Though our childhood memories and our deep home roots lie within Arizona, we still love that we were born in California. We feel like we can totally relate to some of the Cali life and to all those beautifully bronzed, beachy-waved, salty Cali girls (AKA not us. Pale skin for life). But really, there is just something magical about the West Coast. And luckily for us, we have a great buddy who grew up near the gorgeous lands of Big Sur and with her desire to show us around her childhood roads and homes, we took a 12 hour drive to her hood. She let us romp around her country homelands, seeing cows and horses, and showed us her favorite spots throughout Big Sur for a day. A DAY. Magic.
After we had the opportunity to explore many bits and pieces of Big Sur, we could rank our favorite stops. They were ones that had the best smells, the softest beach sands, the greenest plants, the most breathtaking views, and had the greatest amount of dogs present (obvi). We wanted to share three of our favorite areas in Big Sur and if you haven’t checked them out, you must — route them into your West Coast road trip. Or if you have, fill your adventure-mobile with gas, grab your fav sunnies, and visit them again!
1. Basically Any Pull-Off on Highway 1
We understand how non-specific this is, but honestly, EVERY pull-off that we decided to get our booties out of the car at were absolutely beautiful. As you drive along Highway 1 on the California Scenic Highway there are many moments when your car cruises through a turn and you’re hit with a stunning new view of the coast. Luckily, there are many areas along the highway to pull-off and get a better glimpse of the surroundings, even places where you can hobble down to get close to the water — and you may get a chance to see some tiny tide pools with really aggressive (but super cute) crabs.
2. Pfeiffer Beach
PURPLE SAND. Could we really say anything more? Oh ya… HOLE IN ROCK. Mother Nature just doin’ her thang! Pfieffer Beach is said to be at the heart of Big Sur and has been a favorite beach of many for years and years. It was such a peaceful beach for us to walk, squishing our toes in the purple sand. There were so many pleasant things to see. We witnessed an older woman with a large sun hat saving the crabs that had been washed up shore. We giggled at a little girl who was stripped down to just her lil’ undies, covered in sand, drag a seaweed that was 10x her size. We envied all the dog owners on the beach as they played some major fetch with their adventurous pooches, throwing balls and sticks into the ocean. It was a beautiful and relaxing spot, one we could picture ourselves laying out for hours, napping or finishing a summer book. Pfeiffer Beach is a day beach only and has a $10 entry fee, but it’s so worth it, we promise!
3. McWay Waterfall Trail
The views from the McWay Waterfall Trail are breathtaking. Each step along the easy, 0.64 mile trail gives you an inch of new coastal views. As you just about reach the end of the trail to a spot with a few benches to rest and enjoy the space, you get a WOW sight of the waterfall. We could stand there and watch it forever; the way the water moved endlessly down onto the shore and how the tides gently broke onto the rocks. It was very peaceful. The trail is quite easy to get to, as well. After popping it in your GPS, you can park alongside Highway 1 (extra view bonus!) and walk up to the trail head which you’ll see other folks doing just the same.
We honestly can’t wait to be out there again, maybe next time we do a super long road trip up to the redwoods, but we don’t think we’ll ever be able to do a West Coast drive without getting our feet on Big Sur. If you all want a little more info on the places we suggested, check out the Hiking in Big Sur website!