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

Pfeiffer State Beach, Big Sur

(1,100 reviews on the web)
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
  • Beautiful empty beach with the two big rocks making it a nice dramatic scenery on PCH drive. Great for sunsets or just some picturesque shots. Dont miss the exit to go to this beach on the PCH, its ki...  more »
  • Absolutely one of the most beautiful beaches ever! A must see place to view a sunset at least once in your life!  more »
  • My favorite color is purple; naturally this beach was on my bucket-list. While it was tricky to find and there was a small entry fee (sorry don't remember what it was), it was absolutely worth it for ...  more »
Google
  • 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...
  • 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!