Big Sur Tourist Information and Tourism

(Big Sur, Monterey County, California - CA, USA)

Big Sur coastal photographOffering a truly enviable coastal setting and surrounded by no less than three significant state parks, Big Sur is the ideal place to come, if you wish to get back to nature. Some three million tourists arrive in Big Sur every year, to sightsee around the Santa Lucia Mountains, to explore the sandy beaches, and to enjoy recreational activities in areas of virtual wilderness.

The Andrew Molera State Park lies just a few miles to the north and offers gentle hiking trails, which ultimately lead towards a particularly beautiful beachfront. To the south, the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is especially close and offers the ultimate redwood experience, being home to the beautiful Pfeiffer Falls, an appealing rugged beachfront, and a handy tourist information center - the USFS Big Sur Ranger Station. Further south and close to the Esalen Institute, the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park boasts an impressive tourism infrastructure and awesome sights, such as the McWay Falls, which cascades directly into the Pacific Ocean.

Picture of beach and McWay Falls

Big Sur Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

The majority of the attractions around Big Sur are never far from the coastal Highway 1, which leads to a number of sandy beaches, including those around the Point Lobos State Reserve, Partington Cove and the state parks. Hiking has become a major pastime for both locals and visitors to Big Sur, with around 100 different hiking trails to choose from, offering some jaw-dropping views and mountainous scenery. Hiking is particularly popular within the nearby Ventana Wilderness, with trails leading to the famous Sykes Hot Springs. More information about Big Sur Tourist Attractions.

Image showing the Bixby BridgeA number of enormous natural landmarks grace the scenery surrounding Big Sur, with the marble mountain known as the Cone Peak being especially famous. Located on the town's northerly outskirts, the Point Sur Lighthouse is another important local sight, as is the very famous and Bixby Bridge, which spans the Rainbow Canyon with its elegant, sweeping arch. Located within the actual Santa Lucia Mountains, tourists holidaying in Big Sur should pay a visit to the New Camaldoli Hermitage, which is known for its superb ocean views and tasty brandy fruitcake. More information about Big Sur Landmarks and Monuments.

Beach picture, taken on a sunny Californian dayIf you crave information about the town's history, then a number of good museums are on hand to meet your needs. One of the best is the Molera Ranch House Museum within the Andrew Molera State Park, which is operated by the Big Sur Historical Society. The Henry Miller Memorial Library also deserves a mention and regularly stages local events, concerts and workshops. For art works, the Loma Vista complex contains a number of galleries, while the Big Sur Arts Center within the Village Shops stands out and even features its very own 'Hidden Gardens'. More information about Big Sur Museums and Big Sur Art Galleries.

Coastal view, showing famous nearby cypress treeThrough Monterey County are many wonderful towns and cities just waiting to be explored, including some of California's most famous tourist hotspots. Visitors from Big Sur will be easily able to take day trips to Carmel, Monterey, the Pacific Grove and Salinas. Further afield, San Jose, Oakland and even San Francisco are all within easy driving distance of Big Sur and each offer something quite different. An increasing number of holiday makers are choosing to initially base themselves in Big Sur for a few days, before touring other attractions as they head northwards, to the big smoke of San Francisco and its iconic Golden Gate Bridge. More information about Big Sur Attractions Nearby.

More Big Sur Information / Fast Facts and Orientation