I don’t say this lightly – I’ve found one of my favourite places on earth.
After our long wander through Monterey we hopped back in the car to head out on the ’17-Mile Drive’, which had been touted as ‘one of the most beautiful drives in the world’. The route runs through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach and with many stops along the way it’s easy to wile away most of the day. We entered via the Carmel gate (paying an entry fee on the way – fair warning!) and started our leisurely meander along the route.
Some of the lookouts are more scenic than others but after the freedom of making our own adventure on the Pacific Coast Highway it wasn’t long before the crowds at every stop became a bit much and we became more selective.
This is one of my favourite pictures from the whole trip. I love the black on yellow and the look of murderous intent in his eyes. So refreshing and honest!
When we saw these guys from the road there was no way we weren’t stopping!
Sneaky squirrel eating all of the tourists’ crumbs.
Once the wind turned and we caught the seals’ scent we decided it was a good time to go and moved on to the next stop…
…which had more seals and was on the right side of the wind. They lazed peacefully with no clue that they were causing a chorus of ‘awwwww’.
In fact, I was so caught up watching the seals I almost missed this pod of otters hidden in the seaweed! I’ve never seen so many before and it was such a treat to see them in their natural habitat just going about their normal day-to-day lives.
Oh to be an otter – it seems to be all eating, swimming and sleeping 24-7.
Apparently this guy didn’t like sharing the limelight so he came over to remind us who the real star of the show was.
Our next stop was the ‘famous’ Lone Cypress. I use quotes because I hadn’t actually heard of it before this day. It’s quite stunning though, perched at the edge of the ocean.
The 17-Mile Drive is great if you’re looking for wildlife but overall we found the drive along the coast in Big Sur much more beautiful and easy to navigate at our own pace allowing us to escape the crowds. I’d recommend skipping the 17-Mile and sticking to the free views from the Pacific Coast Highway – prettier and a much better value!
After doing the 17-Mile loop we made our way south to catch the sunset from McWay Falls, passing firefighters in action fighting the blaze on the way.
McWay Falls is a never-ending waterfall that kisses the Pacific and provides one of my favourite Big Sur sights.
This is the face of a very happy camper!
Having found the perfect spot to sit and watch the sunset we settled in to enjoy the show.
We passed the time working on our classic Instagram-worthy hand hearts.
Mine is a bit…batman…
…while G is clearly the one with the superior technique.
With smoke from the wildfire filling the air the colours were even more incredible than what we’d seen the previous night at Bixby Bridge.
There is no filter on these pictures whatsoever!
I’ve left a piece of my heart in Big Sur and I can’t wait to go back and reaffirm my love!