Big Sur Coastline

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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Our plan to go out for a 50 mile ride out to Pebble Beach along the famous 17 Mile Dr was quickly dashed as the early morning brought about heavy rains. So, after breakfast, we decided to continue playing tourist and go for a drive out along the California Coastline on Hwy 1 down to Big Sur.

We started our drive along Sunset Dr/Ocean View Blvd and stopped at the Pacific Grove Shoreline Marine Refuge; the wind-blown cypress trees are gorgeous as is the splendid ocean views. There’s a small tide pool area with thousands of hermit crabs and other marine vegetation.

Continuing south on Sunset Dr takes us pass the Asilomar State Beach and towards the outskirts of Monterey. We exit town on Hwy 68 to Hwy 1 heading south.

As you drive along the coastline, there are many vista points and outlook areas to pull over and admire the spectacular ocean views, rugged cliffs & rocky shores, beautiful towering Coastal Redwoods and the majesty of the chapparal covered hills & mountains. You can also stop and take a short walk down the many coastal trails along the way.

Today proved to be one of the best days for this coastal drive-the early morning rains brought out sunny clear blue skies for the remainder of the day; at least out to our lunch stop in Big Sur at the Nepenthe Restaurant. We drove out about a mile pass the restaurant in search of the magnificent soaring condors but alas, the dense fog allowed for zero visibility.

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Lunch at the Nepenthe Restaurant was wonderful, the food was fabulous and the surrounding views were spectacular! Our seating along the outdoor patio allowed us to see the coastline come into view as the fog slowly lifted away. We shared the house specialty; the Ambrosiaburger, a grilled prawn with bacon, lettuce and tomato jam sandwich, fries and a fresh baked pumpkin pie. It was all so delicious; the burger was cooked medium with a very nice rich beef flavor, the prawns and apple bacon were smoky and the tomato jam added a depth of richness to the sandwich-yummy! But the best is always saved for last, the pumpkin pie was just right-not too sweet with a flaky crust. Next time, I’d love to come and try out their dinner menu.

On our return, we drive into Carmel to check out the beach area along Scenic Rd and take a short walk around the Carmel Plaza. If you’re looking for one of a kind jewelry and or artwork, this is the place to get it-there’s no shortage of art galleries and jewelry stores here! 

Dinner at Vivolo’s Chowder House in Pacific Grove was great; we shared the Captain’s Platter with penne pasta and Chicken Marsala. All the seafood, scallops, prawns, cod and calamari was all very fresh and cooked perfectly! The chicken was flavorful and the cup of clam chowder I had was fabulous-I would come here again!

Next time, we’ll try to get some bike rides in and check out the other sights in the Monterey area. But then again, sometimes it’s nice to be off the bike and doing something else too! Oh yeah, while taking a wrong turn in Pacific Grove, we got to see the Butterfly House!

So, come on down or up and see for yourself the beauty of California’s Big Sur Coastline! You’ll love it!

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The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.     ~Wyland
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