Big Sur is a community of artists, authors and naturalists, drawn to the area's beauty, sense of transcendence and peace. Visitors can experience the fruits of this inspiration at galleries, studios, festivals and gathering places all along the drive south on Highway 1.

The magic of Big Sur has been captured in literature, on the big screen and in song. Among other writers including Jack Kerouac, author Henry Miller, who called Big Sur "the first place (he) felt at home in America" after arriving in 1945, wrote about his life in the area in the book “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch.” Miller’s namesake library today serves as a gathering point for local artists, with regular open mic nights and gallery shows.

Writers aren't the only artists who have tried to capture Big Sur with their work. The Beach Boys sang about Big Sur on their album Holland, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers commemorated the area in their single Road Trippin. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's classic film The Sandpiper was filmed in Big Sur. Speaking of celebs. Stars have also used the area to escape the pressures of Hollywood. Nepenthe Restaurant was once the home of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. Other luminaries that have made or currently make their homes in Big Sur include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Emile Norman, Edward Weston, and even (briefly) Hunter S. Thompson, whose first magazine feature was about the arts scene in Big Sur. Big Sur is also a popular place for secret celebrity weddings. Recent high-profile elopements include Jack Black and Tanya Haden, Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, and Ashley Jensen and Terence Beesley.

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