Destinations Big Sur

Big Sur

Big Sur is a majestic stretch of land located off the famous Pacific Coast Highway. Bordered by the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Big Sur offers unmatched scenic beauty and an eclectic vibe you can't find anywhere else. The area is famous for its breathtaking coastline, towering redwoods and epic hiking trails, as well as its world-class hotels, inns, boutique shops, restaurants, and parks.

Help us preserve the beauty of Big Sur for all to see and enjoy. Please, follow all posted signage, stay on designated trails and leave no trace behind. 

Visit the Big Sur Visitor Guide website for more travel tips.

Travel Responsibly

As our destination welcomes visitors to enjoy our county, we ask that travelers visit responsibly and follow safety precautions, as outlined by health care officials including: 

  • Mask up as needed: face coverings are required for unvaccinated individuals and when individual businesses require them.
  • Stay home: if you show signs of illness, stay home. Follow CDC guidance for safe travel.
  • Leave no trace behind: Properly dispose of all trash and plastics, including face coverings. Help us keep Monterey County beautiful for generations to come.

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Big Sur

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 during 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 construction of Highway One in the 1930s transformed Big Sur, making its beauty accessible to all rather than just the most intrepid. Since then 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.

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