|Photo by Disco King @ erolakan.co.uk|
When we took this road trip in 2008, we flew into San Diego and drove up to Northern California stopping in the major cities along the way, but the most exciting aspect of the drive was between Los Angeles and San Francisco on Pacific Coast Highway. This section of the highway exhibits myriad examples of many natural qualities that make a highway a National Scenic Byways - qualities such as a stretch of untouched coastline, historical landmarks, winding roads, and cliffs to name a few. Should you decide to undertake this road trip, here are some interesting stops i recommend you make.
Elephant Seals Rookery: Piedras Blancas is home to a colony of Elephant Seals that were once near extinction. Regardless of what time of the year you pass through this area, you are bound to find some Elephant Seals comfortably sleeping along the shorelines. However, the most exciting time to enjoy the site of these seals is usually during winter season. This is when the males return to shore to defend their territory and get ready for mating season. A good show is the battle between male Seals naming claims to their women - it is testosterone driven. The female seals also return to have their babies and prepare for another pregnancy season. Don't wonder too much if you hear strange sounds when visiting the seals, the sound you hear is the grunts and squeals from the Seals. It's worth a stop to see.
Ragged Point: This is one of the pit stops on this drive. A lot of people stop here to relax, stretch their legs, have some lunch, and get the effect of the million dollar view that this place is known for. The Ragged point Vista is considered one of the finest ocean vistas in the world. It is one of the few places on this coast with a trail down the cliff. The site of the mountains merging with the ocean at it's shoreline is superb.
McWay Waterfall: This waterfall is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. To think that we passed by this state park and even took pictures of the park's sign and did not go in to see this beautiful waterfall is unforgivable. It even feels almost as if we never went to Big Sur. I decided to write about this beautiful waterfall not because i personally saw and enjoyed it, but so that you wouldn't make the same foolish mistake ignorantly and miss out on this beauty. McWay fall is an 80 foot waterfall nestled in a cove and cascades unto the sandy shores of the pacific ocean. The great thing about this fall is that it flows year round. The waterfall is fed from an undergorund springs on McWay Creek.
|McWay Waterfall. Picture from hikinginbigsur.com|
Big Sur Bixby Creek Bridge: The Bixby Bridge is important historically because it introduced automobile travel to Big Sur. However, the amazing priceless view of pure nature that surrounds the Bixby Bridge is what makes stopping at one of the vista points here very significant. The view is simply intriguing. Standing tall at the vista point, inhaling and exhaling the cool fresh air from the ocean, and catching the spectacular view of the bridge is heavenly. A picturesque scenery not to be missed!