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Famous Big Sur coast worth staying awhile
By CARY ORDWAY
The Pacific coastline and old-growth forests are two of California's biggest scenic highlights, and these two natural wonders converge nicely at one of the state's most famous tourist attractions: Big Sur.
Located about 150 miles south of San Francisco, this part of the California coast offers non-stop amazement for travelers willing to drive the curvy Scenic Highway 1 the 90 miles of coastline that today encompass the Big Sur California scenic recreation area. Visitors see new panoramas around every curve —pristine beaches, craggy mountain ledges, fascinating rock formations amid swirling, sometimes angry coastal waters and, of course, the giant redwood trees that swallow up tiny vacationers posing for their vacation photographs.
Keep in mind, this road was not easy to build. Your scenic experience today comes at the expense of convict labor that was brought in over the 18 years prior to the completion of the road in 1937. Until Highway 1 was completed, most of this highway probably wasn't much wider than a harrowing goat path along the side of the steep coastal mountains.
While many travelers drive through Big Sur California on the way to someplace else, the area is also a prime destination that offers a variety of accommodations and enough hiking to keep visitors occupied for weeks. Several state parks and campgrounds are tucked into the coves or carved out of the forests to give vacationers an authentic camping experience and entry to the wilderness by way of numerous well-marked trails. A few cabin resorts are scattered along the coast and there are even a couple of high-end luxury resorts charging upward of $700 a night.