Big Sur is as rich in history as it is in beauty. This stretch of central California coast—where the Santa Lucia Mountains emerge from the Pacific Ocean—has been the subject of many of America’s great writers, painters, and musicians. Henry Miller, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jack Kerouac all called Big Sur home and created some of their best known work there.
Related: T+L’s Guide to Big Sur Hotels
For a large part of history, the area was mostly hard to reach. After the construction of Highway 1, accessibility increased while strict zoning and constructions laws continued to preserve much of the original quietude and charm. It's well worth the trip: Restaurants like Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, The Big Sur Bakery, and Nepenthe offer wonderful food, charming decor, and stunning scenery, while the surrounding areas offer ample opportunity for the most picturesque of picnics and beach walks. Highly recommended for: families, romantic trips, and solitary soul-searching.