Known as some of the most stunning undeveloped coastline, Big Sur brings travelers from around the world to experience rocky coastline, redwood forests, and pristine beaches.
Situated between the Carmel Highlands in the north and San Simeon in the south, the Big Sur area is a stretch of 71 miles of rugged coastline. Remote and inaccessible for many years prior to the construction of the Pacific Coast Highway, the drastic Santa Lucia mountains makes this destination feel like a world apart from the rest of California’s sandy beaches.
Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of the U.S. state of California between Carmel and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States,” a “national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development” and “one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation.” The stunning views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for tourists from across the world.
The original Spanish-language name for the mountainous terrain south of Monterey was el país grande del sur, which means “the big country of the south.” The name el Sud (also meaning “the south”) was first used in the Rancho El Sur land grant made in 1834. In 1915, English-speaking settlers formally adopted “Big Sur” as the name for their post office.