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Big Sur, CA

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Nepenthe Restaurant

Nepenthe Restaurant

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Redwoods, Big Sur, California

Redwoods in Big Sur

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Big Sur, California, Coast

Big Sur Coast

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Long a retreat of artists and writers, Big Sur is a place of ancient forests and rugged shoreline, stretching 90 miles from San Simeon to Carmel. Residents have protected it from over development, and much of the region lies within several state parks and the more than 165,000-acre Ventana Wilderness, itself part of the Los Padres National Forest. - Copyright © 2014 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Things You Can't Miss

Place
Point Sur Light Station
Point Sur Light Station

Perched on volcanic rock, this lighthouse has been in continuous operation since 1889. It’s automated now, but a docent-led tour fills in the history.

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Image Credit

Flickr/Getty Images

Place
Spot Some Whales
Spot Some Whales

Humpback, gray and blue whales breach and blow as they forage along this stretch of coast. Pull off at turnouts along Highway 1 and look to the sea.

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Image Credit

Alamy

Place
Take to the Woods
Take to the Woods

Take in the grandeur of the trees on a 1.4-mile round-trip hike in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park’s redwood grove. There’s a 60-foot waterfall, too.

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Image Credit

Russ Bishop/Alamy

Place
Hit the Beach (and Bring the Dog)
Hit the Beach (and Bring the Dog)

Many California beaches don’t allow dogs, but Pfeiffer Beach does (on leash in the developed campground and day use areas). And it’s considered one of the prettiest beaches on the Central Coast.

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Image Credit

Mark James/Alamy

Place
Photograph Bixby Bridge
Photograph Bixby Bridge

An iconic image of Big Sur is the Bixby Bridge, featured in the film Play Misty for Me. Snap photos from the west side of Highway 1 north of the bridge.

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Image Credit

Vetta/Getty Images

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