Garrapata State Park

Big Sur

Over 4 miles south of Point Lobos on Hwy 1, pull over to hike coastal headlands, where you might spot whales cruising by offshore during winter, or into canyons of wildflowers and redwood trees. Garrapata is Spanish for 'tick,' of which there are many in the canyon and woods, so wearing long sleeves and pants is smart. Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach only.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Big Sur attractions

1. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve


They bark, they laze and bathe and they’re fun to watch – sea lions are the stars in this state park some 4 miles south of Carmel, along with the…

2. Carmel River State Beach


Migratory birds are attracted to this mile-long stretch of sand bordered by a lagoon formed by the Carmel River.

3. Bixby Bridge

5.87 MILES

Less than 15 miles south of Carmel, this landmark spanning Rainbow Canyon is one of the world’s highest single-span bridges. Completed in 1932, it was…

4. Tor House

6.04 MILES

Even if you’ve never heard of 20th-century poet Robinson Jeffers, a pilgrimage to this house built with his own hands offers fascinating insights into…

6. Carmel Beach City Park

6.56 MILES

Not always sunny, Carmel Beach is a gorgeous blanket of white sand, where pampered pups excitedly run off-leash. South of 10th Ave, bonfires crackle after…

7. Earthbound Farm Stand

6.67 MILES

This roadside farmstand offers smoothies, soups and lets you harvest your own herbs in the garden.

8. Lone Cypress

8.09 MILES

Central California's most famous and photographed tree has been perched precariously on a seaward rock for possibly more than 250 years.