Home Destinations 15 Best Things to Do in Big Sur 2024 for All Travelers

15 Best Things to Do in Big Sur 2024 for All Travelers

by Naoi Rei
15 Best Things to Do in Big Sur 2024 for All Travelers

Exploring Big Sur is like diving into a breathtaking picture where the jagged shoreline meets the vast wonders of the wild. This untouched slice of California’s coast is packed with loads of thrilling stuff to explore for all sorts of adventurers. From state parks to famous bridges and secret beaches, the pile of things to do in Big Sur sparks the imagination whether you’re on the hunt for action, in love with nature or simply want to chill far from the noise of city life.

1. Traverse the Bixby Creek Bridge

The Bixby Creek Bridge stands tall as a stunning masterpiece of engineering and beauty, making it a must-see in Big Sur. As you cruise over, zip to the side at the lookout to snap amazing pics of the shore and the bridge’s grand design. Catching a sunrise or sunset there turns the place magical with a show of shifting colors and shadows, creating a dreamlike moment for every visitor.

2. Wander Through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

For those who adore the greenery, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park sits at the top of the list of things to do in Big Sur. Roam through the sleepy redwoods and follow the soft-flowing river that winds through the park. Choose from a bunch of trails, whether you’re up for a breezy stroll or a bolder trek. Be sure not to skip the Pfeiffer Falls Trail, which guides you to a mighty waterfall, sparkling extra bright after a downpour.

3. Encounter the McGway Falls

Nestled in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park lies the magical McGway Falls. Pouring down 80 feet all year round straight into the sea, this waterfall is spied best from the Waterfall Overlook Trail. Though the sand below is off-limits to save the environment, the vista from above makes your trip worthwhile, providing a lasting memory in Big Sur.

4. Relax at Pfeiffer Beach

Looking for peace and quiet? Dash to Pfeiffer Beach, your ideal secret escape. Known for its violet sands, massive rock shapes, and big waves, this hidden beach is a true treasure in Big Sur. The path there might be narrow and twisty, but what waits is a calm, enchanting spot out of an ordinary world.

5. Conquer the Trails at Andrew Molera State Park

Another hit with the outdoor crowd, Andrew Molera State Park teems with miles of pathways for all grades of ramblers. Whether you feel like taking on the picturesque Bluff Trail or tackling the rougher Ridge Trail, you’re in for a treat with awe-inspiring seascapes, wildlife sightings, and a sea of wildflowers in the spring. Plus, it’s one of the few spots in Big Sur where you can go horseback riding with guides.

6. Explore the Point Sur Lightstation

For those who dig history and seaside sagas, the Point Sur Lightstation shines as a nod to California’s ocean voyages of old. Resting atop a huge volcanic stone, this age-old lighthouse still beams since 1889 and its tours offer a glimpse into its famed past along with unmatched views of the mighty Pacific. Remember to look up when tours happen as they’re mostly seasonal.

7. Seek Solace at Limekiln State Park

If serenity’s what you’re after, Limekiln State Park is the place with its cool forests and calming creek sounds. Set off on a gentle hike through the redwoods to find the kilns that once cooked up lime, or pack a lunch and chill by the stream. If you prefer the sound of the waves, this park also has a beach where the creek meets the ocean.

8. Gaze at the Stars at Big Sur Night Sky

Thanks to hardly any city lights, Big Sur’s night sky is a stargazer’s heaven. Spread out a blanket and gaze up to be carried away by a sparkling show of stars and constellations. On clear nights, even the Milky Way makes an epic appearance. It’s a pure moment of wonder under the universe’s twinkling canopy.

9. Savor Local Cuisine at Big Sur Restaurants

No trip to Big Sur is fully savored without a taste of the local food. The range of eating spots goes from chill coffee shops to fancy eateries. Dive into fresh, locally-grown goodies that bring out the true flavor of California’s riches. Snag a table outside to dine with a side of breathtaking views – it makes every meal an adventure.

10. Journey Through the Historical Henry Miller Memorial Library

The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a quirky bookstore and museum rolled into one, dedicated to the late author who was smitten with Big Sur. This cozy nook is a haven for bookworms and those curious about Miller’s story. With frequent happenings like concerts and readings, it’s a lively spot that thrives on art and togetherness.

11. Unwind at the Esalen Institute

The Esalen Institute is more than a retreat; it’s a life-changing adventure. Famous for its mind-body-soul workshops and perched on cliffs above the waves, Esalen is a place to rediscover yourself. A visit there is a shot at personal revival and wellness against the glorious backdrop of Big Sur.

12. Take a Scenic Drive Along Highway 1

Looking for a simple thrill? Zip along the iconic Highway 1. This road features some of the most jaw-dropping coastal vistas on the planet. Every curve offers a fresh scene, so take it slow, hit the many viewpoints, inhale deeply the ocean air, and bask in the splendor of the Pacific coastline.

13. Discover the Coastal Redwoods at Garrapata State Park

Garrapata State Park invites you to wander under the sky-high coastal redwoods, some of the loftiest trees around. With both rugged seashores and dense forests, it dishes out a bunch of cool spots for photos and watching animals in the wild. The Garrapata Beach and cliffs are also ideal for some solo time to think.

14. Browse the Galleries of Big Sur’s Local Artists

The incredible landscapes of Big Sur have nudged countless artists to create. Galleries peppered along the coast show off home-grown talent through photos, paintings, sculptures and more. It’s a chance to bask in and maybe buy a slice of Big Sur’s creative flair, a sweet way to remember your journey and cheer on area artists.

15. Join a Yoga Class with a View

Sink into the tranquility of Big Sur by hitting up a yoga session in this beautiful setting. With nothing but sea sounds in the background and the clean, salty air, yoga becomes a truly healing ritual. Classes pop up in different spots, even on clifftops or in the redwood glades, blending physical moves with peaceful thoughts.

FAQ 1: What is the best time to visit Big Sur?

The prime time to hit Big Sur is usually during spring or autumn when the weather is nice and there aren’t too many people. Springtime makes everything extra pretty with wildflowers in full bloom, adding dabs of color. Yet Big Sur is great all year, depending on what activities you’re into and if you’re looking for quiet.

FAQ 2: Are the roads in Big Sur safe to drive?

While driving in Big Sur, notably on Highway 1, is mostly safe, the roads are also tight, twisty and sometimes closed due to landslides or repairs. Always keep up with road news, drive with care, and be ready for some mountain driving.

FAQ 3: Do I need any permits to hike in Big Sur?

Certain spots in Big Sur may ask for a permit or charge an entrance fee, mainly state parks. It’s smart to check ahead and get ready. For those planning to backpack and camp, you usually need a permit from the local park’s visitor center.

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More