The Big Sur: Top 10 Baby-Friendly Things to See and Experience
The Big Sur is a large area on the Northern California Coastline encompassing beautiful forests, hiking trails, waterfalls, national parks and beaches. We spent a full day exploring the region, doing uncountable stops on our drive through the Big Sur and down the California 1 as the views are unforgettable. However, it was incredibly rushed so I would recommend you spend at least a couple days here if you can. Staying a lodge in this neck of the woods would be an amazing option to truly immerse yourself in the area. When we travelled part of this area, we had a bit of fog unfortunately, but I am sure it is even more beautiful when its clear and sunny.
The area can be quite uneven, high and rocky in parts so bear in mind that a stroller might not always work. It would be worth taking a baby sling with you. Check whether the hiking trail for instance, is suitable before you plan it in your itinerary. I've included places that we visited that worked well to travel with a baby and some that we would have liked to go to.
1) JULIA BURNS NATIONAL STATE PARK
This is a relatively large park, if you consider you are walking with a baby, that allows views of a waterfall and amazing beaches. Be wary of doing the hiking trail as it can be quite even, especially if the area had rain. Views were amazing. Offers access to McWay Falls. Famous for it's Redwood trees, a California statement.
2) PFEIFFER BEACH
Easily accessible, beautiful beach to see. You can park in a car park that is relatively close to the beach and walk across. The beach had the most amazing rock formations. Stay for the sunset.
3) MCWAY FALLS
This is an 80 foot waterfall that we didn't get a chance to see. It is meant to be amazing. Please call and check if it is baby friendly as hiking/walking in these areas, especially after a storm can be tough when you have a baby on your arm.
4) BIXBY CREEK BRIDGE
This is one of the main bridges you see when you drive the California 1 through the Big Sur. This is often shown in the show Big Little Lies. Stop and take in the views here. Very baby friendly as the parking is large and you can easily take baby out in his/her stroller or on a sling to wonder in amazement with you.
5) CARMEL RIVER STATE BEACH
This was one of my favourite places. I am writing a full post on Carmel so see more there. You can easily park on the side roads and access the beach. It had the widest sandy area with white sands, large waves and blue waters. We met many laid back and friendly people here who were taking their kids or dogs for a walk, having a picnic, surfing or using it as a point of entry for scuba diving.
6) ROCKY CREEK BRIDGE
The slightly lesser famous bridge than Bixby Bridge, but the first one you will pass with driving down South from Monterey Bay on the California 1. Offers good picture opportunities and baby friendly access.
7) 17 MILE DRIVE
This will be a stand alone post as there are many stops and sights along here including the famous Pebble Beach and the Lone Cypress. You see the history of the area as you drive through. Easily accessible and very baby friendly. A must do.
8) PFEIFFER BIG SUR STATE PARK
Named after one of the first European (French) settlers in the area. Offers accommodation in the Big Sur Lodge and access to Pfeiffer Beach. We drove through and walked through part of this to access Pfeiffer Beach. We didn't get an opportunity to do the trails unfortunately. It was beautiful with amazing trees and offered much serenity.
9) POINT LOBOS
Offers scenic beach access, beautiful rock formations and is easily accessible.
10) THE NEPENTHE
You will come across this whilst driving through the Big Sur. Stop here for some of the most amazing views. It is a cosy restaurant and offers great coffee too!