Canadian winters tend to be long…by February Canadians are looking for some “green inspiration”! We were lucky to have a late winter break in California recently and I can share some photos to brighten your day. Part of our exploration included the rugged Big Sur area south of Monterey. A two-lane highway winds some 114 kilometres beside the ocean, hugging the Santa Lucia mountains. Big Sur is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful undeveloped coastlines in the world.
The area was occupied first by the Esselen, Ohlone and Salinan First Nations. The first Europeans to see the area were Spanish, in 1542. Years later, the area became “el sur grande” or the Big South (Big Sur). It was part of Mexico until 1848 when California became part of the United States after the Mexican American War.
Today the Big Sur region is sparsely inhabited with under 2000 permanent residents. The region is protected by the Big Sur Local Coastal Plan, which limits land uses to small residential communities and ranching. The area is a popular destination for those living in the large cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as for visitors from around the world. The narrow road is often backed up for many kilometres in the peak summer season and on holiday weekends.
We were fortunate to have clear weather and the Big Sur’s stunning scenery did not disappoint! We stayed in Cambria on the south end and worked our way north to Monterey. We stopped at Ragged Point to watch the elephant seals and did a short hike in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to see McWay Falls which drops over a 24 metre cliff into the ocean. We had lunch at Nepenthe Restaurant which has dramatic views of the coastline before heading for Monterey.
Hope you enjoy my selection of Big Sur memories!