Out and about in Big Sur

Susan B. enjoying a beer at Nepenthe. Wearing a Madewell bandana, Jenni Kayne cotton fisherman sweater, AG boyfriend jeans.

It’s been decades since I’ve been to Big Sur, and it was so good to get back! In my teens, I visited periodically with a friend whose parents had a cabin near here.

Our first stop was lunch at Nepenthe. (We lucked out and arrived just ahead of the crowds.)

Driftwood bird sculpture at Nepenthe in Big Sur, California.

This Phoenix statue which greets visitors at the front of the restaurant was sculpted out of a single piece of wood by artist Edmund Kara.

The fog was in and out during our entire stay. After lunch we checked into our lodgings nearby, and took a stroll in the area to explore.

Two young deer in Ventana, Big Sur.

Some of the locals.

View of the coastline (with fog over the ocean) from Ventana, Big Sur.

Sunset from our (outdoor) dinner table. The “sea” below is actually the top of a fog bank.

A redwood circle in Ventana, Big Sur.

I’ve always been in love with redwood trees. Their fragrance perfumes the air here and makes me feel at home.

Flowers backlit near sunset.
Big Sur coastline looking south from Ventana.

Every now and then the fog would clear out enough to get a beautiful view of the coastline.

Fog and rock formations at Pfeiffer Beach.

It was mostly foggy the morning we visited Pfeiffer beach. The rock formations and surging waves make for a very dramatic landscape.

Crashing waves at Pfeiffer Beach near Big Sur, California.
Susan B. at Pfeiffer Beach wearing an orange windbreaker and blue jeans.

This little windbreaker has been an MVP so far!

Purple sand at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is a result of manganese garnet deposits washing down onto the beach.

Pfeiffer beach is known for the purple sands. The color is a result of manganese garnet deposits that get worn down by the waves.

Twisted sycamore trees near Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California.

I thought these sycamores on the road to the beach were just so lovely!

We’re into the last couple days of our trip, and my sister has joined up with us. So I’ll wrap this up, but hope you enjoy the photos! (Plus, my internet connection is comme ci comme ça.)

I’ll be back next week, bon weekend!

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  1. California is really a beautiful state. I have not been to Big Sur in a long time. Your photos are wonderful reminders of what I have been missing..

  2. Thank you for taking the time to post these stunning photos. Those rock ones are so gorgeous, I would enlarge and hang on the wall. Enjoy the time with your sister while there. That shot on the concrete bench is really adorable.

  3. I am planning a trip to the area in October! Is there lodging you would recommend? We are looking forward to seeing this lovely part of the state!

  4. Your posts have made me want to see this part of California, as I have only ever been to San Diego. The vegetation is so lush and so different from what we have in the Southeast! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Susan,
    The link to the sneakers you are wearing in the first picture please ? The one where you are sitting on the concrete bench.

  6. You look great in that jacket. The photos are stunning! I was on my way to SF once with flowers in my hair but never guite got to CA. Too bad. Its a beautiful state.

  7. Thank you for the reminder that California is a beautiful state. I have never been on Pfeifer beach just ridden by on my Harley. Thank you for the awesome pictures.

  8. Absolutely stunning photos, Susan. I used to live in California, and I do miss the beautiful coastal areas. I like your casual chic traveling outfits as well.

  9. How gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the beauty of Cali. The land border is still closed to Canadians entering the USA so travelling vicariously through you!

  10. Beautiful place and great photos. You have a great eye! Would you mind sharing the names of places you stayed in? Thank you.

  11. Susan-Thanks for the beautiful photos! It has been a long time since I have been to that part of California! I had forgotten how beautiful it is!

  12. We did a similar trip three years ago & didn’t have enough time to explore Big Sur. Thank you so much for the photos of what we missed—darn it, we’ll just have to go back. 🙂

  13. Big Sur…so beautiful. You make me want to go back…and take the kids to see this beautiful spot! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos.
    Have a happy remaining time there!

  14. Susan, I so miss California and the mini trips to Big Sur and Carmel. I was born and raised in San Francisco and sneaked away as much as possible to the coast. In college, it was a day trip which often turned into an evening when I turned 21. Fond memories of fun times. Hope you are enjoying. PS: The orange anaronak jacket is adorable and you look great in it. Thank you for all your recommendations and ideas which I silently take in and often purchase. My best wishes for a wonderful road trip and safe journeys. PPS: Paul Green shoes are the bomb! PPPS: I live in Southeast Coastal Florida now which although drastically different from N and S Cali, is paradise.

  15. I last visited Big Sur in the early 90s. I did a sort of Thelma and Louise (except we did not drive over the cliff) We drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco in an open top sports car and had many adventures along the way. Would like to go back there again.

  16. Beautiful photos! Looks like you’re having a great time.. Big Sur is magical. I have wonderful memories of visits there, although I haven’t been in years.

  17. Susan, can you tell me about the off-white sweater you are wearing in the first photo? I love it, and it would be so versatile.