Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Big Sur  /  Beaches  /  Pfeiffer State Beach

Pfeiffer State Beach, Big Sur

(4.6/5 based on 1,000+ reviews on the web)
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. A visit to Pfeiffer State Beach represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Big Sur vacation trip planner to plot your vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great campground with lots of areas to explore. Easy hiking with children. One of my favorite spots in Norcal 
  • This one can be tricky to find. The turnoff from Highway 1 is not well marked. Its just south of the bridge that is just south of the entrance to Pfieffer Big Sur State Park 
  • Beautiful and is a must see while visiting Big Sur. Parking is a bit limited down at the bottom of the trail which is beach front however you do have the option to park up on the highway and can bike ...  more »
Google
  • A beautiful beach, my favorite place in California. It has an almost spiritual essence. It can be breezy year round and chilly during the night. Bring your climbing shoes too if you want to climb the coves!
  • Best $10 I have ever spent. Few tips 1) Bring your own snacks (pick up after yourself) because you will not want to leave, 2) Pay for the parking, screw that walking crap, you will appreciate having your car close by especially if you just spent the last few hours chilling on this gorgeous beach!
  • It was a interesting to get there through narrow mountain roads ending at a paid parking lot! Seemed like there would be a lot of people but thankfully most went on the trek up. We just headed for the beach. It was windy and cold-ish but it was beautiful. The waters are choppy and the rock formations there are intriguing. Definitely one of the prettier beaches but seems extremely rocky. A good way to stop and smell the roses...I hope the parking lot pays for maintaining the breach...
  • Access to this beach is along a dirt trail along a little Creek. Getting there is part of the fun. The sand dunes are super fun to climb. The double sided beach is unique, and the purple sand is super cool. Get there early as parking is quite limited.
  • LOVE IT. Beautiful scenery, relaxing vibe, and friendly beach goers. Watched the sun set and listened to the waves crash for hours.