|ATTENTION IMPORTANT CAL TRANS PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY 1 CONSTRUCTION NOTICE: Pacific Coast Highway 1 has several construction projects ongoing this winter and more in the works; you can expect 1 way signal or flag man directed traffic causing 15 minute delays and at times some complete closures during some week nights. Also the road sometimes gets closed from rock slides and road slips during this rainy season- motorists are advised not to travel during inclement weather especially at night and to get to their destinations prior to any planned closures or use an alternate routes. Always check before you leave with the highway dept: dot.gov Highway 1
Conserve... be "water wise" don't waste water! The drought is not over yet:(
Will torrential rains end California's drought? Some folks think so but in between rains the Big Sur Scenic Coast Highway will be open so go on and enjoy! Here's a brief rundown on what's happening in Big Sur right NOW...
So NOW IS A FINE TIME TO VISIT BIG SUR CALIFORNIA!!! If you want to use online resources to plan a Big Sur Vacation and skip the internet clutter try www.BigSur.tips; Big Sur Travel Tips: New Big Sur Travel Information Website; hot tips and cleaver tricks aimed at increasing your vacation enjoyment in Big Sur California and saving you big $$$$. The #1 Go-To-First Website to visit while you are planning your Pacific Coast Highway 1 road trip or travel vacation to the scenic Big Sur Coast. Website chalk full of great travel and vacation information in condensed form, the top suggestions and very best advice to improve your visit to California’s famous Big Sur.
NOW IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WEATHER ! It is ironic that the Big Sur Coast’s best weather comes after the busy summer season is over and the crowds are gone and the only people there to enjoy the beautiful days are the locals and a few privileged others. Our usually mild winter began here December 21st and typically during the fall/winter, an area of high pressure builds at the surface over the Great Basin (the area between the Sierra Nevada range to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east) and begins to dominate Central California coastal weather. These conditions most often produce northeasterly (offshore) winds, especially during the night and morning hours. These winds bring the relatively dry air to our shoreline, pushing the marine layer far out to sea, which produces sparkling, clear visibility along our beaches and the warmest temperatures of the year.
The tourists forsake the Big Sur Coast after summer leaving it sometimes eerily peaceful but towards the end of October the colors turning of the deciduous trees in the river and creek valleys and bright red poison oak help brighten things up and the migrating monarch butterflies arrive by the thousands and the Rufas and Allen's Hummingbirds come to dine and joust in amazing aerial battles with the local Anna’s humming birds as it migrates through to its' winter home in Northern Mexico. The Blue Whales, Humpback Whales and Orcas are swimming off the Big Sur coast at this time of the year and large numbers of Gray Whales appear in November heading south to feed and breed off Mexico. Cute little sea otter pups appear with their mothers hanging around the kelp beds from January through March.
Did you know? Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur was chosen #3 on Saturday Evening Post's Americas 10 Best Beaches List !!! SPECIAL FALL/WINTER HAPPENINGS MOSTLY OVER but... You don't want to miss the famous & popular mushroom celebration for which tickets are on sale the Big Sur Wild Food Foragers Festival in January but reserve NOW !!! events sell out early purchase tickets online ; for more events check the www.big-sur-lodgine.com calendar of Big Sur things to see & do.
Big Sur businesses are are anxious for your trade; come enjoy this unspoiled paradise; many service people are available and eager to provide you with a memorable Big Sur vacationer experience!
GET OUT OF YOUR CAR ... The the trails to the beautiful natural Big Sur Waterfalls ( waterfalls guide mobile) always provide nice short hikes through the beautiful forest but after a few rains the rewards are greatly increased by the elegantly flowing waterfalls.
SOMETHING TO DO JUST NORTH OF BIG SUR...The Point Sur Lighthouse goes to winter tour schedule November/March: Saturday & Sunday 10AM, Wends day 1PM; LOOKING FOR LIVE MUSIC OR ENTERTAINMENT?; check the calendars at places like the Henry Miller Library (831-667-2574), Fernwood Resort (831-667-2129), but sorry most the live the music is about over till spring at places like the Big Sur River Inn (Toll Free: 1-800-548-3610), but check the Maiden Publick House (831-667-2355); and on Monday evenings Treebones Yurt Resort (805-927-2390) has live music and check the www.big-sur-lodging.com calendar of Big Sur things to see & do.
Enjoy paradise unspoiled; many service people are not busy and anxious to provide you with a memorable Big Sur vacationer experience!
VISIT MONTEREY ... At the northern end of the highway, there is always something going on in Carmel/Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, see some unique barrel jellies and scores of octopuses, squids and cuttlefishes also are some of the latest additions making up the interesting and ultra beautiful Tentacles Exhibit, there is a baby sea turtle in the open sea exhibit and now they have a Giant Pacific Octopus too. . Take the virtual Big Sur road trip for more ideas along the highway.!
VISIT HEARST CASTLE & CAMBRIA ... Visiting the southern end of scenic Big Sur is good now also; try Morro Bay/Cayucos/Cambria. If you are a first time visitor to Hearst Castle take the “Grand Rooms Tour”, a 45 minute tour through the grounds and grand social rooms of Casa Grande, the largest house at Hearst Castle...experience what it was like to be a guest at this hilltop retreat; one of my favorites is the "Evening Tour", available October - December on most Fridays and Saturdays, description: experience the Castle at night as a visitor to the Castle in the 1930s might have. The Evening Tour is a one hour and 40 minute experience which features highlights from the Experience, Upper Floors of Casa Grande, and Garden tours. Also you can tour the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse (805) 927-7361 which is offering tours of their grounds and facilities through June 14 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10 a.m. leaving the Piedras Blancas Motel at 10AM. Piedras Blancas elephant seals are always up to something; this years young show up September and the cute newborns come in December, see the SEALS ACTIVITIES MONTH by MONTH CALENDAR for the seals routines and look at the new Elephant Seal Webcam to see what they are up to right this second. Ragged Point has the closest restrooms you must stop there to at least check the coastal views anyway.
DON'T MISS ... Just a reminder of some of my coastal favorites: Ragged Point
is always a must stop on anytime you are in the neighborhood...at the very least stretch your legs and check the California coastal views...In the tiny village of San Simeon at the south end of the Big Sur Coast try McPhee's new menu at Sebastian’s Wine Bar & Burger Joint who still feature Hearst Ranch natural free range grass fed beef and try the tasting room of Hearst Ranch Wines! Do some exploring and have some adventures along with getting pampered at one of the fine resorts on the scenic Big Sur Coast Highway 1!
WHAT TO WEAR... HOW TO DRESS WHEN YOU GO TO BIG SUR CALIFORNIA: The Big Sur area has a large variety of microclimates; weather is generally mild on the coast but it changes quickly and often so it is best to come prepared with extreme heavy warm clothing and light cloths too...layering is the best way to dress for Big Sur any season; peal clothes off when it warms, pile them on when it starts to get cool or damp.
INFORMATION ON TRAILS, CAMPGROUNDS AND LOCAL STATE PARKS: Check the 2015 Spring Campground Report
PRE-CHECK YOUR VENUE! many services have changer or are limited because of intense storms following the prolonged drought, for instance Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is only partially open; GOOD NEWS !!!: Damage from most past Big Sur forest fires have been repaired and most most affected trails and campgrounds were reopened the exception is Ventana Campground, coming back for summer 2015 I am told; Limekiln Creek California State Park's maybe open but the trail to Sykes Hot Springs has been repaired and reopened.
Winter can be an ok in the Big Sur back-country between storms...soon the temperatures will start to drop, water will flow and the land will be turning green once again. It’s always strange seeing most of the rest of the country turning various shades of brown or white right when here it is turning bright green. Why not get out of your car and get to know Big Sur spend A Night Beneath the Stars on Buckeye Trail!
Before you start any adventure you may want phone ahead and to check online and double check by telephone that your desired trails and camping destinations are open and passable. Ventana Wilderness Alliance website is a great resource for all Big Sur area trails (V.W.A. Website) and can check for current conditions and closures via telephone or in person at the Big Sur Ranger Station (831) 667-2315. Personnel are available during normal business hours 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM (PST) and have information about hiking, camping, road conditions and more. While in Big Sur you can pick up trail maps, books, posters, and lots of other information. They also have public restrooms. At the more southern end of the Scenic Big Sur Highway you can get help and information via telephone or in person from the Pacific Valley Ranger Station (805)927-4211.
It's always a good idea to check Highway conditions; Pacific Coast Highway One, PCH 1, has been describe by Cal-Trans as geologically unstable and there is highway construction, delays and closures:
PCH 1, Pacific Coast Highway 1 -It is never really safe to travel the scenic Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 during or soon after a rain storm and it is especially dangerous when there has been a lot of rain and the ground is saturated. Although rock slides can happen at any time the more saturated the ground and if there is currently or in the near future a rain storm, especially if it is heavy then the more likely flash flooding and severe rock slides are imminent. It only takes one small falling rock to ruin your day and a one large boulder can end your life! The Pacific Coast Highway 1 remains open unless it is closed by the California Department of Transportation; for current California Highway conditions call 1-800.427.7623, or on the internet you can check California Highway Conditions:
PCH 1 and all California Highway Conditions at the California Department of Transportation website Mobile.