Best Things To Do in Big Sur, California

Are you looking for what to do in Big Sur?


  • Bixby Bridge : One of the most photographed tourist attractions of Big Sur, in California. This 714-feet long has a magnificent view of the coastline that acts as a perfect backdrop for the bridge. This scenic beauty itself makes this place popular among the travelers.
  • Pfieffer Big Sur State Park : If you are looking for a place to do activities in Big Sur, this is the place you should visit. This is the largest park of Big Sur where you will get hiking trails loop through the redwood groves.
  • Pfieffer Beach : Moving towards the north side of Pfieffer Big Sur State park, you will catch the glimpse of one of the best beaches of Big Sur. drive down the narrow lane and you reach near the Pfieffer Beach. The purple sand, double rock formation along the beach are some of the unique feature that makes this place so special. However, RVs and trailers are prohibited.
  • McWay Falls : Travelling along the Highway 1, you will get to see McWay falls. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Big Sur. This falls is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and it falls directly into the Pacific Ocean. Though going near to the falls is not possible, but the nearby locations are quite favourable to enjoy a nice weekend destination in Big Sur.
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burn State Park : If you are looking for perfect destination to try out camping in Big Sur, come to Julia Pfeiffer Burn State Park. It is a state park located on the Coastline of California. The most striking feature of this park is McWay Falls. The park is field with around 300 redwoods letting to enjoy doing other activities like trekking as well.
  • Point Sur Lighthouse : It is one of the dominant feature and a must place to see in Big Sur. While travelling along the Highway 1, this lighthouse will automatically grab your attention. Climbing to the top of the Point Sur, will give you a dramatic view of the coastline. 

Below we have a list of things to do in Big Sur and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Big Sur getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Big Sur with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Big Sur

Here is the list of things to do in Big Sur and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

    Outdoors, Beach, Walking Area, Entertainment

    This beautiful state park got its name from a pioneer woman of Big Sur, named Julia Pfeiffer Burns and it stretches along the coastline of Big Sur. Highlighted features of this park are the different types of trees like redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral that you get to see within it. Another important fact that makes this state park so popular among the tourists is its famous 80 feet high wa...Read more
  2. Pfeiffer Beach Day Use Area

    4.5 (1763 Votes)
    Pfeiffer Beach Day Use Area

    Outdoors, Beach, Water Body, Waterfront

    Dog friendly and crescent-shaped beach, purple sands, huge double rocks are some of the significant features that describe this beautiful Pfeiffer Beach. The huge waves of the sea crashes along the coast and windy atmosphere of the place makes the sea too dangerous for swimming. However, you would love to walk around the beach as you get to enjoy incredible views of the sea. Dig your finger int...Read more
  3. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

    4.6 (989 Votes)
    Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

    Hotel, Outdoors, Garden, Park

    Visit Big Sur’s largest state park where the hiking trails bends through redwood groves. This hiking trail is said to be one of the popular trails and it takes you to a beautiful 60 feet waterfall named Pfeiffer Falls, hidden within the woods. The waterfall is usually visible during December to May. While in summer, the fog keeps the park covered till the midday. Other than redwood, you c...Read more
  4. Bixby Creek Bridge

    Bridge, Walking Area, Broadway

    Also known as Bixby Bridge, it is said to be the most favored bridge of California. It is also said to be the world’s highest single-span bridge and one of the most photographed bridges along the Pacific Coast. Obviously the credit goes to the magnificent coastline that works as a perfect backdrop for the bridge. History says, the bridge was built in order to connect the people of Big Sur...Read more
  5. Carmel River State Beach

    4.7 (2151 Votes)
    Carmel River State Beach

    Outdoors, Beach, Waterfront

    One of the popular destinations among divers, kayakers and birders is Carmel River state beach. Take a look into the deep blue ocean, the water seems to be very calm. However, its sudden riptides attitude makes the ocean water unsafe for swimmers. So, it is better you don’t try your first hand swimming experience in this ocean. Rather consider kayaking near the sudden drop off near the sh...Read more
  6. The Esalen Institute

    4.1 (1115 Votes)
    The Esalen Institute

    Outdoors, Educational Site, Entertainment, Spa

    Covering around 25 acres of land, the Esalen Institute is a popular non-profitable organization that aims at educating tourists on spiritual studies, martial arts, yoga and various aspects of dance. If you are not interested in taking part in any of these programs, you can at least stop by to see the breathtaking view of Santa Lucia Mountains from this location. Else, you can enjoy a nice healt...Read more
  7. Andrew Molera State Park

    4.6 (1014 Votes)
    Andrew Molera State Park

    Park, Nature

    The park might look a bit underdeveloped as compare to other State parks of Big Sur, but this long loopish trail offers a great opportunity for hiking and beachcombing. It also gives a spectacular view of the coasts. The trail is not only popular among hikers, bikers simultaneously take interest in riding down this trail that passes through meadows, redwood and oak groves to get the ‘adre...Read more
  8. Limekiln State Park

    4.8 (332 Votes)
    Limekiln State Park

    Outdoors, Garden, Entertainment, Nature

    One of the popular state parks of California, offering a breathtaking view of Big Sur Coast is how Limekiln State park can be defined. Surrounded with beautiful redwoods, bordered with rugged coasts, this state park offers an excellent campground for tourists. The park has around 31 sites for camping. Choose one of them to enjoy your day in this beautiful state park. Other than this, activities...Read more
  9. Ragged Point

    3.8 (275 Votes)
    Ragged Point

    Hotel, View Point, Cafe, Restaurant

    Situated 15 miles north of Hearst Castle San Simoen, this point is generally termed as ocean view point along the Pacific Coast Highway 1. Hiking this trail gives a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, whales, dolphins and rugged coastline lying below the point. The entire journey along the trail might look exhausting but the experience is going to leave a lasting impression in your mind and ...Read more
  10. Henry Miller Memorial Library

    Library, Educational Site

    This library was set up for the public benefit. It is a non-profitable organization where the literary work, artistic and cultural contributions of the later writer Henry Miller is preserved. He was said to be one of the resident of Big Sur. Today, the library serves as the cultural center where various public workshops are organized for upcoming writers, artists, musicians as well as students....Read more
  11. Point Sur State Historic Park & Lighthouse

    Outdoors, Light House, Garden, Park

    Located on Big Sur coastline of Monterey County, the Point Sur state historic park emerges like a green fortress out of the sea. From a distant, the park might look like an island but it is actually connected with the main land by a sandbar.
  12. Garrapata State Park

    4.7 (327 Votes)
    Garrapata State Park


    Come and visit the unknown jewel of Big Sur, commonly known as Garrapata State park. Filled with unexplored hiking trails, the path leads to the stunning view of the vast coastline of Big Sur and jaw-dropping view of Santa Lucia Mountains. The expedition doesn’t end here. Few trails even lead to the ocean beach and then into the redwood groves. Walk up to the beach, you might see sea lion...Read more
  13. Coast Gallery Big Sur

    4.4 (97 Votes)
    Coast Gallery Big Sur

    Educational Site, Arts And Crafts, Exhibition

    Visit the largest gallery of American Crafts in the United States. The gallery first started as a platform to offer opportunities to the new artists of Big Sur. At present, the gallery has become so popular that thousands of works, done by more than 250 American artists and craftsmen are displayed in this gallery. With beautiful scenic beauty of Highway one, the gallery has turned out to be one...Read more
  14. Partington Cove

    4.9 (88 Votes)
    Partington Cove

    Outdoors, Trail, Park, Hiking Trail

    Just behind the entrance gate of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, there is a rugged lane that leads to this rocky cove named Partington Cove. Moving further to the lane, it gets split into two trails. One trail leads to the beach. The strange part of this beach is it doesn’t have any sand; rather it is covered with smooth round rocks. The other trail leads to a 60 foot long tunnel, leadin...Read more
  15. Plaskett Creek Big Sur

    Outdoors, Entertainment, Adventure

    It is one of the popular camping grounds with beautiful location in the west- central of California. People from Big Sur often head off to this camping site to spend their weekend. The site provides easy access to the famous sandy beach of Big Sur, named Sand Dollar beach. With Pacific Ocean bordering the western side of the campsite, the ground gives a stunning view of the ocean. The location ...Read more