October 20-21

Big Sur: The Drive South

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We did a weekend trip along Big Sur down to Heart Castle, staying one night in San Simeon.

Big Sur Map

We leave early on an overcast Saturday heading south on 17 toward Santa Cruz. We stop at the beach in Moss Landing before hitting the road again toward Monterey. South of Carmel we stop at Monestary Beach. The sun started to break through some clouds as we arrived near Soberanes Beach by Garrapata State Park. We took the trail down to the white beach for some nice views. We stopped at the famous Bixby Bridge for more photos before heading toward Big Sur and lunch at the fog enshrouded Nepenthe Restaurant. This location is famous for it's views but it was hidden by the dense overcast. South of Big Sur we stop at Julia Pfieffer State Part and hike to see the spectacular McWay Falls which plumets directly to the sea. From there we drove almost non stop down to San Simeon. We did stop to see the fascinating Elephant Seal colony just north of Hearst Castle. Afterwards we checked into our hotel in San Simeon to rest after the long drive. For dinner we tried to eat in cute Cambria but Saturday night proved to be very busy in town. We ended eating at Manta Ray Restaurant by our hotel back in San Simeon.

Go to Hearst Castle

  • Crossing the summit over hwy 17 to Santa Cruz we see the fog

  • Toby at Moss Landing State Beach

  • Alan at Moss Landing State Beach

  • Moss Landing State Beach

  • Seaweed still life at Monestary Beach

  • Monestary Beach with the Carmelite Monestary in the background

The sun breaking through the fog at Garrapata State Park between Carmel and Big Sur.

  • Monestary Beach with the Carmelite Monestary in the background

  • The white sand beach at Garrapata State Park

  • The white sand beach at Garrapata State Park

  • The white sand beach at Garrapata State Park

  • The ice plant covered dunes of Garrapata Beach

  • Famous Bixby Bridge

The second most photographed bridge on the California Coast (after the Golden Gate), famous Bixby Bridge. The largest of the concrete arch bridges along Highway 1. Built in 1932.

  • Toby at Bixby Bridge

  • At Bixby Bridge

  • At Bixby Bridge

  • Point Sur lighthouse sits atop an old volcanic dome

  • View north into the fog along Big Sur

  • Lunch at Big Sur's Nepenthe Restaurant in the fog

  • Toby at a rare usable phone booth

  • At Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur

  • By the Partington Cove trail

  • McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

  • McWay Falls

  • Sea gulls at McWay Falls

McWay Falls spilling into the ocean at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park south of Big Sur.

  • At Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

  • At Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

  • At Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

  • The coastline north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

  • Big Creek Bridge in background the southern of the arch bridges

  • Elephant seals north of Cambria

  • Elephant seals north of Cambria

  • Elephant seals north of Cambria

  • Elephant seals north of Cambria

  • Our room 355 at Quality Inn in San Simeon

  • Sunset in San Simeon