Big Sur is the most beautiful place on the planet. Hands down. I went to college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo which is about 1 hour south of Big Sur. My friend who is from the area planned a group trip to Big Sur and I had no idea what I was in for. We drove past quaint beach towns, had the windows rolled down, and made several stops at isolated, yet iconic beaches. The road began to wind up steep and magestic cliffs until we turned a corner that gave a birds eye view of the pacific for as far as you can see, with low, whispy clouds hugging the water. I cried a few real tears because of the sheer beauty of it.
The emphasis of Big Sur is not on the frills, but on the breathtaking beauty of the nature around you, making camping the perfect experience for taking it all in. Connor and I have experienced both the luxurious and the not-so luxurious (read: sharing a 3 person tent with 5 friends) sides of Big Sur and both are equally as special to me. So without further ado, here are the most underrated stops in Big Sur.
To get there: The road down to the actual beach is pretty obscure. From Big Sur Bakery, head north for about 1.5 miles. There is a turn on the left with mailboxes where the road drops down, turn there! I highly suggest routing directions from the bakery because without it, its hard to find the first time! The beach is gorgeous and has purple sand, a rock arch, and makes for a perfect beach day.
Prewitt Ridge Rd
My husband and I just camped off of Prewitt Ridge Rd. for our one year wedding anniversary. The views were astonishing and we were the only people in sight!
To get there from the coast: Turn onto Nacimiento-Fergusunn Rd. and drive for about 5 miles until you see a sign that says “Prewitt Ridge Rd.” Turn right.
Once you are on Prewitt Ridge Rd. it is legal to camp anywhere on the side of the road. There are a few pull outs with tree cover and benches that overlook the valley (which is beautiful in its own) but you have to drive for about 1.5-2 miles to get a view of the ocean. This is where my husband and I stopped to camp the first time and it was amazing! The second time, we continued for about 3 more miles to experience wide open hills on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Either way, the views are gorgeous!
Limekiln State Park
Limekiln is in south Big Sur and has all the stops… beach, a campground, forest, a historic point of interest, and a double waterfall. The hike to the waterfalls is only about a half mile. You cross a river a few times, so make sure to bring shoes that could potentially get wet.
Sand Dollar Beach
Sand Dollar Beach gets its name from its half circle shape. To get an incredible view, park in the Sand Dollar parking lot, but instead of going left to the beach, go right on a small trail to the cliffs above.