Going to BIG SUR…what are some not to miss places/trails?

We are camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur late August and wanted to know of some great trails to check out (we will have our 3 year old little guy with us)…also, what restaurants are good? I heard about Nepenthe, is that good? We will also be heading to Monterey/Pacific Grove for the day. We’ve already been to the aquarium, so we won’t be doing that this time. Also, is it true that Pfeiffer State Beach is a nude beach or is that a rumor? If it’s true, is it still suitable for our family to visit?
Also…if you’ve been, what do you think of the campground itself. We’re staying in campsite #123 in the south sites if you’ve camped around that area. I haven’t been to Big Sur since I was a little girl…but I remember it being absolutely stunning!
Okay, just one more question…I think. We are driving from So. Calif (near Pasadena)…We are planning to take the 101 to SLO, then Hwy 1 the rest of the way, which according to mapquest takes about 6 hrs. Now, if we decide to take Hwy 1 the entire way, say from maybe Ventura County on up, do you know about how much longer it may take? We love the California coastline and want to make the most of our excursion.

3 thoughts on “Going to BIG SUR…what are some not to miss places/trails?

  1. TopGun says:

    Don’t miss Hearst Castle
    Julia feiffer state park, there is a waterfall near beach
    Pt Lobos researve is picture perfect

    New state law it is illegal to be nude in state park.

  2. cami11a8 says:

    My favorite hike when I was younger was the McWay Falls hike in Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP, to see the waterfall falling onto the beach below. I also loved the Pfeiffer Falls trail in Pfeiffer Big Sur SP, which I guess is where you’re staying. They’re both easy hikes, and the waterfalls were great incentives to get me to the end of the trail. I still enjoy them. I also think Pfeiffer Beach would be fine for your family, it’s technically not a nude beach and although some people might choose to be they usually stick to one side of the beach.

    Nepenthe is a good restaurant, but it’s kind of pricey. But even if you don’t want to eat there, I’d stop by just to get the view from the terrace and to visit the Phoenix Bookshop that is located on the same property. The Big Sur River Inn restaurant is also good, and there is a little general store next door that has a burrito counter inside. The Ripplewood Resort also has a little restaurant that serves a great breakfast.

    As for your driving question, the drive wouldn’t take too much longer (not more than an extra hour or so) because in some places Highways 1 and 101 are the same route. So I wouldn’t necessarily advise it, unless you wanted to start the drive up from PCH in Malibu to Oxnard because the views aren’t going to be much better than 101. Definitely the drive from the SLO area to Big Sur is worth it just for the view, even if it is a windy road. You could also take a trip out to Hearst Castle in San Simeon if you are feeling up to it on the drive up the 1.

    Here’s a helpful website to hiking trails in Big Sur: http://www.hikinginbigsur.com/

  3. pickle says:

    yeah its a beautiful place!
    Ok mapquest is going to atomatically, at least attempt to get you the shortest route, but thats also the inland way. Take the 101 until you meet up with the 1 in San Luis Obisbo.
    It will take a little longer, but its totally worth it if you want to see the coast!
    I’m not sure about the state beach rumor, although a state beach would be more patrolled and so I doubt that it could be a nude beach…
    Enjoy your trip!

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