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

Jul
4
2015

4th of July Events in Monterey County

Jul. 4
Celebrate Independence Day (and your day off) this year where California was first…more
Jul
10
2015

Aerosmith at the Salinas Sports Complex

Jul. 10
Legendary and iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Aerosmith will kick off Big Week…more
Jul
16
2015

California Rodeo Salinas

Jul. 16-Jul. 19
Each July, the West comes alive in Salinas with the California Rodeo Salinas at the…more
Jul
17
2015

FIM Superbike World Championship

Jul. 17-Jul. 19
The sounds of motorcycles will again roar through the central California hillsides…more
Jul
18
2015

78th Annual Carmel Bach Festival

Jul. 18
Carmel Bach Festival, a world-class festival of music and ideas celebrating the…more
Jul
18
2015

Carmel Bach Festival

Jul. 18-Aug. 1
The Carmel Bach Festival has a 75-year history of artistic excellence and community…more
Jul
22
2015

Feast of Lanterns

Jul. 22-Jul. 26
A tradition lasting for over a century, the Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns is a…more
Jul
26
2015

Moss Landing Antique Fair

Jul. 26
Moss Landing becomes the antique capital of the world the last Sunday of July.…more
Aug
1
2015

Salinas Valley Half Marathon

Aug. 1
The Salinas Valley Half Marathon begins at the historic Soledad Mission, established…more
Aug
8
2015

Blues, Brews and Barbecue at Monterey Bay

Aug. 8-Aug. 9
Monterey becomes the center of the blues world when the Blues, Brews & Barbecue…more
Aug
10
2015

Monterey Car Week

Aug. 10-Aug. 16
Classic automobiles take over the Monterey Peninsula during Monterey Car Week and…more
Aug
13
2015

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Aug. 13-Aug. 16
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a cornerstone of Monterey…more
Aug
15
2015

Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally

Aug. 15
The colorful 20th Annual Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally will be held on Friday,…more
Aug
16
2015

Concours d'Elegance

Aug. 16
This spectacular event exhibits some of the most unique pre-war and post-war cars,…more
Aug
22
2015

Sand City West End Celebration

Aug. 22-Aug. 23
The streets of Sand City come alive for the West End Celebration! Sand City is…more
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