Big Sur, California
|"Big Sur" refers to an area
along the Pacific Coast and California Route 1 between Monterrey to
the north and San Simeon to the south... where the Santa Lucia
Mountains border the Pacific Ocean. Much of the highway is perched high
above the sea cliffs, affording spectacular views of the rocky coast below.
The scenery is similar, but unlike the Oregon
Coast, the Big Sur region has no community large enough to be home to a
fast food joint or even a traffic signal. Despite its location between San
Francisco Bay and Los Angeles, this 100-mile stretch of hills and curves
remains relatively untouched by corporate development and unscathed by
man-made eyesores. The highway has plenty of pullovers and overlooks to take
in the scenery or snap a few photos.
One of the area's most popular tourist attractions is Hearst Castle, near San Simeon on Big Sur's southern end. Hearst Castle is an opulent mansion of ineffable splendor, built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. They offer four different tours. The "Experience Tour" is recommended for first time visitors. Hearst Castle is operated by California's state park system. Their website sternly states that photographs taken on-site may not "be published in any medium or format without prior written permission from the State of California"... including this humble little site... so you'll have to use your imagination.
Oh, and as for the elephant seals... they were one of those beautiful, unplanned and unexpected moments. We just pulled over to stretch our legs and there they were... literally tons of them. They can be seen an many Big Sur beaches, but the most convenient location is the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Viewpoint, just north of San Simeon.
|BIG SUR PHOTOS - JULY, 2006|
|CLICK THUMBNAILS FOR LARGER IMAGE|
|BIG SUR SCENERY||BIG SUR SCENERY||ELEPHANT SEALS||ELEPHANT SEALS||ELEPHANT SEALS|
|ELEPHANT SEALS||BIG SUR SCENERY||BIG SUR SCENERY||BIG SUR SCENERY||BIG SUR SCENERY|
|BIG SUR SCENERY||BIG SUR SCENERY||BIG SUR SCENERY||SQUIRREL||HEARST CASTLE - VISITOR CENTER ENTRANCE|
|HEARST CASTLE VISITOR CENTER||HEARST CASTLE - SAN SIMEON||HEARST CASTLE|