There is no doubt about it. Big Sur is an absolutely beautiful place – rugged coastline, redwoods, wildflowers and more. This area has been impacted by back to back disasters including the Soberanes fire that burned for 3 months last year, harsh Winter storms this year and a recent, massive landslide. Some adjustments need to be made, but you can still visit and enjoy much of the area.
Here’s a video of the massive landslide that damaged Highway 1 just south of Big Sur:
Obviously, it isn’t possible to drive up the coast into Big Sur with the landslide covering the Highway. There isn’t an easy side street to take to get around it as there might be in a more populous area. To get to Big Sur, you’ll need to come in from the north.
I drove up to the area from Southern California on the 5, cut across Monterey County and and headed south at Carmel by The Sea. The drive along the coast from Carmel to Big Sur is absolutely beautiful. I’ve enjoyed this drive many times, even when there weren’t bridge closures or landslides making this the only option.
If you drive straight through, it takes about 45 minutes to get from Carmel by The Sea to Big Sur. However, I’d recommend allowing for extra time. There are plenty of places to pull over, admire the view and take pictures. You may also want to hike down to Garrapata State Park Beach.
Once you’re in Big Sur, there are a variety of choices for food and lodging for all types of travelers. You can camp and have simple meals or be pampered and eat gourmet food. I stayed in a luxury cabin nestled among the redwoods at Glen Oaks. and enjoyed fabulous meals at the adjacent Big Sur Roadhouse.
Big Sur is a beautiful area for a day trip or a longer vacation. It’s so easy to relax and leave your worries behind when you are surrounded by such beauty.