June’s around the corner and what better way to prepare for the summer than to read our suggestions of places to visit in Big Sur, California. Not only is it known for the views alongside highway 101, the diverse ecosystem is enough reason to get started on planning your trip. From the birds, to the sealife, the plant life, and everything in between, there’s a reason it’s renowned worldwide. We’ve put together a list of 6 places you must visit if you happen to take the journey down (or up!) the coast. Throughout this list, you may pick up on the daydreaming aspect of this quintessential location. 



1. Point Lobos State Park

    With an entrance fee of $10.00 per vehicle, Point Lobos is the perfect place to get in multiple shorter, easier hikes along the water.  It’s a ten minute drive from Carmel by the Sea and it showcases much of the admirable ecosystem you’ve heard so much about. During this visit you’ll most likely see pelicans, sea otters, possible whale and dolphin sightings, seals, and all types of Big Sur wildlife. The terrain is an addition to this experience with wonderful bright colors covering the coastal rocks and soft sand that takes you along the path. Don’t forget to check out the Whalers Cove, it’s the perfect place to find a rock and have some lunch. Here are some trails you might want to check out while you’re there:
A. Sea Lion Point Trail
Difficulty: Easy 
0.6 mile loop (20-30 minutes)
B. Cypress Grove
Difficulty: Easy 
0.8 mile loop ( 30-40 minutes)
C. Point Lobos Loop Trail
Difficulty: Moderate
5 miles (2.5 hours)



2. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park 
    One of the most picturesque stops along Highway 101 is the McWay Cove & Falls. It’s about halfway between Cambria and Monteray. It’s a short hike to get to the viewpoint of the falls. Known for its majestic blues, it feels like it’s straight out of Planet Earth. Along the route of this well known stop you’ll find Big Creek Cove Vista Point, and many other locations to pull over and take in these breathtaking views. Here are a few more suggestions:
A. McWay Waterfall Trail
B. Big Creek Cove Vista Point
C. Vista Point
D. Gamboa Point 



3. Bixby Creek Bridge
    Oh, Bixby Bridge. Whether you’ve seen it through film on shows like “Big Little Lies”, or through word of mouth, this infamous bridge can get pretty overcrowded especially during the summer. We suggest going earlier in the morning or on a weekday to beat the crowds. If you happen to arrive when it’s most busy, here are some suggestions when visiting to help out the folks who try to keep Big Sur as peaceful as possible. 
A. Do not park on the road
Highway 101 can be busy with higher speed limits at times, many blind spots from curves on the road, and it’s generally known to be dangerous due to these things. This is why there is designated parking. Just like the leave no trace principle points out staying on the trail, make sure to come back at a later time if the parking is full to refrain from parking on the roadside. 
B. Do not climb over guide rails
There are guide rails for a reason in these cliffside locations. It is for your safety. Remember to stay on the trail and take your photos from where everyone else has to take them. 
C. Do not walk in the road
As mentioned above, this is a very dangerous road to be walking on. Make sure if you’re crossing the street, you cross the street. Try your best not to walk along a road without a path. 


4. Henry Miller Library
    A library in the middle of the redwood trees with swinging chairs, meditative music, and a collection of art on the lawn. It sounds like the perfect place to pull over and take a moment for an indoor educational break. This library is also a bookshop covered in Jack Kerouac images, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, and more. You’ll find the meaning of “free spirit” in between the pages of these books. Buy a book and take a seat on the lawn in between your coastal hikes. This is a special spot you would not want to miss. 


5. COAST cafe in Big Sur
Is that trail snack not enough for the day? Coast Cafe is located right between the Henry Miller Library and Vista Point. It sits right on the side of Highway 101 with easy parking and lots to admire. This getaway cafe was founded in 1958 as a place for refuge artists and writers to escape to after World War 2. It was and still is known as a place for gathering, sitting right in the middle of the glorious redwood trees with a perfect view of the water. Not only does it host a cafe with homemade focaccia, hummuses, pizza, bread, both boozy and coffee drinks, but it’s a home for local artists to sell pieces in their gallery. There’s indoor and outdoor seating here as well. It's just one of those places you could sit at peacefully for hours. 

6. Deetjens Big Sur Inn
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Big Sur, there are many options of bed and breakfasts, along with other stays, but Deetjens Inn is that hidden gem with history. Originally a campsite for the Deetjen family in the 1930’s, this inn has had a humble growth over the course of its almost 100 years of life. You can find out more about its story here. In 1939, a restaurant was built by the Deetjens on the property and slowly an Inn was inspired for everyone to enjoy this magical location. Big Sur blue jays are always flying through the forest ravine the property is built around. There are different rooms and cabins you can rent per night with the same restaurant still in the works on the property. It really does feel like a storybook once you enter the premises. It sits back in the redwoods with some trails nearby for those who'd enjoy a morning or afternoon hike. There is no wifi and little reception, which gives that feeling of a getaway its title. Rooms range from $130-$430 a night depending on what kind of escape you’re looking for. As someone that has stayed at this Inn, the food was exceptional and yes, they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee/tea all day long. Many folks will bring bottles of their favorite wine or beer to enjoy on the guests individual porches or on any one of the benches spread out along the creekside. Check out their website for more information. 


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