Big Sur is more of a feeling to be experienced rather than a dot on a map. It’s rugged coastline, the interplay of the fog and the sun, the glory of the wildlife and the fields of blooming wildflowers are a sight that will take your breath away, no matter how many times you visit this place.
Big Sur is derived from the Spanish word “El Sur Grande” which means “big country of the south” and is an undeveloped and very lightly populated area on the California Central Coast, just south of Monterey. Here the Santa Lucia mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean making this stretch of coastline one of the most scenic in continental US if not in the world.
Much ink has been spilled praising this rugged piece of natural beauty and yet nothing prepares you for the undeniable magic of Big Sur. This is not something to cross off your bucket list by driving through in a hurry. That’s what freeways are for. You have to savor Big Sur slowly like an aged wine to really enjoy its nuances.
The most photographed bridge in California and the setting for many million dollar car commercials is the famous Bixby Bridge. It’s something of an iconic symbol and a graceful piece of architecture and a great photo opportunity for all of us.By the way, there is no service as soon as you enter Big Sur. So your Google maps or any other apps are not going to work here. Best is to do your research before you head to this paradise… I actually think not having any internet is a boon as it puts you in the moment ( by force) spiritually and physically. The wildflowers here are insane…just growing with wild abandon, with no care for the world. It makes you stop in your tracks for a moment and bask in the glory that is God. As I said earlier, Big Sur has to be experienced with your soul.
Big Sur is a photographer’s dream… whether in the early morn or at sunset, the vistas are unparalleled. When the sunlight shimmers on the water, it’s like gold. You don’t need any filters here to make your photos look amazing… the images will stun you with their clarity and beauty.
The most amazing sight is when the fog rises from the ocean making the whole landscape look almost ethereal. Clouds wafting across the mountains, the slight nip in the air, the smell of the ocean… it’s just what you need to cleanse your soul. It has been described as”a national treasure that requires extraordinary measures to protect it from development”. And it is heavily protected to preserve its rural and natural character. Development is severely restricted and the California Coastal Commission has been very successful in preserving this stretch of unparalleled beauty. Big Sur has attracted plenty of poets, writers and artists who have spoken vividly about this piece of paradise. This has been and continues to be a popular place for self realization, self improvement, self introspection and in general, just being a better person, a better soul… and if you are lucky enough to experience Big Sur, you will surely realize that this pace can surely nourish your soul in ways you were not even aware of!!!