Breathtaking views from the scenic Highway 1
For those who visit the southwest of the United States, a ride along the Big Sur is an absolute must. The Big Sur, also known as scenic Highway 1, winds along the coast from Monterey and Carmel down to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. For the best views you’ll drive from North to South. Also very convenient if you would like to stop to enjoy the view every now and then, because al stops are located on the sea side. The views are the most beautiful in the early morning or in the evening just before the sun sets.
Stopping every now and then for spotting wildlife is often rewarded: in the north there are several otter spotting locations. You can usually find them swimming in and around the kelp forests. Wales, dolphins and seals are also a very common sight around the coast. Nearby Hearst Castle, Piedras Blancas is the home of a large group of noisy elephant seals. They can be quite aggressive, so it would be best to enjoy looking at these lazy, obese animals from behind the fence.
Although there are many beautiful places and parks along the Big Sur, two places in particular are more than worthwhile mentioning: Point Lobos State National Reserve and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. In these parks, you can choose from several hikes with breathtaking views, see waterfalls and enjoy even more wildlife.
The best place to stop for a drink or a meal is Nephente restaurant. Here you can have your lunch or dinner at 800 feet above the Pacific Ocean and enjoy the breathtaking view from a lounge chair with a huge pile of pillows.