The 15 Best Things to Do in Big Sur, California

California has nearly 900 miles of coastline, but the 90 miles going through Big Sur is what postcards are made of!

Hugging the Pacific Coast Highway (one of the US’s most scenic drives), Big Sur offers jaw-dropping cliffside vistas, hidden waterfalls tumbling down redwood-studded mountains, and one of the world’s most iconic bridges.

To help you fill out your Big Sur bucket list, we’ve gathered the absolute best things to do in Big Sur for you.

Explore Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is one of the most scenic state parks not just in California but in the entire country. Located a few miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea along Highway 1, this 400-acre park is bursting with natural beauty.


Photograph the Bixby Creek Bridge

This bridge was built in 1932 and is one of the most photographed bridges in California. It connects two ragged cliffsides via an open-spandrel arch bridge, which means there are no solid walls or a roof. You can see right through it!


See Elephant Seals in San Simeon

Watching and listening to elephant seals is one of the most unique things to do in Big Sur! And there’s no better place to catch these majestic giants than at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery in San Simeon.


Look Into the Keyhole Arch at Pfeiffer Beach

Big Sur’s most popular beach, Pfeiffer Beach, hides a secret. Tucked away at the northern end of the beach is a rock formation known as Keyhole Arch, and for only a couple of days a year, it lights up in the most beautiful way.


See McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

The 80-foot McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park should be part of any Big Sur sightseeing itinerary. It’s surrounded by a sandy cove, granite cliffs, and the rushing water flows right into the ocean. It’s absolutely stunning!


Swipe up to see all our recommendations!