Day Trips,  Free,  Hiking,  Weekend Adventures

Big Sur Day Trip

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you just need to get away and reset? This week we all needed a reset so we decided to head down to the central coast for a day of sun and relaxation.

Big Sur is about an hour from our house and it makes for a great day trip! We headed over to coast through Monterey and stopped at the Lucky’s in Carmel, stocked up on some lunch items, and made our way down the coast. We were enjoying the drive and planned on heading to Point Lobos for some beach and lunch! As we rounded the corner towards Point Lobos we found a ton of cars parked along the road. We then remembered it is Spring break in most of the area…

We kept driving and found a nice large shoulder right before a vista point. There was plenty of room to safely park and enjoy the beautiful expanse of the Pacific Ocean while eating some lunch. We ate some lunch meat, cheese, and fruits & veggies. The weather was great and the view was amazing!

Looking Northwest
Lunch time!

We decided to keep on driving and headed down the coast to the Bixby Canyon Bridge. There is a road called Old Coast Road to your left, right before the bridge, when you are heading south on highway 1. This dirt road heads up through the redwoods and gives great views of the Pacific Ocean. You can find more about the road in the Guide to California Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails. Due to some mudslides and downed trees we were not able to drive the whole road however, the views we got were pretty great!

The Bixby Canyon Bridge

We turned back and then continued down highway 1 to garapatta State Park where we spent the afternoon exploring an awesome beach, and taking pictures of the beautiful wildflowers!

There is a small valley cut through the sandstone by a small stream. This valley presents the perfect conditions for a beautiful green valley packed with white lilies. Don’t miss out on this perfect instagram shot, just be careful to leave it looking beautiful for the next visitors!

Lilies, Stream, Ocean, Perfection?  ✅

The beach at Garapatta State Park is accessible via a single tracked trail through the coastal vegetation. There are stairs that lead you to a beautiful sandy beach, littered with large rock outcroppings.

With the bright blue/green Pacific Ocean in front of you, and the hard packed mud cliffs behind, there is hardly a spot more beautiful. Explore the coastline to the south and make sure to check out all the cool rock outcroppings, including small cave-like cutouts. Keep an eye out for sneaker waves, and make sure to keep track of the tide! After spending time taking pictures of wild lilies, playing in the water, and exploring the rock outcroppings, we packed up and headed back towards home.

After a fun afternoon in Big Sur we headed to Monterey to track down some delicious clam chowder and some calamari. We ended up at Scales in Monterey and we filled our bellies before heading home. The sourdough bread bowls are packed full of soup and are easily shareable!

Sunset in Monterey, with this crew? Sign me up!

The Big Sur area has so much to offer people of all ages and interests. We are blessed to be able to have Big Sur as a day trip. You can stay for a day, or stay for a month, and you will not run out of things to do. Enjoy the beautiful drive along the coast and then let all your stress go in Big Sur.

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