Ragged Point

Big Sur

Your last – or first – taste of Big Sur’s rocky grandeur comes at this craggy cliff outcropping with fabulous views of the coastline in both directions, about 15 miles north of Hearst Castle. Once part of the Hearst empire, it’s now taken over by a sprawling, ho-hum lodge with a pricey gas station. Heading south, the land grows increasingly wind-swept as Hwy 1 rolls gently down to the water’s edge.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Big Sur attractions

1. Salmon Creek Falls

0.83 MILES

Take a short hike to splash around in the pools at the base of this double-drop waterfall, tucked uphill in a forested canyon. The falls usually run from…

2. Sand Dollar Beach

9.36 MILES

The tortuously winding 40-mile stretch of Hwy 1 south of Lucia to Hearst Castle is sparsely populated, rugged and remote, mostly running through national…

3. Jade Cove

9.53 MILES

In the waters of Jade Cove in 1971, local divers recovered a 9000lb jade boulder that measured 8ft long and was valued at $180,000. People still comb the…

4. Piedras Blancas Light Station

11.23 MILES

Of the many lighthouses on California’s coast, few have such an evocative natural setting as this 1875 light station – one of the tallest on the West…

5. Hearst Castle

15.25 MILES

Perched high on a hill, Hearst Castle is a wondrous, historic, over-the-top homage to material excess. From the 1920s into the '40s, Hearst and Marion…

6. Coastal Discovery Center

15.52 MILES

Educational displays include a talking artificial tide pool that kids can touch and videos of deep-sea diving and a WWII-era shipwreck just offshore.

7. Mission San Antonio De Padua

15.53 MILES

Remote and evocative, this historical mission sits in the Valley of the Oaks, once part of the sprawling Hearst Ranch landholdings and now inside the…