I recently returned from a ten day drive up the California coast with my friend Annie. Highlights included Big Sur, Napa and Sonoma, and San Francisco. This post is a photo diary of the Big Sur portion.
I had heard so many stories about Big Sur, that my expectations were pretty high on the drive up Highway One from LA. However, as I rounded that first bend and the open cliffs dropped in deference to the vast ocean I definitely lost my breath for a moment. Big Sur is not your typical state park. For one thing, it is predominantly located around a highway, on an arrow-like mission along the rugged coast. There are a few points where you can actually turn into the wilderness, park your car, and hike the trails, but the most photographed views are those from the side of the road. There are a few designated Vista Points along the way where you can pull over and admire the view, however more often than not you will see people pulling over anywhere along the stretch of highway, racing to capture the view that stretches endlessly before you.
I spent two nights in Big Sur at the Big Sur River Inn, an adorable cabin style bungalow I highly recommend. I went hiking in the Andrew Molera State Park and found an isolated beach just waiting for me. Another highlight was definitely the views from Nepenthe, a local watering hole with panoramic views of the Ocean from every seat. Each night I fell asleep to the peaceful sounds of nature and each day brought a new sense of calm that I had only dreamed of back in New York City.
As I drove off that scenic highway and onto more populated roads, I couldn’t help but miss the silence.