Plan a Day Trip to Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California

As the weekend approaches, we look forward to the beautiful summer weather, and I have a perfect place in mind to escape the heat (or enjoy the sun!) and relax in the golden solitude of mother nature. I'm talking about the Pfeiffer Big Sur State park, located 26 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1. There are plenty of places to see in Northern CA, and most of them are great for day trips. But some of these places can get real chilly and windy, so it's always good to carry your coat! Pfeiffer is a beautiful beach, with a lot of scenic beauty and clean sparkling blue water, cliffs and trees. So I thought I'd share my experience with you, in case you ever decide to visit this lovely place.

It is believed that the name "Big Sur" is derived from the original Spanish-language "el sur grande", which translates as "the big south", and the entire coastal region between the San Francisco Bay area and the Los Angeles area comes under Big Sur Region. But the major attraction has always been the Pfeiffer beach, also a state park, or rather, the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, to be precise. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral trees and the most beautiful McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean, the beach and the fall with the rocks can be observed from the top of the several trails that run around the park. Between Partington Point and McWay Creek is the Underwater Area, which was established in 1970 and is now a scuba diving area for experienced divers with special permits.

Overlook trail is an excellent place to watch for gray whales migrating southward to their breeding and calving grounds off the Baja California coast in December and January, and returning north to their summer feeding grounds in the North Pacific during march and April. Sea otters can sometimes be seen in the cove, and harbor seals and California sea lions are occasional visitors. This rocky cliff is also home to many sea and shore birds like Sleek black cormorants, seagulls, brown pelicans, and black oystercatchers also make an appearance. You can find more information about other parks at this website

There are several nice restaurants and inns overlookign the sea as you drive up to the park. We stopped at the BigSur Lodge/Restaurant featuring patio dining right next to the Big Sur river. And they had chairs running along the small creek where you could sit and relax, leaving all your troubles behind as the tingling water soothed your feet and mind. The rustic yet luxurious hotels, or the numerous campgrounds cater to your urge for a weekend getaway or the adrenaline rush for some outdoor adventure!! There are also several spas along the coast which are sure to blow you away.

So what are you waiting for?? If you are in the bay area this weekend, try making a day trip to this heavenly place and rediscover your true self!!

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Anonymous said...

Have a nice weekend vacation....nice reading about this mind is now craving for the hills for a mini-vacation....have a nice Sunday!

Anonymous said...

I've been there and its really pretty! it's one of our favorite day trips:)


Susan said...

This reminds me of the ragged coast of Maine, a place I love to get lost in. Someday, though, I would like to see the Pacific.

chemcookit said...

I loved the small cascade on the beach when I visited the Pfeiffer Park. A wonderful place to visit, I agree!

Mansi said...

Thanks kalyan - hope you enjoy your weekend too:)

Susan - the Pacific is very beautiful, you should definitely visit some day:)

Michelle - thanks for the feedback!

Marta - I totally agree with you!:)