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
  • We drove along the PCH from Hearst Castle to Monterey and Pfeiffer Beach was a must stop on my list. Not only that, but from my research, we HAD to see it at sunset, and wow, it did not disappoint. Be...  more »
  • You probably won't be alone on this beach. The road down to the beach is an adventure, and opens up into the parking lot. A brief walk to the beach affords you a treat beyond compare. Be prepared for ...  more »
  • The drive down to the car park is a surprisingly long one, but the car park was pretty much empty on the day that we visited so there were no issues with queues or getting a spot. The beach is just a ...  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.