Great American Beaches 2008
Big Sur, California
Great For: Nature. Windblown Pfeiffer beats out considerable coastal competition in California, thanks to stunning granite outcrops offshore—one with a tunnel worn through it. Walk on the sand 10 minutes north to Deer Canyon (there’s no sign, but it’s the only canyon you’ll see). A rugged trail angles up and left before ending on the bluffs.
Where To Stay: Post Ranch Inn has added 10 redwood rooms, but the “tree houses,” on nine-foot stilts, are still the best place to channel your inner child.
Pack a Snack: Pick up coffee and freshly made jelly doughnuts three miles away at Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant.