The Big South, simply called El Sur Grande in its earliest beginnings, is unquestionably a place of unsurpassed natural beauty. Hugging the coastline along a dramatic meeting of land and sea, the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains on one side and the turbulent Pacific Ocean on the other, Big Sur speaks to an adventurous soul. For 90 miles along Highway 1, California’s first designated scenic highway, the unfolding backdrop of imposing natural grandeur is spine-tingling.

The Esselen Indians were first to inhabit the area thousands of years ago; rock-art handprints are one of the few remaining reminders of their presence in this remote land. The ruggedness of the area has kept the Big Sur population small, a welcome existence for many of its free-spirited residents. Not so rugged, however, to discourage visiting.

A romantic getaway, a spiritual retreat, a cathartic outdoor exploit or relaxing in natural hot springs are just a few of the transformative experiences that define this area anchored to the craggy coastal bluffs. With California condors soaring overhead, sea otters tap-tap-tapping in the nearshore waters, wildflowers dotting the hillsides Big Sur is the answer to renewing and recharging your spirit.

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