Big Sur

63 ratings (61 Epinions reviews)
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...keep your eyes on the road your hands upon the wheel....

Oct 23, 2001 (Updated Jan 22, 2003)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:scenery, wildlife.


The Bottom Line: If you have time on your side, take this route.

Since the days of flipping through my brothers surfing magazines Big Sur was a place I'd always wanted to see.I had imagined a somewhat bigger place though. For some reason I had pictured a small town with surf shops and craft stores.What I did find was a general store and a post office.We parked up, bought some food and postcards and posted them to the folks back home so they could ooh and aahh. The postman kindly stamped our receipt for us so we have our own, special, Big Sur souvenir.

The drive too Big Sur has to be one of the best! We started at Pismo Beach that morning, it must have been after 9am by the time we left. We filled with petrol then hit Highway 1. We stopped at Hearst Castle, had a coffee and looked around the Visitors centre. There is an interesting museum there that is worth checking out, it covers the history of the place and has some worthwhile exhibits.If you want to see the castle you have to take the tour.We passed on the tour and got back on the road again.

It wasn't long before we started winding our way up a hill, once at the top the view started to open up.I was a bit worried at one stage because my husband was spending more time looking at the view then the road. We are used to the winding, narrow roads as most New Zealand roads are like this.The day was perfect for the drive, blue sky and sunshine, calm blue sea and apart from a slight haze, you could see forever.

We were very lucky to be here at all as a few months earlier a huge mud/rock slide had closed the road.It had only just reopened and we were prepared for long traffic delays as they were still working on the road.As it turned out, the delays worked in our favour as it gave us a great chance to just sit and take in the view.At one stop, I noticed some kelp just off shore. I grabbed the binoculars because "you never know, I might see some sea-otters". I started scouring the kelp and I couldn't believe it, first one, then two, then three otters were bobbing up and down in the water. One was preening itself and the other two were floating on their backs, sleeping I assume.I had the perfect excuse to sit and watch them as we weren't going anywhere with the roadblock.It was great and they looked gorgeous.

Another stop we are glad we made was at 'The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park'. Keep your eyes open for this one or you will miss it. There is a great trail to a beautiful cove... you have to see it to believe it. The trail is easy going and is a great place to stretch your legs. Say hello to the friendly Blue Jay if you see him. It accompanied us on our walk and we ended up throwing it a few pieces of bread.

The drive eventually heads inland through groves of redwood trees.There are plenty of opportunities to pull off here and there all along the coastal section of the drive, but if you are coming from the south, some of the pullouts are difficult to get to.I assume you would get a far better view driving from the north as well, I'm sure I missed alot of the view from the passenger seat.

Driving along with spectacular coastal scenery and listening to Gary Moore's ~ Still Got The Blues ~ blasting on the radio, now, whenever I hear that song, it means only one thing and brings a smile.


Los Angeles -

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Recommend this product? Yes

Best Suited For: Couples
Best Time to Travel Here: Anytime

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