This Big Sur travel guide page reads like a trip leaving Ragged Point Inn northbound on Pacific Coast Highway 1 and describes each tourist attraction, activity, visitor point of interest or thing to do as the trip progresses north on PCH 1...
...below the trip description is a
collection of VISITOR INFORMATION LINKS for Big Sur / Monterey / San Francisco
...but you can come and go from the Ragged Point Inn and Ocean View Resort from three directions; from north on Pacific Coast Highway 1,
from the south Hearst Castle way on PCH 1 , and from the air. Helicopters occasionally land on the Ragged Point Resort property if you want to fly right in or Hearst has a small private landing strip on the Hearst Ranch near the Old Village of San Simeon but the closest commercial airport to the north of Hearst Castle is 80 miles,
the Monterey Peninsula Airport; the closest commercial airport is the
San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport it is the closest to the south, about 40 miles from Hearst Castle.
Leaving Ragged Point Inn Resort Hotel to the north on Pacific Coast Highway 1 through Gorda, Lucia, Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, and to San Francisco:
Just south of Ragged Point the Pacific Coast Highway 1 and the landscape makes a dramatic change; driving north from the Ragged Point Resort you will need to adjust your drive times to accommodate more curves and picture taking from the many Big Sur Pacific rugged coast scenic view points.
The closest tourist attraction north of the Ragged Point Inn Ocean View Resort is Salmon Creek Falls which is 4 miles with a drive time about 15 minutes. You should at least use the pullout to stop and view the waterfall, the highway is near enough to get some good photographs when the water is high; there are short trails to hike the bottom and top of the waterfall which is a nice stretch of the legs and guarantees a few good photos too. Salmon Creek like all Big Sur rivers, streams and creeks are seasonal and quite dramatic and impressive when the water is high peaceful and tranquil when it is not. The
Salmon Creek Trail
is a tourist favorite hike which includes sweeping Pacific Ocean Big Sur Coast views.
Custom RPI Area Google Map: Tourist Attractions, Points of Interest and Visitor Activities near Ragged Point Inn Ocean View Resort. You can locate Salmon Creek Trail and other tourist attractions points of interest, beach access and Ragged Point Ocean View Resort area visitor activities and things to do on this custom
There is another attractive near hiking trail 1 ½ miles north of the Salmon Creek Falls Trail, the Soda Springs hiking trail
; this hike is in a near area and similar to the Salmon Creek Trail hike but the Salmon Creek hike is probably best or at least the most popular inland Pacific Coast view hike.
North 11 miles is
Gorda Springs Resort 805-927-4600; approximate drive time from RPI is 20 minutes. Gorda Springs Cottages is the closest Big Sur lodging to the north; there are rental cottages, a restaurant, an expensive gas station (the closest gas station north or RPI) and an espresso bar/deli/general store. Gorda Springs can provide a nice rest stop; the town also provides the closest services to the already infamous newest Big Sur Resort, Treebones Big Sur Resort (TOLL FREE 1-877-424-4787). There are unique lodgings at the Treebones Big Sur Resort called yurts; Treebones also offers a few ocean view campsites, this is the closest camping in the area north of Ragged Point.
Ragged Point Inn and Resort has its own steep
rugged beach access trail
but the closest good public beach access and next attraction on PCH is 13.5 miles north, Willow Creek day use area; approximate drive time: 30 minutes. Willow Creek ( Willow Creek day use area
) provides a beach picnic area with Big Sur Coast vistas, coastal access and public restrooms. Willow Creek is just south of an unadvisable drive over the Coast Mountain Range from Big Sur's Coast Highway 1 to Highway 101 and King City, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road; there is nice camping out there though, there are two campgrounds with restrooms about 9 miles (
Nacimiento Campground - 805-434-1996) and 11 miles (
Ponderosa Campground Parks Management Co. - 805-434-1996 -
Ponderosa Campground at Ca Recreation.gov ) east of Highway 1. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is narrower and has more curves than Big Sur's Pacific Coast Highway 1, is subject to closure and passes through the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation where you may run into some security problems causing you to be stopped or possibly being turned away only to have to return to Big Sur. If you have a smaller car or motorcycle the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road can be a spectacular scenic drive and the San Antonio Mission and
Hearst Hacienda Guest Lodge (831-386-2511 or 831-386-2209 or the Cable Cafe 831-386-2047) are great tourist destinations.
The next tourist attraction and beach access is 15 miles north of RPI,
Jade Cove (805-434-1996); approximate drive time from RPI: 30 minutes. A rare commodity in the Big Sur area Jade Cove day use offers a short hike to beach access as well as some of the best and most beautiful coastal bluff hikes on the Big Sur Coast, Jade Cove provides rock-hounding and diving for jade and is also a designated hang glider landing site (for gliders usually launching from Sand Dollar day use area). There are neither restrooms nor a parking lot for Jade Cove, just look for the
Los Padres National Forest Jade Cove Sign on the Pacific Coast Highway and park off of the highway.
Ragged Point Inn is 15.5 miles south of
Plaskett Creek Campground from Parks Management - (805-434-1996) -
Plaskett Creek Campground info and reservations from CA www.recreation.gov; approximate drive time: 30 minutes. My favorite campground on the Big Sur Coast and some wonderful hikes and wilderness hiking trails as well. RVs allowed at Plaskett Creek Campground.
Ragged Point Inn and Resort Hotel is 16 miles
south of Sand Dollar Beach - (805-434-1996); approximate drive time: 30 minutes. Sand Dollar is a cliff-top day use area with beach access, picnic tables, barbecues and restrooms; enjoy spectacular Big Sur vistas, picnic, hike on the coastal bluffs or on the beach access trail; jump off the towering Big Sur coastal cliff with your hang-gliders here. There is a small entry fee but if you are just passing through the park on your way to the beautiful expansive sandy beach (sand beaches are a rarity on the Big Sur California Coast most are gravel) many people park in nearby highway pull outs on PCH 1 to avoid the day use entry fee.
Just past Sand Dollar Beach on the inland side of PCH 1 16.5 miles north of RPI is the closest ranger station,
Pacific Valley Station (805-927-4211); drive time from RPI: 30 minutes. There is a Ranger Station which can provide information and permits, public restrooms, and a short costal access hiking trail to the beach here. This is a good area for hikes, trail heads for the Pacific Valley Bluff Trail and
Prewitt Loop Trail are here.
It is 18 miles north to
Mill Creek - (805-434-1996); drive time approximately 33 minutes. Mill Creek provides easy public access to the beach and there are public restrooms. This is a free day use area, the beach like Willow Creek is mostly rocky but there are some small stretches of sandy beach. Mill Creek beach is a favorite for surfers and fishermen; there are no picnic tables, fire pits or barbecues at this day use area at present. (
Aerial Photos of Mill Creek at Coast from California Coastal Project )
North of RPI 19 miles is one of the worlds few campgrounds with campsites that have sweeping panoramic views of the ocean and Big Sur Pacific Coast,
Kirk Creek Campground info from Parks Management Co. - (805-434-1996) -
Kirk Creek Campground info and reservations from CA www.recreation.gov; approximate drive time is 35 minutes. Many peoples' favorite campground Kirk Creek Campground has 34 developed campsites with barbecues, fire pits, picnic tables, and water close by; most campsites have a view of the Pacific Ocean and the magnificent Big Sur coast. There is a short trail from the campground for close beach access and directly across Hwy 1 is Kirk Creek trailhead leading into the Ventana Wilderness, great Big Sur Hikes; Kirk Creek is also popular spot for surfing and ocean fishing; RVs allowed at Kirk Creek Campground. (
Aerial Photos of Kirk Creek Campground )
Limekiln Creek State Park, Limekiln Creek Beach and Campground (831-667-2403) is 24 miles north of Ragged Point Resort; approximate drive time 50 minutes. Limekiln Creek State Park offers a 33 campsite campground, breathtaking panoramic Big Sur Pacific coast views, Pacific Coast redwood forests, picnicking in day use picnic areas, hiking trails, restrooms and rare Big Sur coastal access. Trailers and RVs limited to 24 feet. (
Aerial Photos of Limekiln Creek State Park, Limekiln Beach and Campground )
The Lucia Lodge
831-667-2391; offers a great rest stop and more; Lucia is on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway One 26 miles north of Ragged Point Inn; approximate drive time: 50 minutes. Historic Lucia has a good restaurant, general store, accessible restrooms and offers lodging in quaint cottages on the edge of a rugged steep Big Sur coastal cliff with panoramic Pacific Ocean views. Just across PCH and up the hill is the
New Camaldoli Hermitage 831-667-2456, this is a Catholic Camaldoli Hermitage which offers spiritual retreats, daily Catholic Services and heaven sent fruitcakes through the mail.
The Big Creek Bridge is 31 miles north of RPI; Great photo opportunities near Big Creek! Drive time to this area about 55 minutes: the rugged coastal cliffs and Pacific Ocean views are spectacular in this area and Big Creek Bridge is a great engineering feat and Big Sur architectural icon you will want to photograph but all the acreage around it is a
831-667-2543; off limits except for scientific research. (
Aerial Photograph of Big Creek Bridge)
It is 35 miles north to
Esalen Institute 831-667-3000;
approximate drive time: 1 hour. A Big Sur educational and spiritual center established since the 60's, one of the places that helped make Big Sur famous. Big Sur Esalen Institute is a human capacity workshop and retreat center available by reservation only.
Ragged Point Inn and Resort is 43 miles south of
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park; - 831-667-2315, drive time is 1 ½ hours. A beautiful Big Sur area but the park is quite small; includes picnicking, hiking and camping, it has a California State Park with beach access. The park stretches from the coastline up near steep 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood forests and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A stunning panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1. (
Aerial Photos of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park )
RPI is 43 miles south of
Coast Gallery (Toll Free 1-800-797-6869); approximate drive time: 1.29 hours. Coast Gallery is a showplace for local Big Sur artists. Coast Galleries is the closest art gallery to the north and has represented fine arts and MasterCrafts to clients world wide since 1958.
Ragged Point Inn and Resort Hotel is 47 miles
south of Henry Miller Library (831-667-2574); approximate drive time: 1.41 hours. The works of the American author, artist and Big Sur resident, Henry Miller. Art Gallery, sculpture garden, bookstore with a treasure of fine books, art, music, and history of the area. The Henry Miller Library is a nice stop just take in some of Big Sur atmosphere and browse around; it is also the location of many colorful local events; business hours are 10AM to 6PM except Tuesdays.
The Nepenthe Restaurant
(831-667-2345) is the best place to eat on the Big Sur Pacific coast, favored by travelers and locals alike. The sweeping
Big Sur Coast Pacific Ocean views
from the Nepenthe Restaurant terrace and back verandah are wonderful as is the food. Nepenthe is about a 47 mile scenic drive from Ragged Point which takes about 1 ½ hours. The ocean view restaurant is not the only attraction; there is an Art Gallery / Gift Shop, the Phoenix and an espresso bar / cafe, the Café Kevah which are both near and part of the same historic family owned business and just as extraordinary. (
Check the view on the Nepenthe Online Weather Cam Link )
Located ¾ of a mile north of Nepenthe Restaurant
(831-667-2712) is a private campground with a combination of rustic camping and modern facilities; a forty acre redwood forest with 80 campsites, which have picnic tables, fire rings, and running water is near. Three bath houses have hot showers, electrical sockets, and flush toilets. RV's are restricted to 22 feet in length; there are no electrical drops or water hook-ups, generators are discouraged. Pets are allowed for an additonal fee.
It is 47.5 miles north to
Ventana Inn & Spa (TOLL FREE 1-800-628-6500); approximate drive time 1.43 hours. Ventana is a luxury country inn and spa that offers what they call elegant but casual accommodations. Ventana Inn has 60 guest room with private ocean/mountain view decks and the resort also features an award winning restaurant, the Cielo Restaurant, heated swimming pools, saunas, private hot tubs and spa related services.
Ragged Point is 47.5 miles south of
Post Ranch (TOLL FREE 1-800-527-2200); approximate drive time: 1.43 hours. Post Ranch is a posh exclusive Big Sur luxury resort offering 30 unique luxurious guest rooms and a gourmet restaurant on a ridge above the Pacific Ocean.
Ragged Point Inn and Resort Hotel is 47.7 miles
south of; Loma Vista Gardens; approximate drive time: 1.43 hours.
Tourist friendly Big Sur spirited business, like the
Big Sur Jade Company ARS Art Studio & Gallery,
Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant (831-667-0520),
Big Sur Garden Gallery and Gift Shop, Big Sur Shell service station and mini-mart, Big Sur Spirit Garden and Big Sur Coast Real Estate. An excellent place to eat the Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a garden setting with sweeping views of Big Sur Valley.
Ragged Point Inn is 48 miles south of Big Sur Bazaar (831- 667-2197); approximate drive time 1.44 hours. Big Sur Bazaar features local artists and is part of a cluster of business on Highway 1 in the Big Sur River Valley which includes the Big Sur Center, Big Sur Bazaar, Big Sur Deli, a general store and Post Office.
It is 48 ½ miles north to Sycamore Canyon Road which provides beach access to gorgeous
(805-434-1996) day use area; approximate drive time 1 ½ hours. Pfeiffer Beach is located in the heart of Big Sur and is one of the most popular beaches. There is a small use fee for Pfeiffer Beach it is a day use area, no overnight camping. (
Aerial Photos of Pfeiffer Beach
Big Sur Ranger Station (831-667-2315) : If interested in any outdoor Big Sur attractions you should visit Big Sur Station which is 48 miles north and about 1.5 driving hours. Big Sur Station provides information, pamphlets and brochures about near camping, hiking, and required permits, etc. in Big Sur and has a little store with maps and such and public accessible restrooms. This is the location of the Multi-Agency Facility which includes California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), State Parks, and Forest Service.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
(831-667-2315) is 50 miles north of RPI, approximate drive time 1 ½ hours. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has 1006 acres with majestic redwoods, the usual state park stuff like camping, hiking, and more like the park now offers AT&T Wi-Fi Service! Comfortable lodging among the redwoods is available at the historic
Big Sur Lodge (TOLL FREE 1-800-424-4787) .
There are 60 cottages, rooms, and suites with redwood forest view decks, some with wood-burning fireplaces, the Big Sur Lodge also has a restaurant and gift shop, general store and all advantages of being located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park like access to all the best hiking trails.
( 831-667-2422 ) is 50 ½ miles north, drive time is near 1 ½ hours. Fernwood Resort is an all inclusive Big Sur Resort which offers a motel, 60 unit campground on the Big Sur River and bordering Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, a restaurant, convenience store with espresso bar, a tavern and high-speed broadband wireless internet.
TO PAGE TOP - BOTTOM
A 51 mile drive north is the
Ripplewood Resort ( 831-667-2242 ),
drive time about 1 ½ hours. Lodgings are rustic cabins in the redwood forest along the banks of the Big Sur River; besides the cabins, there is a cafe, general store, hiking trails and gas near on the resort property. Detailed information on the
Ripplewood Resort Website
will help you reserve the perfect cabin closest to the Big Sur River.
Directly across Pacific Coast Highway 1 from the Ripplewood Resort is a restaurant, the
Big Sur Road House ,
(831-667-2264); a lively Big Sur restaurant serving fresh Californian-Latin American cuisine dinners from 5:30 PM, closed Tuesdays.
It is 51 miles north to
Riverside Campground & Cabins (831-667-2414);
drive time is about 1 ½ hours. A family resort with cabins and camping among the Big Sur redwoods on the Big Sur River.
Riverside Campground & Cabins offer 45 sites for tents RV's and 11 Cabins along the Big Sur River in the Big Sur Valley; there are also, hot showers, laundry facilities, a playground, electricity and water hook-ups. Pets are allowed for an additional fee; pets must be on a leash and attended.
RPI is 51 ½ miles south of
Big Sur Campground and Cabins
(831-667-2322), drive time about 2 hours. This family oriented resort has a variety of rental cabins, tent cabins, camping, and RV spaces (up to 8 tons) with electric and water hookups in the redwood forest on or near the Big Sur River. There is also a dump station, a general store, laundry, playground, and basketball court. AAA approved and pets are allowed in tent cabins and the campground on a leash.
Andrew Molera State Park
(831-667-2315) is a 2 hour drive, 54 miles north of Ragged Point Inn, about 20 miles south of Carmel; approximate drive time from RPI is 2 hours. This popular State Park is a 4,800 acre Big Sur coastal paradise, it is the areas largest state park. Andrew Molera State Park is relatively undeveloped offers visitors Big Sur vistas, camping at a primitive walk in trail camp near parking, a nice sand beach with easy beach access, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and
scenic coastal horseback tours (831-625-5486). (
Aerial photographs of Andrew Molera State Park )
Point Sur State Historic Park & Lighthouse (831-625-4419) stands atop a dramatic volcanic rock just off-shore in Big Sur a couple of miles north of Andrew Molera State Park; it is now a California State Historic Park. This historic landmark lighthouse, related lighthouse buildings and property is open for visitation by guided tours only. There are a number of restrictions; you should check the
Point Sur Lighthouse schedule
before you go.
Ragged Point is 64.5 miles south of Palo Colorado Road; approximate drive time, 1.8 hours. Great hiking and camping are 8 miles inland on Palo Colorado Road at a Big Sur back country forest camp,
Bottchers Gap Campground
805-434-1996, at 2,100 feet among the oaks and madrones Bottchers Gap Campground has 12 units each with a picnic table, fire pit and pedestal grill; several of the sites are walk-in campsites. This campground offers excellent views of the Ventana Wilderness and Ventana double cones and access to Skinner Ridge trailhead for some great Big Sur backcountry hiking. No RV's are allowed and the only available water is bottled water from the onsite camp manager.
Located 3 miles south of Carmel on Pacific Coast Highway 1 the
Point Lobos State Reserve (831) 624-4909 contains headlands, a jagged low-lying shoreline with rocky beaches and coves, Monterey cypress , rolling meadows and a rich underwater habitat offshore extremely popular with divers. Hiking trails follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves. Historically the Point Lobos area was a turn of the century home to the abalone and whaling industry; the State Park gives guided tours and has a small museum, Whalers Cabin Museum; the park is outstanding for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging.
Aerial Photographs of Point Lobos State Reserve )
The closest city north of Ragged Point Inn and Resort is 80 miles
approximate drive time: 2 ½ hours. You have now left the Big Sur Coast and have entered the first city out of the Big Sur but some of the magic is still maintained in this quaint fairyland of a
The next closest city is 85 miles,
approximate drive time: 2.41 hours. This is a wonderful historic California City, the closest airport to the north of Ragged Point,
the Monterey Peninsula Airport, is here;
San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is the closest to the south about 40 miles from Hearst Castle. Grab your binoculars and golf clubs and get your ya yas out this is the home of
Beach, the 17
mile drive and Cannery
Row. Have some great seafood on the Fisherman's
Wharf and don't miss the Monterey
Ragged Point Hotel is 205
miles south of San
Francisco; approximate drive time: 5.13 hours. Be sure and
ware a flower in your hair.