4 times when Big Sur and the Pacific Coast Highway blew us away

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    For most travelers, the Pacific Coast Highway is the Holy Grail of road trips. Here are 4 times it’s stretch through Big Sur lived up to the hype for us…

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    The Pacific Coast HIghway: it’s a road trip that just can’t be done without rolling the windows down, cranking some Beach Boys, and letting the stunning vistas wash over you. No wonder it’s one of the most popular road trips in the entire world. Of the hundreds of miles of coastline, the Big Sur section, roughly 90 miles leading up to Monterey, CA, might offer some of the very best sights of the whole highway. Here are 4 times when Big Sur left us absolutely speechless…

    Crossing Bixby Bridge

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    Built as a critical connection for the folks of Big Sur to their northern neighbors in Carmel, Bixby Bridge has gone from being a welcome supply bridge to an international icon for travel. Watch a car commercial lately? Yeah, that’s probably Bixby Bridge you saw. It’s just perfectly photogenic in every way.

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    (See more photos of Bixby Bridge in our post about it)

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    Climbing the rocks at Pfeiffer Beach

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    Although the 2-mile road snaking up to Pfeiffer Beach can be a little tight to navigate, the beach awaits at the end like a sweet reward. Photographers have favorited Pfeiffer Beach for years, often posting up at the rock formation as the sea billows in and out of the hole in the rocks. For us, climbing to the top of some of the rock formations offered unparalleled views of both the beach and the Pacific Ocean.

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    Hiking the Overlook Trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

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    There are pretty places, then there are beautiful, awe-inspiring places. Pfeiffer Burns State Park is the latter. While the park itself offers all sorts of activities, the must-see/must-do is a short hike along Overlook Trail for a view of McWay Waterfall and the ocean. Our tip: resist the urge to look toward the cove until you get to the viewing areas. It will honest-to-goodness take your breath away.

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    Catching a Big Sur sunset from an overlook

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    Well, for us, it was multiple overlooks as we stopped, took it all in, then went further up the road for another overlook as the colors of the sunset changed. I could try to keep babbling about how gorgeous it is, but the pictures really tell a better story than I ever could…

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    This humble list is just a few of the hundreds of things that make Big Sur so special. In a world where we seem to over-hype places/destinations/routes, this is one that lives up to its hype and then some. Prepare to spend an entire day just driving the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. If you want to really experience all the area has to offer, go ahead and block out a weekend. You won’t regret it.

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