Big Sur

BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA

aka a little slice of heaven

We unplugged from society for a few days and nestled in our tent amid acres of wild woodland. Here I am home in more ways than one. Vibing on the same frequency as Mother Nature. Laying under the magical Milky Way at night. Watching whales and dolphins swim through the turquoise waters. Roasting s'mores around the campfire. Moments here not stolen but somehow calmly infinite; the mind learning to quiet and listen, and the body un-learning everything that city life teaches us so well. I truly believe one of the best ways to heal and soothe your soul- is to unplug from your phone, step away from your daily routine, and take time away to completely immerse yourself in this Earth.

That's exactly what we planned to do when we took a road trip up to Big Sur. Big Sur is a rugged stretch of California's central coast surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and miles of mountains. It is traversed by narrow, 2-lane State Route 1, known for winding turns, seaside cliffs, and views of the misty coastline. No pictures do this place justice. 

We camped for a couple days at Limekiln State Park which is on the south side. We happened to go during landslide road closures, so the place was almost empty. We unfortunately couldn't drive the whole way up State Route 1 due to the road closures, but we made it as far north as this beautiful place called McWay Falls.

So without further ado, get ready to jot down notes, save this to your Pinterest boards, or simply daydream away…

BEFORE YOU GO:

  • There is absolutely ZERO cell service in Big Sur. The second you cross over into Big Sur territory, you will go off the grid. It feels nice to be disconnected from technology, and to be surrounded by such beautiful nature.

  • If you go during a time that a landslide has happened and there are road closures, know that restaurants will be closed so pack food accordingly.

  • Most places, like campsites and restaurants that are open, only accept cash or check, so make sure you have cash.

  • Book camping reservations far in advance, they fill up fast!

 

CAMPING AT LIMEKILN STATE PARK:

Limekiln State Park offers beach and forest camping. We chose to stay on the beach. The beach side is accompanied by a rushing creek that is very relaxing to fall asleep to. If you're not camping but would like to hang out there for the day, it is an $10 entrance fee. Limekiln is home to a beautiful redwood forest, the beach, and a 100-foot waterfall. This place offers an unforgettable camping experience. We packed rolls of toilet paper thinking we were going to have to squat in nature but thankfully they had a restroom + shower! I definitely recommend this campsite. Looking forward to trying someplace new next time!

 

MCWAY FALLS AT JULIA PFEIFFER BURNS STATE PARK:

Directions: On the PCH, it’s across from the large signs for Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Parking: Park along the highway for free or pull into their parking lot, which costs $10.

McWay Falls has been on my list to visit for as long as I can remember. This waterfall trail is easily accessible from the road, but this iconic view of the waterfall that cascades down 80-feet onto the shore is not-to-be-missed. To find this awesome beach, head north or south on Highway 1 until you see signs for Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Once you park, it's only about a 5 minute walk to the overlook. This is a MUST SEE if you're in Big Sur! 

"The source of the waterfall is McWay Creek and is one of the few waterfalls that empties directly into the ocean. Originally the waterfall cascaded directly into the ocean but after a 1983 fire and 1985 landslides, the topography of McWay Cove was altered, forming an inaccessible beach."

CAMPING CHECKLIST:

  • A tent

  • Chairs

  • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad/yoga mat to sleep on

  • Pillows and blankets

  • Hiking clothes, shoes, and swimsuit

  • Bug repellant and sunscreen

  • Flashlight

  • Cash

  • Camp stove and fuel

  • Matches or lighter

  • Drinking water

  • Pots, pans, utensils

  • Snacks

  • Trash bags

  • S'mores ingredients

  • Paper towels

  • Bottle opener

  • Cooler

  • Firewood

  • Washcloth and towels

  • Toiletries

  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer

  • Camera and extra batteries

  • Backpack

  • Wine

  • Speakers

 

Big Sur truly touched my soul and helped me become more at peace with myself and my surroundings. I cannot wait to come back here. Endless gratitude for this magical place.   

Have you ever been to Big Sur? If so, what are your favorite places to see? Let me know below in the comments!  

P.S. Be sure to follow along with more of my adventures on @Lysssanicole :)