Big Sur Baby! What to do on a California Coast Road Trip, Day Trip, Pit-Stop or just Passing through…
The coastlines of California are definitely a sight for sore eyes! Where the forests meet the ocean and you can take your pick of hiking under the tall trees of Andrew Molera State Park or strolling across lakes and pebbles to the nearby beaches for some tan time!
My mum and I were lucky enough this season to visit Carmel and we decided to rent a car and take a day trip out to Big Sur! With no real plan or purpose other than to see what the day would bring, here’s a few highlights that we got up to!
- Driving across Bixby Bridge California’s most instagrammed bridge after the Golden Gate, probably the most sought after feature along cali’s coastline and I might add pretty stunning to behold. There’s not too much crowd, a fair few but not enough where it’s impossible to get a people-less picture or enjoy your own space. We decided to drive up to the left side of the bridge (not the coast side) so we could park and get a picture with the coast in the background, way more space and could walk further down the track to get a more eye-level view! I personally think this angle was a nicer view then being coast side and adjacent to ol Bixby!
If you’re driving from Carmel you’ll run into a stop right after Andrew Molera where you have the choice of turning back and driving around to keep going down the coast or parking and taking a return shuttle to see more on the other side of the construction on highway 1. If you’re doing a coastline roady though, it’s probably not so great to have to double back, but if you’re just checking out big sur for the day it’s a perfect end point to start your day 😉 filled with tons of natural light, nature and a lulling sound of water running from the streams inside the park. Mum and I did bluffs trail, a very easy 1.7mile walk with very beautiful scenery and solitude!
Who doesn’t want to dine in the sunshine with people playing in the stream and the melodic sounds of forest nature around you, give me a peppermint tea and I’m as calm as a cucumber! I had probably the greatest steak sandwich I’ll ever have at Big Sur River Inn and we even got some complimentary mugs for it being mums birthday! Featured here my tri-tip sandwich and mums grilled veggie salad! Holy moly soooo scrumptious I’m craving it now! There was also a market going on and I bought probably the greatest face scrub and moisturizer/serum set I’ve used on my skin to date! Her name is ValleyBotanicals and she’s on Etsy!
- Big Sur’s secluded beach
I can’t even tell you the exact name of the beach because it’s nameless, that’s how secluded it is! Entry is either by horse or foot just before the entrance of Molera Horseback Tours, where you take a short trail of about 15 minutes down to the beach! I did fall asleep due to intense relaxation and got pretty badly burnt even with the slight overcast. It hurt to sit in the car after haha but hey, memories I can take with me and reminisce on every shoulder slap!
Driving the coast in general is very nostalgic and if the road closures hadn’t been there I definitely would’ve had my heart set on visiting Pfieffer park and venturing to McWay Falls!
But other than that, I think I ticked off a lot of must-do’s in Big Sur, with simply one day and zero plan! We didn’t feel rushed or like we had to cram it all in, in fact it all seemed effortless and leisurely. What a great way to spend a summers day!
Another plus, generally your phone doesn’t work, despite already enjoying the surroundings of the day, I wouldn’t mind going back for a weekend and getting “off the grid” it really is a very peaceful place with good vibes all round to unwind and soak in some of Mother Nature!