Roadtrip California: Big Sur Guide

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park SignOur guide to the Big Sur State Park. An iconic part of driving down Highway 1. With the astonishing views out over the Pacific, winding mountain roads and vast greenery, it certainly makes for the perfect photographs and why it must be a stop on your Roadtrip California.

Bixby Creek Bridge

One of the most photographed bridges in California. Due to its design and graceful architecture it is a great photo opportunity. It is known as the gateway to the Big Sur.

Big Sur Sand Dollar Beach Sand Dollar BeachSand Dollar California view

Sand Dollar beach

This was our first experience “wild camping” and also our last. We had read online about how easy it was and although this may be true we found it rather difficult. After many hours driving around we ended up settling in a hotel carpark and leaving very early the next day so not to be caught. But saying all this, we did end up experiencing a fantastic sunrise and enjoyed a great morning at Sand Dollar Beach.

Mcway falls
Mcway falls California

Mcway falls

The next stop for us was Mcway Falls. A beautiful stop along the highway looking down into a cove featuring a waterfall and some amazing turqouise blue water. This is a popular spot with almost every car pulling over to get a glimpse.

Fernwood camping California Big SurFernwood Resort Fernwood
Fernwood Big Sur

Fernwood Campground

In the Big Sur there are only a few campsite’s to choose from. Such as first come first serve and others you can book in advanced. We spent two nights at Fernwood and thoroughly enjoyed it. The campground is situated in the middle of a forest with a river running down among the trees making for a great place to relax and unwind. We payed $65 per night for this luxury.

Nepenthe Big Sur

Nepenthe restaurant

Occasionally you have to put the plastic plates and portable stove away and treat yourself to a nice dinner. We chose to visit Nepenthe. Aim to be there for sunset, sit back and enjoy the views and great food. I will warn you that it is not cheap but for the pure beauty of the location you cannot complain.

Sand Dollar Beach California

Some top tips for your visit:

  • Book your campground in advance to avoid not having a spot for the night.
  • Make sure you are full of fuel before you enter otherwise prepare to pay a lot.
  • Go for a swim in the fresh Pacific water at Sand Dollar Beach.

Big Sur Highway 1
Our conclusion on Big Sur:

The Big Sur is an amazing part of California. Staying 2 nights in Fernwood was slightly too long for us. We really wanted to spend a night at Kirk Creek Campground because of the location on the edge of the cliff but unfortunately it was fully booked.

Click here for our ultimate 4 week California & Nevada roadtrip travel guide.

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