Discovering Northern California
Big Sur California

Big Sur California: Spend a Weekend or a Week

Big Sur California has a special, almost indefinable character to it that draws people to return again and again.

It's partly the drama of its isolation and its mountainous and craggy shoreline, but it's more than just that.

Big Sur is quirky!

If you want more words  than  that, I'd have to  say:  It's an appealing amalgamation of the Bohemian, Hippie, and New Age Counter-cultures with some subsequent and recent Gentrification thrown in for good  measure.

 On second thought...  Quirky does it!

Discovering Why We Call Big Sur California Quirky

People visit Big Sur for all sorts of reasons:
for its natural beauty,
to enjoy the California beaches and the wildlife,
to camp in its wildernesses...

But I think mostly, people are seduced by Big Sur's quirky character.

They might come initially because they've heard tales of the beauty of its coastline, but they return because of its personality.

Even Big Sur lodging can be quirky! Deetjen's Big Sur Inn has a Norwegian vibe; Esalen Institute will transform you during your stay; or you can stay in a yurt at Treebones Resort.

For one thing, it isn't any one place.

Yes, there's a town of sorts called Big Sur, and there's a river by the same name, and there's even the Big Sur River Valley.

But Big Sur is actually 90 miles of coastline, defined in the north by the Carmel Highlands, and in the south by the Monterey County border.

And it wasn't until 1937 - when Highway 1 was finally completed - that the area was opened up to people other than the rugged  adventurers who were sturdy enough to travel over the mountains on horseback.

Which contributed, at least in part, to Big Sur's quirkiness!

The area was so isolated for so long that the people who did come were vigorous individualists who tended to appreciate Big Sur's solitude and isolation.

Over the last 100 years, Big Sur's character and personality have evolved  through the eclectic mixing of the different peoples who have called Big Sur home: the Ohlone Indians; Hispanic and Caucasian settlers, farmers, and ranchers; poets, writers, and artists; film people and New Agers; and most recently, wealthy members of the entertainment and business industries.

Each has contributed pieces of the personality puzzle into the mix that makes Big Sur a quirky and endearing California vacation destination.

Why Do People Love Big Sur as a
California Vacation Destination?

Big Sur California is about

  • California beaches,
  • redwood forests and State Parks,
  • Point Sur Light Station,
  • hiking and camping,
  • historic pioneer cabins,
  • the Esalen Institute,
  • dining at Nepenthe's and shopping the art galleries,
  • whale watching,
  • sea otters and endangered condors...

and Big Sur lodging that ranges from primitive walk-in campgrounds through historic rustic cabins to five-star resorts.

I believe we mentioned that "Even Big Sur lodging can be quirky!" - witness the photo just above. That's the Big Sur River Inn where visitors enjoy cool music on a Sunday afternoon and staying cool in the Big Sur River at the same time!

If you're as intrigued by Big Sur California as we are, pick one of the links below and find out more!

  • Big Sur Attractions
    A 1960s holistic exploration of the human potential; a charming restaurant complex built on a family's imagination; a bridge that helped bring a country back to life...
  •  Big Sur Beaches
    They can be dramatic, peaceful, and dangerous, but they're always beautiful!
  • Big Sur Nude Beaches
    FYI - there are a few left.
  • Big Sur Camping
    If you love camping, you will definitely want to camp in Big Sur! 
  • Day Trips From Big Sur
    Things to do and see nearby.

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Related Pages
Northern California Beaches

Beach Safety Tips

Big Sur Beaches
Nude Beaches