We loved hearing from Jenny and Riley about their triumphant return to Big Sur after the re-opening of Pfeiffer Bridge. Like many California transplants, they fell in love with Highway 1, which they refer to as “the best coast!”
Where are you from, and what are inspired you to take a Big Sur road trip?
My husband and I are from Michigan, we moved to the East Bay Area last year for new job opportunities. I had been a travel RN at Lucile Packard a few years ago when we were dating. We visited Big Sur during that time and fell in love. We have been waiting for the road to open up for us to get back down there, and it did just in time for our first anniversary. Our memories of the winding road, costal views, and gorgeous hikes were what brought us back.
What was your favorite stop along the road trip or most memorable moment… and why?
My most memorable stop along the road trip was Pfeiffer Beach. We visited on a gorgeous day and walked along the ocean, taking in the views and marveling at the rock formations. The breeze brought us a pleasant cool down, and the waves were crashing into the rocks creating dramatic explosions of water. I felt like I could sit and watch this forever. My husband reminded me that we had stood in these same spots, two years ago, back when we had no idea if we would ever return. Big Sur will forever provide us with feelings of nostalgia and resurface those sweet memories from when we were dating.
What recommendations or tips do you have for fellow Big Sur road trippers?
I recommend to anyone going, to bring a camera. Big Sur is generous with its sights, colors, and ocean views. Drive carefully and be prepared to stop at pullovers… allow extra time for this. Be adventurous and try a hike! We stopped and followed an unmarked path down to the ocean along Highway 1, finding a cave that opened up to the waves crashing over teeming tide pools. There are so many treasures waiting to be discovered in Big Sur. Be sure to stop and view McWay Falls across from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Packing food is optional. We had snacks but we stopped for dinner at Nepenthe, a restaurant with everything to offer, and it was overlooking the Pacific. There are plenty of souvenirs in their Phoenix gift shop to bring back home. If accommodation prices are a bit steep, and you wish to stay, try camping. We pitched our tent at Ventana, and enjoyed an evening bonfire, a night under the stars, and the fresh air of a new morning. Amenities were near, no need to worry about “roughing it” in Big Sur.
What advice would you give road trippers to connect with nature and the local environment of Big Sur?
I would advise road trippers to leave Big Sur the way they found it, if not better. This environment deserves a lot of respect. The beauty and accessibility combined offer us with an amazing opportunity to connect with nature in a big way. It is hard to remember work, stress, or responsibilities when you are exploring Big Sur. If you haven’t yet, I urge you to take an unplugged drive down the beautiful highway 1, along what I like to call “the best coast.”