Monterey Spotlight
 
 

Featured Events

Jul
31
2014

Carmel Bach Festival

Jul. 19-Aug. 2
The Carmel Bach Festival has a 75-year history of artistic excellence and community…more
Aug
2
2014

Salinas Valley Half Marathon

Aug. 2
The Salinas Valley Half Marathon begins at the historic Soledad Mission, established…more
Aug
11
2014

Monterey Auto Week

Aug. 11-Aug. 17
Classic automobiles take over the Monterey Peninsula during Monterey Auto Week and…more
Aug
12
2014

Concours On The Avenue

Aug. 12
Sixth Annual Carmel-By-The-Sea Concours On The Avenue......Carmel's world famous…more
Aug
14
2014

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Aug. 14-Aug. 17
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is a cornerstone of Monterey…more
Aug
15
2014

Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally

Aug. 15
The colorful 20th Annual Pacific Grove Concourse Auto Rally will be held on Friday,…more
Aug
16
2014

Concorso Italiano

Aug. 16
A celebration of Italian style, featuring the most spectacular display of Italian…more
Aug
17
2014

Concours d'Elegance

Aug. 17
This spectacular event exhibits some of the most unique pre-war and post-war cars,…more
Aug
22
2014

Sand City West End Celebration

Aug. 22-Aug. 24
The streets of Sand City come alive for the West End Celebration! Sand City is…more
Aug
23
2014

First City Festival

Aug. 23-Aug. 24
Experience a weekend of music, food, and fresh ocean air at the site of the iconic…more
Aug
27
2014

Monterey County Fair

Aug. 27-Sep. 1
The annual Monterey County Fair is always fun for all, with livestock exhibition,…more
Aug
30
2014

Monterey Bay Greek Festival

Aug. 30-Sep. 1
The St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church of Monterey County will hold its 28th…more
All

Activities

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

Old Fisherman's Wharf Association
The “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card and Special Offers Campaign includes a…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

FREE APPETIZER or 1 HR of POOL

Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards
Choose a FREE APP or 1Hr of Pool with any $20 purchase on selected items *Mention…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…
Apr 16, 2014
- Dec 31, 2014

See Monterey

Carmel Food Tours
Save 10% on each ticket purchased when you use the code MCCVB
All

 

 

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Big Sur

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Big Sur

Big Sur Beaches

Big Sur's beaches show off the California coastline at its rugged, unspoiled best. Due to their similar names, two beaches - Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park's beach and Pfeiffer Beach - are often conflated, but each is separate and has its own unique charms. While some of Big Sur's wild beaches are accessible by car, visitors should expect to hike to reach most of them.

Garrapata State Park Beach

Many consider Garrapata State Park's secluded beach to be the best in Big Sur. While there are no facilities, this sandy, unspoiled beach has stunning views and is easy to get to. You're also likely to spot sea otters, sea lions, seals and even the occasional migrating whale. Nearly invisible from the road, Garrapata State Park's beach can be reached from the trailheads at points 18 and 19. For detailed directions on getting to this hidden park, see our Garrapata State Park page.

Andrew Molera State Park Beach

Andrew Molera State Park's beach can be reached via the aptly named Beach Trail, which is an easy, almost flat hike along the banks of the Big Sur River. Andrew Molera State Park's beach is considered Big Sur's most reliable surfing destination, and is also a prime surf fishing spot. State park admission fees include parking; there are no facilities at the beach, but restrooms are available at the parking lot.

Pfeiffer Beach

Don't confuse this beach with the one at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which lies a few miles south. Many locals name Pfeiffer Beach their favorite because of its wide sandy beaches and the arch rock that lies just offshore. Pfeiffer Beach is very hard to find for the uninitiated. It is located at the end of unmarked Sycamore Canyon Road, which is the only paved, ungated road on the west side of Highway One between the Big Sur Post Office and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Beach

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park's beach is only accessible on foot, but it's worth the trip. Popular with divers, this beach has excellent views and great tide pools. You'll also see equipment and artifacts left over from Big Sur's period as a center of the logging industry. To access the beach at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, take the Partington Canyon Trail, located west of Highway One behind a gate about two miles north of the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park entrance. The trail runs through a rock tunnel on its way to Partington Cove.

Sand Dollar Beach

The biggest unbroken stretch of beach in Big Sur, Sand Dollar Beach is popular with rockhounds for its jade and hikers and photographers for its breathtaking bluffs. (Planning to collect some jade? See our tips below under Jade Cove.) A steep staircase leads down to the beach. Sand Dollar Beach is 25 miles south of the main settlement in Big Sur on Highway One. It is well-signed.

Jade Cove

Named after the smooth, waxy stone frequently found on its rocky beaches after a storm, Jade Cove lies 27 miles south of the main settlement in Big Sur, two miles south of Sand Dollar Beach, and just over three miles north of Gorda. Keep a sharp eye out for the trailhead sign by the side of Highway One, and park at the pullout.

If you plan to seek jade there, you should know that serpentine, a common stone that looks identical to jade, is also often found there. How to tell the difference? Serpentine can be scratched with a steel knife; jade can't, and you may see bits of metal left on the jade. Please see the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's regulations on collecting jade from beaches.

Lay of the Land

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Lay of the Land

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Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.

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