Big Sur

California condors tilt and wheel over twin-topped trees jutting toward the heavens, holding fast to the jagged-cliffed, fog-banked, sometimes-sunny but always stunning strip of Central California Coastline, namesake of a famed Kerouac novel written about the author’s stay here in a secluded, private cabin; troops of poppies and lupines dance along the snaky black ribbon of hwy 1-the sky seems closer here. This magnificent 90-mile stretch of steep ravines, dramatic bridges, breathtaking seascapes, gorgeous hidden beaches strewn with treebones, pristine state parks riddled with trails and dazzling watercolor vistas, at one time traversed by 3 nomadic Native American Tribes-remains an exclusive home and playground to fewer than 1000 year-round privileged residents. Public beach and attraction access can be tricky-an adventure in itself, and at times, in demand; be sure to plan your group’s Big Sur expedition bearing this in mind. With the blue Pacific sparkling to the West and nature’s dramatically rugged and unspoiled handiwork all around, it is no surprise long-time residents hold fast to their stakes here! Relatively undeveloped and richly bio-diverse, the many climates of Big Sur are home to scores of rare-to-endangered species and a spectacular variety of native flora and fauna. Fabulous artisanal restaurants and gourmet cafes, a fine assortment of pubs, taverns and public houses serving up stellar libations, live entertainment and traditional to upscale fare, intriguing local galleries and attractions and cozy-to-sumptuous accommodations await overnight visitors without sleeping bags –top-notch accoutrements affording one-or a dozen-a civilized, yet wild escape.

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