California Road Trip | Big Sur

This place is one of the most breathtaking I've been. It was, surprisingly, exactly as I had expected -- a dense wooded area, with no real town, gorgeous views, cliffs so high you are often above the clouds, and zero cell phone service. Trip highlights include... a quick .5 mile hike down to Pardington Cove, once a Prohibition-era port for buccaneer whiskey runners (heading south, 6 miles past Nepenthe, pull over just past mile marker 38 -- you will see a gate and a wide fire road. Cross the bridge and go through a rock tunnel to get the hidden cove. Other coves to visit down the path, too.), dinner at Nepenthe and breakfast at Cafe Kevah (lower deck of Nepenthe), coffee + scones from Big Sur Bakery, a stop by the deli before a 10-mile hike in Andrew Molera, beers at Big Sur Roadhouse, cozy nights (and dinner) at Deetjen's Big Sur Inn. A place unlike any other, that's for sure.

For next time... Visit the swimming hole at Salmon Creek. About an hour South of Big Sur on Highway 1 you'll see a big sign for Salmon Creek -- just past the sign you'll see a turnout up ahead (on the inland side of the highway) where the actual trailhead starts. After a .5-mile hike in you will get to a beautiful swimming hole with waterfalls and big rocks. Depressed we never made it here during peak sun. Also wanting to stay at Treebones (though it is out of the way)