Traveling on an RV vacation to Big Sur, California is an amazing experience. You’ll see panoramic views of the Pacific, magical vistas of mountains and valleys and wildlife galore. Enjoy the gray whales swimming off shore, the California Condors flying overhead and sea otters relaxing in kelp beds. This is a stunning getaway and a paradise of wonders.
A Big Sur trip will take you from the Carmel coast all the way down Highway 1 to San Simeon. This area is designated a scenic byway, which becomes obvious as soon as you start your journey. The spectacular coastline of Big Sur offers plenty of outdoor recreation as well. So get your hiking boots ready. You will also discover plenty of RV camping.
Sightseeing and hiking are the top-most attractions along this Pacific Ocean coast. Beaches on one side, mountains on the other. The beauty never ends. Throw in a little history by stopping at Point Sur State Historic Park. Take a walking tour, and be sure to visit the Point Sur Lighthouse. This is a light station that has been an important part of the mariner world since 1899.
Further along the route north to south, you’ll find Andrew Molera State Park, offering lots of hiking and some great beach combing opportunities. There are miles of trails which take you through meadows, along beaches and across hilltops. With the area being relatively undeveloped, you will find the solitude very attractive.
In Andrew Molera State Park you will discover great hiking. You can hike from Creamery Meadow to Molera Beach on an easy two-mile round trip trek. Pick up some driftwood on the beach before returning. Many of the trails here are also wonderful for mountain biking. Old Coast Road is a favorite.
Further along you will come to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Don’t forget your camera as you’ll want to capture the beauty of those redwoods, oaks, maples and willows. You are sure to find wildlife wandering this area, such as black-tail deer, raccoons and lots of birds. There is a self-guided nature trail that you’ll simply love. At the trail head to Pfeiffer Falls you can visit the Information Center to find out more about this lovely region. The easy hike to the falls is one you shouldn’t miss. Kids find this a great trail so the whole family can enjoy it.
More hiking trails in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park include the Valley View Trail (two miles round trip), Oak Grove Trail (three miles round trip) and Buzzard’s Roost (4.8 miles round trip). If you want to climb to the top of Manuel Peak, take the Mount Manuel Trail. This is a steep four-mile climb and a four-mile hike back.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is named after a pioneer woman from the Big Sur area. The park has beautiful redwood, oak, and chaparral as well as an 80-foot waterfall that falls into the ocean. You can enjoy more hiking here on the McWay Waterfall Trail which will take you to the waterfall overlook. Ewoldsen Trail is a 4.5-mile loop trail that is considered moderate to strenuous, but provides some gorgeous views.
Take a short side trip to Los Padres National Forest, although it may end up being not so short. This forest offers so many things to do and see. There are over 1,200 miles of trails here, all maintained, which give you the chance to do some backpacking in the true sense of the word.
The Ventana Wilderness Area is where the mountains meet the sea. It is another perfect hiking destination, with many thousands of acres of incredible landscapes to explore. A little less wild is the Limekiln State Park, with amazing views of the coast, gorgeous redwoods and camping.
You have reached the end of your Big Sur adventure when you come to San Simeon. But your fun doesn’t have to stop here. Visit the Hearst Castle, one of the top attractions in California. Get yourself and your family to the observation deck on the east end of the property so you get a wonderful view of the Castle as it perches on the crown of the mountain.
Hearst Castle also has a gift shop where you can pick up some souvenirs to take home with you. Your family and friends who didn’t get to experience this amazing trip will appreciate it. You can even find art reproductions and more unique treasures in the museum gift shop. When you return home, you will have many pleasurable RV vacation experiences to share with everyone and adventures to relive in memory for ages to come.