Most travelers want to take their time, making frequent stops at the many viewing points along Highway One to take in the staggering views and snap a few photos.
Big Sur is an area, not a town. It extends about 100 miles along the California Coast, starting just south of Carmel Highlands and running all the way to San Carporforo Creek in the south. Along this mountainous stretch of coast, you’ll experience some of the most beautiful and magnificent views in the world.
Closer to the Big Sur River Inn, you’ll find the Point Sur Lighthouse sitting on its own small mountain. In years past three different lighthouse keepers staffed the lighthouse, living on the edge of the world with their families. Today, the light is maintained via computerized controls and no one needs to be there on a full time basis. Learn the history of the Point Sur Lighthouse by signing up for a guided tour, led by lighthouse volunteers, and offered several times each week.
A short drive south of Point Sur, and just a few miles from the Big Sur River Inn, you’ll pass Andrew Molera State Park. This lovely little park offers beautiful hiking trails with mountain and ocean views, as well as a spectacular beach, about one mile’s walk from the parking lot. If you love horses, sign up for a trail ride on horseback with Molera Trail Rides.
Two miles south of Molera you’ll arrive at the Big Sur River Inn, known affectionately as the heart of the Big Sur community. Just as our River Inn sign comes into view, you’ll see an entirely unique Big Sur-style Valero Gas Station on the right, complete with our colorful ice cream truck (that no one ever seems to be able to resist). Just past our Valero, nestled among tall coastal redwoods, you’ll find our general store, historic riverside lodge with heated swimming pool, and our restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Big Sur River Inn is conveniently located to three State Parks. Staying with us, you have easy access to miles of hiking trails, beautiful beaches with tide p00ls, and numerous gift shops and galleries, including our own “Heartbeat Gift Shop.”
There is something for everyone right on our doorstep. You may even choose to spend your entire vacation on our scenic grounds, settling in next to the Big Sur River – lounging in a big wooden chair in the babbling water, with a cool drink in hand.
Point Sur Lighthouse
5 Miles North
A variety of tours are available (including full moon tours!) for the historic Point Sur Lighthouse, the only turn-of-the-century lighthouse open to the public.
Andrew Molera State Park
2.5 Miles North
This park is still relatively undeveloped and offers visitors great hiking, fishing and beachcombing. Miles of trails wind through meadows, beaches and hilltops.
Molera Horseback Tours
2.5 Miles North at Andrew Molera State Park
Scenic coastal horseback tours in historic Andrew Molera State Park…including along the beach.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
2 Miles South
Offers swimming in the Big Sur River, camping, numerous self-guided hiking trails, including the Valley View trail with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the Big Sur Valley.
3 miles south, 2 miles West
Pfeiffer Beach is undeniably one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, open daily from 9am to sunset.
Henry Miller Memorial Library
5.25 Miles South at Graves Canyon
The Henry Miller Memorial Library was bequeathed to Big Sur by Emil White, longtime secretary of American writer Henry Miller and is a local center of musical and literary events.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
13 Miles South
This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well-respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country. The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged Big Sur California coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.