Big Sur Attractions

Big Sur is as much a state of mind as it is a place, and since the area is primarily uninhabited wilderness, the list of things to do here boils down to the best outdoor activities and places to take it all in. Nature is king in Big Sur. Nowhere else on earth are so many diverse ecosystems within such close proximity to one another. Take full advantage of the myriad of outdoor things to do in this one-of-a-kind locale.

State parks reign supreme in Big Sur, so checking out the many beaches and forests set aside as protected land is a must-do. Of all the excellent parks and beaches, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve conquers them all. The "crown jewel of the state park system," Point Lobos offers visitors unprecedented access to the wilderness, both aquatic and mountainous, that make Big Sur what it is. Guided walks and presentations also put Point Lobos on the top spot.

The Sykes Hot Springs (Number 3) beat out some more traditional favorites, like the well-publicized Sand Dollar Beach, because it is a unique natural formation, even for California. The reward at the end of the somewhat difficult trek to the springs is a natural, stone-lined hot spring that reaches temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Relax and soothe your muscles (for free!) in a beautiful natural setting.

While Big Sur is stunning wilderness, it is possible to have an overload of nature. That's why The Hawthorne Gallery (Number 6) is included here. Founded and featuring the works of the extraordinarily talented Hawthorne family, the work featured here is eclectic and rare, just like Big Sur itself. The building the gallery is housed in is equally as remarkable, an eye-catching landmark on the Highway 1. This place is definitely worth an afternoon visit.

Above all, no matter where you go in Big Sur, you're bound to have an unforgettable, humbling experience in one of California's, and the world's, most loved and magnificent places.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Hwy. 1

State park... read more

expert pick

Sykes Hot Springs

Big Sur Forest Service Station, Highway 1

Hot springs... read more

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Esalen Institute

55000 Highway 1

Secluded, zen-like retreat and spa... read more

Ventana Wilderness

Hiking and camping area... read more

Hawthorne Gallery

user rating

California Highway 1

Works from the Hawthorne family and other artists...
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Nepenthe Restaurant

California Highway 1

Family-owned, historic landmark restaurant offering sweeping ocean views and delicious food... read more

Jade Cove Beach

California Highway 1

Beautiful rocky cove where jade can be collected in limited amounts... read more

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Limekiln State Park

California Highway 1

Hiking, camping and fishing can all be done in this state park... read more

Henry Miller Library

Highway 1

The spirit of the avant-garde writer lives on here... read more

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Central Coast Outdoors

247 Vista Court

For a guided adventure through breathtaking wilderness, try Central Coast Outdoors... read more

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Treebones Resort

71895 California 1

Stay in a yurt, experience the "human nest," and taste Mother Nature in every bite at Treebones Resort... read more

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Molera Horseback Tours

Highway 1

Ride through Big Sur's wild land—even cross the Big Sur River—on horseback... read more

Andrew Molera Classic Loop

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Andrew Molera State Park
Big Sur Station #1

The preeminent day hike in the park... read more

Henry Miller Memorial Library

Hwy 1

The spirit of the avant-garde writer lives on here... read more

Phoenix Shop

48510 Highway 1

Old Coast Highway

Highway 1 @ Bixby Bridge
Highway 1 @ Andrew Molera State Park

Coast Gallery Big Sur

100 S Highway 1

An art collector's destination... read more

Heartbeat Gift Gallery

Highway One at Pheneger Creek

Local art and art from far away... read more

Big Sur

Hiking, beaches, and fine dining... read more

The Allegra Spa at Ventana Inn

Highway One

Imagine a relaxing massage in beautiful Big Sur...
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