One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles, California is how many roadtrip opportunities are out there for us Angelenos! A spot on my bucket list that I had always wanted to visit was none other than the infamous Big Sur. A spot beloved by both California locals and tourists from afar, you just can’t beat the views on one of the world’s most special stretches of coastline (all 90 miles of it!). Where the lush green, flowered-covered cliffs meet the sea, Big Sur is a magical location that all Angelenos and non-Angelenos need to add to their travel bucket lists.
My friends and I made the trek up to Big Sur in May 2019 for a good friend’s 30th birthday camping party - how fun is that? Via one of the most famous drives on the West Coast, Highway 1, Big Sur is roughly only a 6-hour drive from LA. There are plenty of spots along the way to make the drive seem a little shorter, and a lot more fun. And trust me, plenty (!) of snacks and a great playlist makes every road trip that much more enjoyable. Below I’ll share tips on things we did and where we stayed, to hopefully help you (and your pals!) plan the most spectacular weekend #GetawayfromLA here.
When planning any road trip or #getawayfromLA trip, my first step is to secure accommodations, especially in a place as popular and well-visited as Big Sur. My friend found this beautiful campsite online, and I am so glad that she did! Riverside Campground & Cabins are in the heart of Big Sur, has the Big Sur River running through it (it would be perfect for summer when the water is warmer), and is so serene and peaceful. Riverside has a mix of campsites for tent campers and small cabins for glampers, and the community shares showers and bathrooms (all were clean and never crowded, in my opinion). My fiance and I opted for the least expensive cabin option, and it was basically just a bed and 4 walls, but that’s all we really needed! Just a cozy place to rest our heads at the end of the day (and one that required very little set-up and break-down). We stayed in cabin #9 which had a comfortable queen bed, electricity, heat/AC, and an outdoor table area. I would absolutely love to come back here, and would rate it 5/5 stars!
Riverside Campground & Cabins are located here: 47020 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920. They have 34 campsites and 12 cabins available.
For more information on their accommodations, visit their website here: https://www.riversidecampground.com/
The view point for the McWay Waterfall is a gorgeous stop along Highway 1 and also one that’s super easy to get to. Typically, visitors are directed to the paid-parking lot directly across the street ($10), but when we visited the park was closed, so we parked along the street for free. This probably isn’t recommended for all visitors since cars come up and down Highway 1 super fast, but you can decide how comfortable you feel to cross the street (or if you get lucky, there are a few, free designated parking spots right at the top of the viewpoint for the waterfall, which is ideal and much safer!). This is a great spot to take a few pictures and enjoy the golden coastline views.
This address into Google Maps: McWay Waterfall Parking, Big Sur, CA 93920 OR 52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920.
Chances are you’ve seen pictures of one of the US’s most iconic bridges before - the beautiful Bixby Bridge! The bridge first opened on November 27, 1932 and today remains one of the tallest single-span bridges in the world. To snag a gorgeous picture of yourself with the bridge, pull over at the viewpoint on the northern end of the bridge. A small parking lot with free parking is available, and some people were also parked directly along Highway 1. If you type “Bixby Bridge” into Google Maps, you’ll easily be able to get driving directions here! Snap away, my friends.
Overall, our trip to Big Sur was short, but oh-so-sweet. We were only here from Friday afternoon - Sunday morning, and much time was just spent chillin’ at the campsite with our friends, BBQ-ing, listening to music, and making s'mores. It was such a refreshing mini-getaway, and the drive there and back from L.A. was beautiful! I would highly recommend you plan a road trip to Big Sur sooner rather than later. Here are some more resources to get you started on planning an awesome trip here:
WANDER BEYOND THE CITY LINES...
As much as I love to explore L.A., it's good for the soul to getaway every now & then. Join me as I escape from the city to explore new locations, both locally and globally!
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