Where to? California, USA
Why you’ll love it: One of California’s most scenic drives, Big Sur stretches 85 miles down Highway 1, cruising the central coast of California, where the Santa Lucia mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. Big Sur is all about the great outdoors with nine state parks, plenty of opportunities for hiking and mountain climbing, and myriad scenic beaches along the way.
Be sure to check out Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where you’ll find one of the few waterfalls on the Pacific Coast that plunge directly into the ocean. A few other highlights include the Point Sur Lighthouse, a complete 19th century lighthouse set on a secluded windswept hill; Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is home to California’s Sea Otters; and Big Sur’s Cone Peak, one of the tallest coastal mountain in the states.
It’s ideal for those who want to reconnect with nature — partly thanks to the landscapes, and party because there is little cell phone service once you hit the road. So be sure to plan out your itinerary ahead of time!
Fun fact: Big Sur was once part of Mexico, during the 1800s when Spain and Mexico were battling for control over the area. A few decades later, the US took back California in the Mexican-American War.
Get there: Cathay Pacific and United both fly direct to San Francisco several times a week. From there, you can rent a car and drive 120 miles to Carmel, where Big Sur starts. It continues 90 miles south to around the San Simeon, though there’s no definitive end point.
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