It’s easy to see why Big Sur has so much attention. Roughly about 4.5 million tourists visited Big Sur just before the pandemic. And now our way of traveling has obviously been questioned in recent years, especially post-pandemic. We know that over-tourism has a direct impact on the environment. The new mantra of traveling now is more geared towards sustainability. Big Sur is no doubt one of the most beautiful hotspots for all kinds of travelers.
With its 90-mile stretch of awe-inspiring coastline from Carmel to the north and San Simeon to the south, Big Sur is a real treat for those looking to relax right in the middle of nature. Most of the tourists come to its popular attractions such as Bixby Creek Bridge, Pfeifer Beach, or the Limekiln State Parks. While these places have hordes of tourists, there are still few places in Big Sur that have not been tainted by commercialism. These places inspire visitors to travel differently, and sometimes with a purpose.
Meet The Butterflies At The Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary In Pacific Grove
Butterflies are symbolic, they often mean transformations and rejuvenation in the esoteric world. Nature lovers enjoy watching butterflies as they flit among the vibrant flowers. There are more than 28,000 species of butterflies throughout the world, and these insects are very crucial to our ecosystem. They are known to be wild indicators of the ecosystem since they increase biodiversity through pollination. They live in diverse places including lowland forests, mangroves, wetlands, and coastal areas. And in Big Sur, one can see tens of thousands of butterflies migrating to the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary to inhabit the eucalyptus and pine trees. These western monarchs seek refuge in these trees from late October until February and then head towards Canada in Spring.
During winter, they remain inactive and cling to the eucalyptus branches high up the trees. One can clearly observe them using binoculars. One will likely find on-site guides in the afternoon who have lots of insights regarding these butterflies.
- Address: 250 Ridge Rd, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, United States
- Opening Hours: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- On-site Guide: From 12:00 am - 3:00 pm
- Best Time To Visit: From late October or November until February
- Facility: Free parking area
Visit Henry Miller Memorial Library
The Henry Miller Memorial Library reels one back in time. Tucked in the southern corner of the Lilliputian town of Big Sur, the library has an artsy, quirky, and comfy setting. It’s not a typical library where book lovers can rent a book. Here one can commemorate the great work of the novelist Henry Miller who knew how to blend character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, and mysticism harmoniously. Visitors will find books hanging from the roof or tacked to the walls. Visitors will find numerous books, manuscripts, and letters to read.
It was Henry Miller’s best friend Emil White, who took the initiative to build this Bohemian library and name it ‘Henry Miller Memorial Library’ in 1981, a year after the novelist died. Together with the Big Sur Land Trust, the library which is a non-profit organization was created. What makes this library unique is its unconventional way to spread the love of art and culture in various ways, not only through books but also by inviting artists to perform. One can expect to find popular music bands such as the Arcade Fire the indie rock band who performed here. Visitors can enjoy a complimentary coffee and unwind with like-minded travelers in a cozy setting adorned with lofty redwoods. The best part of hanging out here is being able to attend night film screenings, storytelling at night, or live music entertainment.
- Address: 48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, United States
- Opening Hours: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm (Wednesday - Sunday)
Check Out Tassajara Hot Springs
Situated 23 miles away from Carmel Valley Road, The Tassajara Hot Springs is an ideal destination for weary travelers looking to rejuvenate themselves. Tassajara Hot Springs is a collection of several natural hot springs within the Ventana Wilderness area of the Santa Lucia Range and Los Padres National Forest. Interestingly, back in time, it was the indigenous Native Americans who used the hot springs just before they were discovered by the Europeans. Today the springs are privately owned by the San Francisco Zen Center. The attraction is open only during summer from May till mid-September, where visitors can unwind at the hot springs, practice meditation, and access some scenic trails. Visitors will have the option to dine on-site at an extra cost (a gourmet vegetarian lunch) or bring their own lunch instead.
- Address: 39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, United States
- Time To Visit: From May till mid-September