Campground is beautifully shaded with large tree and a lot of undergrowth, but be careful because there is a lot of poison oak. Camp spaces are large and well kept, some on the river which in July was more like a shallow stream, but nice for wading. Restrooms included showers that took tokens (5 minutes for $1) and electrical outlets (often being used to charge cellphone) and were relatively clean.
One great day trip is to the Point Lobos Lighthouse lead by very knowledgeable volunteers. Trip includes a tour a beautiful walk up to the top of the hill. Docents stop at several places to give history of area and stories, tour of lighthouse and head light-keepers house lovingly restored to look like 1950. Currently tours are given on Weds (10:00 & 2:00), Sat (10:00 & 2:00). Arrive early because the tour size is limited to about 40 people. We were third car in line at 9:30 for the Weds tour in July. Look for the gate to the light house, then line up on the ocean side of the road where you see a little dirt area to the north of the gate. A volunteer will come out, open the gate and direct you to follow the road to small parking area at the base of the hill. There are nice port-a-potties (flush style) at both the base of the hill and at the top. Tour costs $12 for adults and $8 for kids and take 3 hours. Our 10 year old found it very interesting.
In the afternoon we went to Andrew Molera State Park. It was a lovely one-mile level walk to the beach. My daughter was hoping to swim in the ocean, but when we got there the wind was blowing so hard it felt like we were getting sandblasted. Quickly turned and left. Went to have an ice-cream at one of the local stores instead. Andrew Molera State Park is free is you are camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur.
Point Lobos State Beach was another great day trip. Go during low-tide and you will find many tide-pool filled will sea-anemone, sea-urchins, and crabs. I also really enjoyed watching the endangered California Condor soar over head - if you have binoculars they are easy to identify by their red heads. Beautiful view from nice flat trails that follow the cliffs. If you are staying at the State Park, you vehicle is free to enter this state park as well. We spent about 4 hours walking, exploring tide-pools, watching seals and having a picnic lunch.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is where you can find the amazing McWay Falls. We parked on the side of the road (parking lot was full). It is a short walk on a dirt trail down to the viewing point for the falls and looks like paradise. You cannot go to the base of the falls or the beach near the falls, and was quite crowded, but still very worth your time. We spent about an hour here.
Pfeiffer Beach, yet another spot with a similar name, is run by the national forest service. It is a place where the kids can actually get wet in the pacific ocean (if you can stand the cold water), but a really beautiful spot.
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