Thursday, November 12, 2015

Exploring the Landmarks of Big Sur in California [4/15]

There are only two more posts until we arrive to our first big city San Francisco, and the first one of them is our excursion through Big Sur. It's a sparsely populated region of the Central Coast of California. The name "Big Sur" is derived from the original Spanish-language "el sur grande", meaning "the big south", or from "el país grande del sur", "the big country of the south". We visited a couple of places here that I want to show you.





Along the Coastline of Big Sur

Besides sightseeing from the highway, like we did in the first images here, Big Sur offers hiking, mountain climbing, and other outdoor activities. There are a few small, scenic beaches that are popular for walking, but usually unsuitable for swimming because of unpredictable currents and frigid temperatures. Big Sur's nine state parks have many points of interest, including one of the few waterfalls on the Pacific Coast that plunges directly into the ocean, located at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which you will see later in this post.










Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

The park is located on land that was originally called the Saddle Rock Ranch, because of a rock formation in McWay Cove that resembles a saddle. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has two environmental hike-in camping areas, named by Sunset magazine as one of the "four best places to pitch a tent on the Pacific Coast". Visitors are not allowed on the beach itself to preserve the natural habitat. The waterfall is really gorgeous and the water so blue. I had a hard time coping with the fact that we couldn't go down to the shore.





We parked our car on the side of the road since we only made a short stop here. Parking on the side of the road is actually not allowed, but you will be in good company since most cars are doing it. You can enter the park as well, but the parking is 10$ there.


Bixby Creek Bridge

The bridge is one of the most photographed features on the West Coast due to its pleasing aesthetic design and because of its location along the scenic Central Coast of California. When we got there fog started rolling in from the ocean. I suggest you park behind the bridge since you will get a better view of it.




Natural Bridges State Beach

This is not Big Sur terrirory, but I added it just because it was the next stop after we had lunch in the Crossroads Shopping Mall in Carmel by the Sea. We had some amazing burgers there at R.G. Burgers, but ate them so fast that I didn't even take a picture. We then moved on to this state park. The park features a natural bridge across a section of the beach. It is also well known as a hotspot to see monarch butterfly migrations. We arrived there just as the sun started to set. Natural Bridges State Beach is named for the naturally occurring mudstone bridges that were carved by the Pacific Ocean into cliffs that jutted out into the sea.




Natural Bridges State Beach is open to year-round recreation including swimming, surfing, hiking, nature walks and picnics. The beach is small and sheltered which gave me a really great opportunity to take photos.





And so we only had one more stop left before San Francisco, and that was the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, my personal favorite from our road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. But more on that in the next post.

End of Part Four
To be continued...

27 comments:

  1. The Big Sur coastline is a favorite of mine...
    and you captured it beautifully.

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    1. Thank you Laura. We truly had a wonderful time there.

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  2. You are in an area that I can hardly believe I haven't been to. Your images make me feel that I have really missed out :).

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    1. It's a gorgeous part of California.

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  3. Hello Mersad, beautiful images of the California coastline. It is a pretty drive. Big Sur is awesome and I love the views of the Bridge. Great post and photos. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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  4. First time I have seen pictures around Big Sur.. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Die Küstenabaschnitt von Bilder 10-12 ist einfach ein Traum!!!
    P.s.: wir reisen doch nichts nach Kroatin (habe bei mir dir geantwortet) aber ich habe schon mich sehr gefreut, daß wir uns bei einem Ausflug nach Mostar treffen könnten. Es wird doch noch länger dauern. LG

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    1. Schade, aber vielleicht klappt es ein anderes mal.

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  6. So beautiful, Mersad. You're seeing a part of our country that I have yet to see myself. I'm so enjoying seeing it through the lens of your camera.

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    1. So glad you are Linda. Thank you for visiting.

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  7. Beautiful images! I've been there and have seen this gorgeous place first hand. It's a "must see" when in California.

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  8. Oh how beautiful! I know how much you must've enjoyed this part of the trip! I would love to go back! Your photos are wonderful! I am enjoying sharing your trip SO much!

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  9. Wunderschöne Küsten! Ich gebs zu ... da wäre ich jetzt auch gern! :)

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  10. A lovely place--- It's been a while for me, and this brought back memories.

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  11. I have been enjoying all your posts while I have been sick but haven't been commenting. Especially nice to see such beautiful, wild country when you need a lift. Looking forward to more! :)

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  12. I had no idea California was so beautiful. I always think of Los Angeles when I think of California and I should know better. I'm from New Jersey originally and it always annoys me when people think all of New Jersey is like Newark! I've really enjoyed your pictures and description.

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  13. You did a really great job capturing the natural beauty of this area. The beach with the waterfall are some of my favorite shots. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!!

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  14. Spectacular pictures, Mersad!

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  15. the scenery of this coast is magnificent. Love all the rocks and the beautiful beaches. The Bixby Creek bridge is certainly worth photographing and I love the shot of the huge curve on the bridge. This has been a hilday of a lifetime for you (and for us to see) Have a lovely week ahead.

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  16. Beautiful shots! We've driven a lot of roads and I must say this one was the most impressive. http://joysjotsshots.blogspot.com/2013/10/getting-our-kicks-route-66-vaca-day-12.html

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  17. About 40 years ago, I was in some of that general area and I've always loved the ocean and all the pieces surrounding it. Have known of much of it in California and the other northern states, since I was raised in Washington and Oregon as a kid. Now I visit up there to see family and friends, and always rejoice to see the situations surrounding the Ocean. Thank you for sharing all of this. Made me smile!!!

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  18. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. Some of these images bring back fond memories and some are new to me. My husband and I have driven up the California coast together while we were still dating and can't wait to do so again on our next visit home.

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  19. We traveled Big Sur this past April, and loved it! The road where you pulled off to photograph the Bixby Bridge.. we followed that (Old Coast Road, I believe it was called.) It was very rough, but we made it the whole way, some 17 miles through amazing Redwoods and through gorgeous, pristine ranch land with cattle grazing high on the tops of the coastal range, with an endless view of the Pacific. Very memorable. Great photos, Mersad! I've yet to share any of mine. Our trip began in San Fransisco, followed the coast down Big Sur, then turned inland at San Simeon (did you see any elephant seals?) where we headed to the Sierra Nevadas, to Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks before returning in a great loop to San Fransisco. So much beauty to see and explore.

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  20. Wonderful photos from this gorgeous place!

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  21. Great photos and one of my favorite places on the planet - so pretty, and captured so well!

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