Big Sur's Roadside Jewels


BIG SUR'S ROADSIDE JEWELS: WATCH THE VIDEO

Video Transcript

I always love to start my Highway 1 road trip at Carmel River State Beach. You virtually have it to yourself most of the time – white sand, gorgeous water and a spectacular view right of my first stop: Point Lobos State Reserve. An artist once called Point Lobos "the greatest meeting of land and water in the world." It's hard to argue with that.

With its rocky edges and inviting, tropical-looking lagoons, practically every perspective of Point Lobos could be a postcard. It's a place of refuge, for humans and all sorts of other animals as well, from seals and otters to nesting night herons and a convention of cormorants. As we head south, the views along Highway 1 continue to unfold – each at least as beautiful as the one before it.

Even the concrete Bixby Bridge, which first made it possible for automobiles to reach Big Sur, strikes a stately pose. And soon, another piece of history appears in the distance: the Point Sur Lightstation. We're now 19 miles south of Carmel, and the lightstation has been in continuous operation since 1889. The only way to see it up close these days is on a docent led tour, which I highly recommend scheduling.

Fortunately, much of the land around here has either been kept in agricultural use or preserved as open space – including a marvelous seven and a half square mile piece of wilderness called Andrew Molera State Park. I've been coming to Andrew Molera for many, many years. There's great hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as camping opportunities and secluded beaches. And the Big Sur River cuts right through it.

Amidst the streams and forests, some people do live here. We enter the village of Big Sur. It's strung out for about five miles along Highway 1. There are restaurants, motels, resorts, campgrounds -- many different options, many different prices. And at the very end is the famous Henry Miller Library.




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A Guide to California's Big Sur
Carmel River State Beach
Henry Miller Library
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Pt. Lobos State Beach
Pt. Sur Light Station
Village of Big Sur

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