Just an hour south of The Sanctuary Beach Resort, Big Sur is one of North America’s greatest natural attractions. A state park with long-running coastal cliffs provides breathtaking views of the ocean, and a rich local ecosystem that’s exciting for all sorts of nature lovers to explore.
For those who can spend some time there, and those passing through, this is our nature-lover’s guide to Big Sur.
A near 25-mile stretch of windy roads through Los Padres National Forest, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road connects U.S. Route 1001 with California State Route 1. It winds through the local forest, and up over the mountains and hills lining the Big Sur coast, ending with epic ocean views. For those in a car, it’s one of the best ways to get a full visual taste for the area.
Speaking of views, the world famous California State Route 1 is unavoidable if you go to Big Sur, and it’s important you take some time to appreciate it. Winding along the cliffs and coastline—the largest stretch of undeveloped shore in the contiguous United States— it’s one of the most gorgeous stretches of highway in the world, and especially breathtaking at sunset.
On your way to stay at The Sanctuary Beach Resort in Monterey, stop for a night and camp in Big Sur. There’s no better way to get a feel for the ocean breeze, the towering trees, and the magnificent wildlife than to spend a night sleeping amongst all of it. To sleep on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean, check out Kirk’s Creek Campground.
Big Sur offers a variety of hikes that can take you along the ocean, up into the mountains, to waterfalls, coves, hot springs, and so much more. Check out the park’s site for a breakdown of all the different day hikes that are available when you go.
Half of the nature you can enjoy at Big Sur is in and along the ocean. Whale and seal sightings are also common here for you nature lovers.