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Redwoods and Cacti
The Big Sur Coast is a coastal region in central California. Here, the Santa Lucia Mountains jut skyward from the Pacific Ocean. Because of this dramatic landscape, the terrain offers stunning views.
This region’s Cone Peak is the highest coastal mountain in the lower 48 states. Only three miles from the ocean, it crests a mile above sea level.
Another noteworthy aspect of this area is it’s jagged topography. This creates many separate microclimates, all within a short distance of one another. Hence, this is one of the few places on Earth where redwoods grow within sight of cacti.
Land use restrictions protect Big Sur’s natural beauty. However, they also mean that tourist accommodations are limited. For this reason, many experience this region from the highway. However, for the motivated explorer, Big Sur offers hiking, mountain climbing, and other outdoor activities.
Photographers usually shoot this coast from pullouts accessed from the road. Garapata State Park, Rocky Creek Bridge, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offer some of the most dramatic viewpoints.