Big Sur

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When it comes to classic California road trips, you cannot beat the magic of Big Sur. This highly protected area covers roughly 90 miles and is lined with dramatic cliff drops, iconic bridges and towering redwoods.

Taking some time to explore off the road, you’ll find secluded coves, park lands and even a waterfall trail at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, a half a mile round trip rewarded with stunning views of the 80-foot McWay Falls: one of only two waterfalls on the Pacific Coast that plunge directly into the ocean. Whilst the beaches are unsuitable for swimming due to unpredictable current and wild surf, several are very popular for walking, such as Pfeiffer Beach, Sand Dollar Beach and Jade Cove. A great refreshment stop is the clifftop restaurant Nepenthe, providing breath-taking views whilst you enjoy your lunch.

Another notable landmark is the Point Sur Light Station, the only complete 19th century lighthouse complex open to the public in California. The Ventana Wildlife Centre near Andrew Molera State Park is also a highlight and features a free discovery centre enabling visitors to learn about the California Condor recovery program and other wildlife found in the area.

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