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Review Highlights
Spreading ashes of a loved one

We chose to spread some of my FIL ashes here because he loved this place - of course that was... read more

Reviewed yesterday
AnnetteSM
,
Olympia, Washington
via mobile
Amazing Location

Now this is a hidden gem & look forward to the next time we go to Big Sur. You need to know exactly... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Marvintm009
,
Sacramento, California
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Reviewed March 2, 2015

Someone told me the opening scene from Grease with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta was filmed here... I don't know if it's true but it could be, the scene of the waves crashing over and through the rocks is perfect. This is one of my 3 all time favorite beaches on the California coast, I do not go to the Big Sur area without a visit to this beach, whether for an hour or a day.

Pfeiffer Beach is a must see stop on the Big Sur coast highway. Unless you are a fair weather beach goer, and in a big rush, in which case skip it. This is a northern California beach, with offshore rocks, and big tide changes. It is often foggy, and frequently very windy especially in the afternoon. The road off of Highway 1 to the beach and back is hard to find, very narrow, and winding. There is a fee to get in, and parking is limited. People live on this road, so for goodness sake drive slowly, let people get by going the other direction, and don't litter. The road is marked by a single yellow "intersection" sign on highway 1, between the Big Sur Deli (to the south) and the Big Sur Ranger Station (to the north).

From the main parking lot, where there are well maintained pit toilets, the beach is just a short walk. If the tide is not high, you can walk north along the sand to a 2nd beach. And you can scramble along the rocks to the south, where shore fishing is popular, and to the north too. There is a stream that flows into the ocean, and the little estuary area is nice for young children to get wet and play without the waves. at the northern beach, and a shady area upstream perfect for picnics on a hot day. At low tide you can walk out to the offshore rocks and check out the tide pools.

Activities like kite flying, frisbee throwing and body surfing are popular here. The northern beach used to be kind of clothing optional, but I'm not sure anymore, it was much too cold the day I was here to take off my hoodie let alone anything else!

I have body surfed here before, and been accompanied by a seal who scared the jeepers out of me. I caught a perfect wave that day, the seal was good luck. Surfers are rare, too many rocks I think. I love this beach, I've been coming here since I was a teen, I spread some of my husband's ashes here years ago and hope I am lucky enough to find rest here one day too.

Go see for yourself.

Date of experience: February 2015
6  Thank CTBCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2015

The sand really is purple, even though you might not think so when you first get there. But if you keep an eye out, you will soon see the swirls of purple in the sand! This beach has so many fun things to explore-- a little stream, some big rocks to climb, tide pools, and a big arch in the rock that you can climb into to watch the waves crash in. When you go, make sure to walk the length of the beach to get the full experience. The farther you go, the more purple sand you can see, with a stronger fuchsia color. Plus if you go far enough, there is this eerie, hidden forest completely decorated with rock cairns. They're beautiful and give the area such a peaceful feeling. I would plan to spend a fairly good chunk of time here; it's so worth it.

Date of experience: February 2015
1  Thank redrose503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2015

As I drove up the Pacific Coast, I spoke with other people more familiar with the area. One photographer told me to find the path down to the beach in Pfeiffer State Park, which is a steep, unmarked road that you have to be looking for. Once you're at the beach, you will find yourself walking along a remarkably beautiful inlet dotted with coves and great rocks with waves crashing through them. The landscape is now close enough to touch, with the cliffs rising high right behind you. There were other people there, but not many. It was a lovely discovery.

Date of experience: January 2015
1  Thank urbaneexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2015

Really worth the difficulty of finding this beach. Just lovely. Take a picnic and spend the day there if the weather is okay. Some people climbed up the cliff on the south side, very steep and tricky but it must have been awesome for them and their dog. We just watched and admired from below. It is a great place, like the Seychellles beach on Ikaria island in Greece, another mountainous hideout.

Date of experience: February 2015
1  Thank travelady242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2015

On my way to San Fran all i want to do (other than go to pismo beach - all the clams you can eat haha) was go to Pfeiffer Beach. I had read about the purple sand beach and was very excited to see it. Be aware that they shut the gate at dusk, so make sure you get out in time. It is a lovely beach with beautiful rock features and of course the purple sand. Dig your toes in and see the lovely purple sand appear!

Date of experience: March 2014
3  Thank allslantylike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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