Travel Tuesday: Big Sur From Above

You haven’t seen Big Sur like this before…

This post comes to us from our FP Contributor Michael James Murray!

Big Sur. A place that can make you quickly forget the world around you, if only for a brief moment. A quintessential American road trip, driving on a single strip of road that ribbons along the California coast for a cliff-hugging and breathtaking drive.

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I flew into San Francisco on a Wednesday, the start of my journey. It’s a city I’ve visited a few times and, with each stop, it grows more familiar.


After a morning visit to the Golden Gate bridge from Battery Spencer, which offers quite possibly one of the best views of the bridge, I made my way a few hours to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

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My first destination was Point Lobos State Reserve, which encompasses everything from tide pools, to meadows, jutting seaside cliffs and sea lions. I took a short one-mile hike as my introduction to the beautiful seaside cliffs.


After driving through the Carmel Highlands, I reached Big Sur, a place I dreamt about visiting for quite some time. Considering the landscapes I’m attracted to, I’m surprised it took this long.


Heading down Route 1, my next destination was Bixby Bridge in Monterey. Bixby Bridge is nearly 80 meters high and 200 meters long, speckled with turnouts for countless curious roadtrippers to stop and take in the scenery.


Around that time I had gotten pretty hungry from all the driving, so I stopped at a restaurant recommended by nearly a dozen of my friends — Nepenthe. If you’ve considered a Big Sur itinerary, you’ve undoubtedly come across this name. And for good reason. The food is decent but the view of the seaside simply amazing — a treelined rugged coastline that plunges deep into the misty sea, with waves beating onto the rocky beach in the most brilliant shade of blue.

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The best way to road trip is to consider spaces such as this, but always leave room to stop whenever and wherever you like, as it is these moments that can lead to some of your most incredible inward changes and revelations. I continued my journey down the coast doing just that, finding inspiration in each foggy bank canyon much like the many people before me.


Watch this stunning video of Big Sur from Above.

More of Michael’s work here!

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6 years ago

This is simply stunning, I have to go there!

Megan b
6 years ago

Beautiful photos and amazing video! I’m currently jealous of anyone who has quick access to this gorgeous view. I always say this, but I really need to visit California.

6 years ago

ahhhh i’ve been telling myself i’m going to get away from santa barbara one weekend and make my way up to big sur for about a year now. you just re-inspired me. it’s heavenly :)