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Pfeiffer State Beach, Big Sur

4.6
#2 of 22 in Things to do in Big Sur
Beach Nature / Park
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 Traveler Rating
1,105 reviews
Google
4.7
  • One of the most beautiful landscapes I've seen in my life. It is worth to know it without any doubt.
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  • Too bad the beach is closed, we really enjoyed the unusual rock formations and the sea roaring in. I like to visit beaches of different colors, and this beach did not disappoint. The beach has streaks...  more »
  • The beach is currently closed because of road closures. The sign to say the beach is closed is about .5 mile before the road shuts , long way to drive for nothing! The park is open though  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Such a wonderful beach if you can get in...bridge is still out of service...but if ur willing to walk..your good...
  • 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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