Distance: 45 miles
Start: Monterey Bay Board Walk
End: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State ParkState / Country: California, U.S.A.
Highway 1 runs dramatically along a narrow, winding route carved out of the cliffs, high above the sea. Below
are rocky coves and crashing waves; inland are steep mountains, canyons and dense forests.
Most of the coastline is protected in several state parks, which offer hiking trails, campsites, wilderness
areas and access to sandy beaches and rocky shores. These include Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur
State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Jade Cove.
This 45 miles drive covers the Big Sur area and take in the California coast the way it is meant to be
experienced. From rocky embankments jutting into the clear blue waters of the Pacific to sea lions and other
marine life playing in the coves and on the beaches, Big Sur is arguably the best way to appreciate the natural wonders of the western coast.
Highlights: Monterey Bay, Board Walk, Cannery Row, Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, Carmel-By-The-Sea
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay is home to many species of marine mammals, including sea otters, harbor seals, and bottlenose dolphins; as well as being on the migratory path of Gray and Humpback Whales and a breeding site for elephant seals. Walk around Monterey Bay Aquarium area, and explore the nearby Cannery Row and Boardwalk.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, usually called simply Carmel, is a small town endowed with a rich artistic history situated on the Monterey Peninsula.
Point Lobos Reserve
Point Lobos contains headlands, coves and rolling meadows. The offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters and migrating gray whales (from December to May). Thousands of seabirds also make the reserve their home. Hiking trails follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves. The area used to be the home of a turn-of -the-century whaling and abalone industry.
Bixby Creek Bridge
Bixby Creek Bridge is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California. One of the most visited spots along highway 1.
Hurricane Point on the Big Sur Highway offers a splendid view of the dramatic Pacific coastline in spring.
Point Sur Lighthouse
Point Sur Lighthouse stand atop a dramatic volcanic rock just off-shore in Big Sur, California. The light is still an active aid to navigation and is open to the public.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State
This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country. The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.