Bixby Bridge, Big Sur

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur

Big Sur

The scenery in Big Sur, California cannot be done justice by film or secondhand account. An eclectic populace and cosmic vibe flows through the area and permeates Big Sur hotels, motels, shops and restaurants. A table with a view isn’t hard to come by in Big Sur. Neither is a sense of well-being. Cliffs, rocks, redwoods and effervescent surf create an epic backdrop for recreation, romance and relaxed exploration.

Big Sur History

Originally inhabited by the Esselen, Salinan and Ohlone Native Americans, Big Sur was first settled by the Spanish in the 1830s, but developed its first large settlements due to the Gold Rush. The lumber industry thrived in the late 1800s in Big Sur, despite the difficulty of reaching the area; the population of Big Sur was greater at that time than it is today. The three-day, dangerous overland journey to Monterey meant most supplies were brought in and goods shipped out by ocean, rather than by road.

The construction of Highway One in the 1930s transformed Big Sur, making its beauty accessible to all rather than just the most intrepid. Residents fought to protect Big Sur against development, preserving its charms and its remote feel. Get a feel for Big Sur's history by visiting Andrew Molera State Park, home to Big Sur's oldest building, and that famous Big Sur lighthouse, Point Sur Lighthouse.

Artist's Haven

Big Sur has provided inspiration to photographers, painters, writers and musicians. Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac chronicled the area in books, and Ansel Adams and Edward Weston captured Big Sur's rugged beauty on film. Robinson Jeffers described Big Sur in epic verse, which later became the inspiration for the Beach Boys' album Holland.

Today Big Sur remains a favorite place for local and international artists of every stripe. Galleries located along Highway One exhibit stunning visual art, while venues such as the Henry Miller Library and Fernwood Resort host both cutting-edge acts and big names. For more information on the Big Sur arts scene, see our Big Sur Arts and Culture page.

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Monterey Spotlight
 

Featured Events

Apr
26
2015

Big Sur International Marathon

Apr. 26
The Big Sur Marathon is 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world -…more
May
1
2015

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

May. 1-May. 3
This new series created by the merger between the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series…more
May
1
2015

Wildflower Triathlon

May. 1-May. 3
One of the premier triathlons nationally and internationally, this course will test…more
May
2
2015

The Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

May. 2-May. 3
Held in the heart of Old Monterey, this inaugural "Language Capital of the…more
May
2
2015

Winemakers' Celebration

May. 2
Over 30 Monterey County wineries from 9 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) will…more
May
10
2015

Mother's Day Brunches in Monterey County

May. 10
Score some points with Mom this Mother's Day and treat her to a fabulous brunch in…more
May
14
2015

Carmel Art Festival

May. 14-May. 17
Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the Carmel Art Festival.…more
May
14
2015

Salinas Valley Fair

May. 14-May. 17
Enjoy the atmosphere of an old-fashioned county fair, complete with carnival,…more
May
15
2015

Monterey Rock n' Rod Festival

May. 15-May. 16
Featuring hundreds of 1975 and older classic and custom hot rods, street rods,…more
May
22
2015

California Roots Music & Arts Festival

May. 22-May. 24
The 6th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival is a three-day event packed…more
May
23
2015

MayFest Monterey Bay

May. 23-May. 25
This FREE admission 3 DAY FESTIVAL created for the community at large will occur…more
May
30
2015

Artichoke Festival

May. 30-May. 31
In 2015 the Castroville Artichoke Festival will celebrate it's 56th year at the…more
Jun
6
2015

Monterey Wine Festival

Jun. 6-Jun. 7
With hundreds of wines offered for tasting, wine lovers will lfind an embarrassment…more
Jun
6
2015

Spartan Race

Jun. 6
Spartan RaceTM, the global leader in Obstacle Racing since 2005, was designed by…more
Jun
13
2015

Monterey Beer Festival

Jun. 13
The Monterey Beer Festival is celebrating its 14th year. Breweries from across…more
Jun
20
2015

Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration

Jun. 20
The Art & Wine Celebration will showcase over 50 artists, local wines and…more
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