Despite route 1 being extremely crowded, it is by far one of the best scenic drives in America. The drive is absolutely stunning. From Monterey down to Big Sur, the drive offers multiple vista points and beaches to snap a picture, stare at the gorgeous ocean that looks like a thousanddiamonds strewn across a blue blanket, or if you are like me, people watch. In this case, tourist watch. My favorite spot had to be Bixby Bridge. It may be just a bridge but it had aesthetics with the beach and the turquoise blue waters, it was a stunning view.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park was a disappointment to be honest.This was the first stop and the website said they allowed dogs but half the trails in the park did not allow dogs. Our plan was to hike Pfeiffer Falls but with signs everywhere and other places to see before sunset, we didn't take the risk. We walked around for a total of ten minutes along the creek so Joose my dog could get some exercise in. What a waste of $10. No worthy pictures here. Next stop!
Pfeiffer beach was next with a decent crowd. It was so windy it felt like I was in a sandstorm. There was a few natural arch rocks that offered great views which apparently is one of the most photographed spots in Big Sur. How about them apples? In the water along the rocks there were clams and these neon green sea orchids so that was a must to take a picture of. We had to wait in line to park because parking was full but it worth the narrow road you have to take to get there. Make sure you don't miss the turn on Sycamore Canyon road because it is unmarked so you have to pay attention. If you are heading south on route 1 it's after Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park but before the post office on the right hand side. Oh! Make you have that Alexander Hamilton bill because they only accept cash.
Mcway falls was absolutely stunning. Watching an 80 foot waterfall cash into the ocean is something out of this world. This trail was about a half mile roughly stroll on a well kept trail that was crowded out and back. You can not miss this place due to the flock of cars and the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park sign across the road. I wanted to stay here and enjoyed this view for hours upon hours. My goal is to hang my hammock up and sleep overlooking the falls. I found a spot and I'm not telling til I do so:)
A few things to keep in mind while traveling to Big Sur;
- Plan ahead - We barely had any cell phone service (we have Verizon and AT&T) so bring maps, write down phone numbers, etc. (Write down numbers you say? I know we have to go old school here, suck it up you will be fine without Facebook)
- Big Sur = Tourist trap - The shops and gas station will light a fire in your pocket so be sure to bring extra cash for the $6 peanut butter, $3 for that soda you have been craving, $11 for that puny sandwich, or the $50 meals that will make you hungry in an hour.
- Staying overnight? - Don't stay in Big Sur unless you don't mind paying $300-1000 for a double. They do offer campsites but like I said earlier, plan ahead because they book fast.
- Have fun - Stay for a few days and enjoy the trails they offer, the stunning ocean views, and get off the beaten path to enjoy the region from a different perspective.