When Spanish settlers first laid eyes on this 90-mile stretch of rugged coastline between Carmel and San Simeon, they deemed it El País Grande del Sur, or “the big country to the south” (that is, south of their colony at Monterey).

Proving that there’s nothing the English language can’t butcher for the sake of brevity, El Sur Grande eventually mutated into Big Sur, an appellation that still does little to convey the unbelievable beauty bestowed on the land by Madre Nature.

Despite Big Sur’s popularity—summer weekends are unkind to the two-lane highway—the area has remained sparsely populated. Most visitors are day trippers vacationing in Monterey or Carmel, who come to see what all the fuss is about. The rest, aka those in the know, journey here for a few days of camping, backpacking, or luxuriating in the elegant (and exorbitantly priced) resorts.

~ Matthew Poole

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  • Submitted On : 24 Jan 2015