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Pfeiffer State Beach, Big Sur

4.6
The unspoiled Pfeiffer State Beach is a hit with locals but lesser known among tourists. Take a narrow road off the highway to reach this rugged oasis. Make sure to drive slowly, watching out for cars coming from the other direction. The beach's tranquil atmosphere and small crowds come at the cost of limited parking. You may have to wait for a spot. Once there, take a stroll, admire the dramatic views of offshore rocks and sea stacks, watch the waves crashing, and look for deposits of the area's unusual purple sand. You might even see a whale in the distance. Bring a sweater; it can get windy here. Use our Big Sur tour itinerary planning website to arrange your visit to Pfeiffer State Beach and other attractions in Big Sur.
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Pfeiffer State Beach Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,107 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • September 25, 2017
    Seriously stunning! Beautiful sunset. A bit difficult to get to/hard to find/hard to park, but very pretty. The waves are pretty rough, though, so I wouldn't recommend swimming.  more »
  • September 7, 2017
    Road, landscape, beaches, all wonderful. We still had the opportunity to see whales in the high seas. Amazing place.
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  • August 13, 2017
    It's a great beach to pack a lunch or lite snack and watch a sunset. The jagged rocks create amazing opportunities for taking pictures. The rough water and jagged rocks make it a little difficult for ...  more »
Google
  • June 18, 2017
    Don't miss this beach if you're driving this part of Hwy 1. Sunset is absolutely stunning. You will take Sycamore Cyn road that's a great drive. You have to be careful as it's kinda narrow. Also, parking could be a challenge. Don't be discouraged. It's worth it.
  • June 3, 2017
    Pfeiffer Beach's purple sand is very cool, but getting to it is a real pain. Most of the roads are single lane and there is very limited parking. You have to keep trying at the entrance until there is finally an opening, because they wont let you just wait until someone leaves. The beach can be very windy and the water is typical of central California, very cold.
  • January 18, 2017
    Quiet beach after you walk through the forest along the river. I was concerned about crossing the stream to get to the parking lot in my 2 wheel drive sedan but ended up making it across effortlessly. $10 for parking. Saw one of the park rangers walking along the beach picking up trash. Very clean.
  • May 11, 2017
    Such a wonderful beach if you can get in...bridge is still out of service...but if ur willing to walk..your good...
  • June 22, 2017
    very beautiful scenery.. loved the ocean!

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Where to stay in Big Sur

Secluded resorts, inns, and lodges are located off Highway 1. Some offer weary drivers a safe resting place, while others are exclusive resorts for long-term getaways. The latter require advance reservations. Camping is another popular alternative, with many campgrounds accessible from the highway.
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