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Icon of Bixby Bridge in Big Sur

Big Sur & The California Coast

A quintessentially beautiful stretch of American coastline

« All America the Beautiful | Last Updated 2022

If you ever get the chance, jump into a red convertible, roll the windows down, and cruise down the winding cliffs of Big Sur with the sea-salt wind in your hair – there are very few things more epic. Each turn brings stunning vistas of the Pacific below or rolling hills gracefully spanned by picturesque arched bridges, and you can’t help but feel a sense of freedom and being alive. It’s at once massive and intimate; huge jagged cliffs spilling into vast oceans mixed with sublime personal experience.

The mystique of Big Sur has been cultivated over time. Many famous people have contributed stories, art, music and other homages – none perhaps more famous than Jack Kerouac himself, whose “Big Sur” and “On the Road” both memorialize the region and lend it a certain allure, like an invitation to find one’s self in cavernous California valleys a la the author. These and the other tributes have solidified the region as one of America’s most picturesque, admired, and well known. Anyone who’s been lucky enough to drive down Highway 1 won’t soon forget this memorable, un-missable stretch of it.

Elements

Sight

Stunning, idyllic vistas

The coastline has no shortage of absolutely stunning scenes, none greater perhaps than a waterfall onto a sandy beach

Sight

Jagged, rocky coasts

During nearly every mile of this coastline, jagged cliffs drop off into the water dramatically or chunky rock formations dot the shoreline

Sight

Echoing coastlines

Round most curves on Route 1 and you will witness coastlines that echo repeatedly into the distance

Sight

Arched bridges

This region’s beauty is natural, but the man-made bridges spanning cliff-peaks complement it nicely

Smell

Smell of fresh sage & citrus

If you’re driving, don’t forget to roll down the window and smell the intoxicating fresh sage and citrus

Feel/Experience

Spirit of Jack Keroauc

The legacy of Jack Kerouac lives on in these shores, thanks to his book about the region and countless tributes to him in songs, movies and other literature

Experience It

Internet icon

Drive the coastline

There is of course no better way to get a real sense of the region’s majesty than by hopping in a car and exploring its every curve.

Book

Read "Big Sur" by Jack Kerouac

In this novel by esteemed Beat writer Jack Kerouac, the region itself might as well be a character. Experience what made Jack so found of these golden cliffs.

Music

Listen to "One Fast Move or I'm Gone" by Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar

Need a soundtrack for your drive down the coast? Toss this album on and enjoy a raw, Americana-filled tour through Kerouac-inspired musical scenery.

Comment? Contribution?

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