USA // California //

The Big Sur Coast

Starting just north of Hearst Castle, the ninety wild and undeveloped miles of rocky cliffs along the Big Sur Coast feature grand redwood groves lining river canyons in the shadow of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Running through this striking terrain is the exhilarating route of Hwy-1, carved out of bedrock cliffs 500ft above the ocean, though public transport is limited to the Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) bus (t 1-888/MST-BUS1, w http://www.mst.org), which runs between Monterey to Nepenthe two to four times daily (Rte-22; $4.50 each way). Summer weekends are sunny and winters turbulent, but the southern coastline of Big Sur is comparatively gentle, with sandy beaches hiding below crumbling ochre cliffs.