Discovering the Adventure
Big Sur Attractions

Big Sur Attractions:
From Beaches to Spirit Gardens

These are some of the special Big Sur attractions that are must includes for your see & do list, whether you visit Big Sur for a weekend or for a month; whether you come to indulge your inner spirit or your outer flesh; whether you're into camping in a tent over 5-star spas or vice versa.

You can't help but be taken in by the beautiful scenery of Big Sur.

Fog shrouded cliffs plummeting to meet the ocean below with sandy strips of beach, sea stacks and rock archways rising above the blue waters...

Hillsides covered in a kaleidoscope of  wildflower colors in Spring...

Bridges spanning cavernous valleys far below, and the towering redwoods and rushing streams of Big Sur's forests.

And first-time visitors often think that's it - that's Big Sur. We're here to tell you, you haven't seen the half of it! Explore the educational, spiritual, and intellectual potential of humans through Big Sur art galleries, spirit gardens, and libraries.

Pamper yourself with gourmet dining and spa resorts. Browse the shops and boutiques for the unique and locally made. This beautiful area offers much more than Big Sur beaches and Big Sur camping!

Big Sur Attractions:
6 of Our Favorite Big Sur Things To Do

Big Sur Village

This little hamlet is rustic and charming as it meanders for about a mile along the Big Sur River Valley. It's situated inland, away from the coastal cliffs and the beaches, but the lovely river and forested valley provide other charms.

Big Sur Galleries

Considering all the poets, artists, travelers and vagabonds, Hippies, writers, Bohemians, New Agers, and Gestalters that have frequented Big Sur's landscape, it's not surprising to find many art galleries, museums, and establishments of local color!

Big Sur Village

This little hamlet is rustic and charming as it meanders for about a mile along the Big Sur River Valley. It's situated inland, away from the coastal cliffs and the beaches, but the lovely river and forested valley provide other charms.

Three of the most notable are: the Coast Gallery - the first gallery in Big Sur; Del Campo Gallery - fine art from local artists; and the Henry Miller Library - much more than just a library!

Nepenthe Restaurant, the Phoenix Shop, and Café Kevah

Nepenthe is more than just a local restaurant - it's an experience!

Built literally by hand in the late 1940s by Lolly and Bill Fassett, and still run by their children and grandchildren, Nepenthe is a magical gathering place high above the Pacific Ocean. Dine on fabulous food, join friends and strangers alike around the fireplace for drinks - it's that kind of place!

Added to the complex later, the Phoenix Shop offers unique, often one-of-a-kind or limited edition, items from local artisans and from artisans around the world. And the Cafe Kevah offers gourmet coffee and a quick something to nosh.

Point Sur Light House

Situated on a point of land that juts out into the Pacific Ocean,  the Point Sur Light House, which still guides ships away from the dangerous shores, is no longer operated by families living on the point.

Take a guided tour to explore the lighthouse while learning the story of Point Sur, the families who lived their lives in isolation, and the crash of the USS Macon.

Bixby Bridge

It was the building of this 714 foot long, 280 foot high bridge that enabled the automobile to travel from Monterey to the Big Sur River Valley in 1932 - a 30 mile trip that had previously taken three days round trip!

In addition to bringing the peoples and the communities of the Big Sur area closer together, the building of Bixby Bridge and the whole Big Sur Highway 1 project were important to the people suffering through the Great Depression - both were among the hundreds of Public Works projects created to put the unemployed to work while enhancing the country and helping the economy to recover.

The Esalen Institute

Big Sur's first tourist attraction! Owner, Thomas Slate found relief for his arthritis by soaking in the hot springs on the property. Smart man that he was, he soon opened his hot springs to the public and people came to "take the waters" for whatever ailed them.

In the early 1960s the first counterculture seminar was led by Alan Watts and the Esalen Institute was born. It was the place of Gestalt Therapy, holistic exploration of the human potential, an inter-weaving of Eastern and Western philosophies - in short, Esalen was and is the place where people were free to think about, to experiment with, and to explore new ways of approaching life and learning.

There you have it - some of our favorite Big Sur attractions! There really are wonderful reasons to explore this wonderful section of the California coast besides Big Sur beaches and Big Sur camping. Take a trip there and you'll discover like we have, that it's a magical place indeed!

In the meantime, to learn more about more Big Sur attractions, click on one of the links below

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