Big Sur - Sand Dollar Beach. It is a day beach that opens at 10 am, and closes by 6 pm. Here, you can enjoy picnicking, surfing, fishing or simply beachcombing.

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The jagged rock formation on the southern side of the beach is known to have minerals such as jade and serpentine. You can beachcomb for various items including rounded sea rocks that are left behind during the high tide. Simply, walk on the beach along with the waves. It is therapeutic.

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Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve beckons the nature lovers, photographers and scuba divers. There are rare plant species, archeological sites in this reserve.

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The hiking trails lead to shorelines and hidden coves. Whalers Cabin Museum, a small cabin built by Chinese fishermen of the bygone era is a must visit place. The timings are from 9 am to 5 pm.

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Point Lobos State Marine Reserve is known for its marine habitats. Though scuba diving and snorkelling is allowed, you are not allowed to get within 50ft of the marine mammals.
Divers should have prior reservations and each diver must carry proof of his/her diver certification. Water based activities are allowed only at Whalers and Bluefish Coves.

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Sunset at Key Hole Arch at Pfeiffer Beach

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Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach is absolutely stunning and the rock formation here is breathtaking. The beach is known for its purple beach sand and Keyhole Arch, a natural rock formation.
During Winter Solstice visit Pfeiffer Beach to sea the sunset. The rays of the setting sun comes perfectly through the Keyhole Arch creating an ethereal glow.