101. Introduction to Big Sur

Big Sur Station.
Big Sur Station.
Big Sur, California.

Welcome to Big Sur, California. Big Sur encompasses a 90-mile stretch of coastline running south along Hwy 1 from Carmel to San Simeon. Included in this coastline are several California State Parks, sections of the Los Padres National Forest and the Ventana Wilderness. The name Big Sur comes from the Spanish phrase “El Pais Grande del Sur,” meaning "the big country to the south," which came about when the Carmel Mission was founded in 1771. With the mix of Spanish, Mexican and early pioneers in the area over the next hundred years, this name eventually got shortened to “El Sur Grande," meaning "the big south," or more often, Big Sur. For information on lodging or businesses in the area, please pick up our newspaper, the Big Sur Guide, or visit www.bigsurcalifornia.org.

For information on California State Parks, visit www.parks.ca.gov.

For camping reservations in California State Parks, including the Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground, please call Reserve California at 1-800-444-7275.