Top things to do

Top Choice Park in Big Sur

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

If you're chasing waterfalls, swing into this state park named for a Big Sur pioneer. From the parking lot, the 1.3-mile round-trip Overlook Trail rushes downhill toward the ocean, passing through a tunnel underneat…
Top Choice Lighthouse in Big Sur

Point Sur State Historic Park

A little over 6 miles south of Bixby Bridge, Point Sur rises like a velvety green fortress out of the sea. It looks like an island, but is actually connected to land by a sandbar. Atop the volcanic rock sits an 1889…
Top Choice Californian in Big Sur

Restaurant at Ventana

The old truism about the better the views, the worse the food just doesn’t seem to apply here. The resort’s clifftop terrace restaurant and cocktail bar are Big Sur's gathering spot for foodies and bon vivants. Feas…
Californian in Big Sur


Nepenthe comes from a Greek word meaning ‘isle of no sorrow,’ and indeed, it’s hard to feel blue while sitting by the fire pit on this aerial terrace. Just-okay California cuisine (try the renowned Ambrosia burger) …
State Park in Big Sur

Andrew Molera State Park

Named after the farmer who first planted artichokes in California, this oft-overlooked park is a trail-laced pastiche of grassy meadows, ocean bluffs and rugged sandy beaches offering excellent wildlife watching. Lo…
Beach in Big Sur

Pfeiffer Beach

This phenomenal, crescent-shaped and dog-friendly beach is known for its huge double rock formation, through which waves crash with life-affirming power. It’s often windy, and the surf is too dangerous for swimming.…
Park in Big Sur

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Named after Big Sur’s first European settlers who arrived in 1869, this is Big Sur's largest state park, where hiking trails loop through stately redwood groves. The most popular hike – to 60ft-high Pfeiffer Falls, …
American in Big Sur

Deetjen's Restaurant

At a quaint yesteryear lodge, the cozy, candle-lit dining room has a daily changing menu of steaks, cassoulets and other hearty country fare, primarily sourced from organic local produce, hormone-free meat and susta…
Arts Center in Big Sur

Henry Miller Memorial Library

Novelist Henry Miller was a Big Sur denizen from 1944 to 1962. More of a beatnik memorial, alt-cultural venue and bookshop, this community gathering spot was never Miller’s home. The house belonged to Miller’s frien…
Pub in Big Sur

Maiden Publick House

Just south of the Big Sur River Inn, this dive has an encyclopedic beer bible and motley local musicians jamming, mostly on weekends.