Monterey County

The rugged Santa Lucia Mountains dominate Monterey County’s southern coast, rising steeply from the ocean to create the dramatic Big Sur landscape. Driving Highway One as it winds between mountains and sea is an adventure in itself; to extend your experience, take a short hike to McWay Falls, which drops 80 feet from bluff to beach, or camp among the redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. North of Big Sur is the rocky, forested headland of Point Lobos, a state reserve that includes 750 offshore acres dominated by kelp forest, one of the world’s richest underwater environments. Here you can see sea lions, harbor seals, abundant birdlife, and if you’re lucky, a sea otter or migrating gray whale.

North of Big Sur, visit the lovely white-sand Carmel City Beach and explore Carmel’s galleries, shops, and restaurants; tour the scenic 17-Mile Drive tollway or take a stroll on the dune boardwalk at Asilomar State Beach and visit the conference buildings designed by Julia Morgan. North of the Monterey Peninsula, rocky bluffs give way to the long curve of the Monterey Bay shoreline, with broad sandy beaches and dunes, and the rich tidal and freshwater marshes of Elkhorn Slough, which has some of the best birdwatching in Monterey County.

Site Overview Accessible Parking Accessible Restrooms Picnic Hiking Fishing Accessible Beach Access
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers Accessible Restrooms Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers Picnic Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park offers Accessible Restrooms Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park offers Picnic
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offers Accessible Restrooms Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offers Picnic
Carmel River State Beach
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (Dan Hill)
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State ParkCarmel River State BeachPfeiffer Big Sur State ParkPoint Lobos State Natural Reserve

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