Living in Silicon Valley, we are within an easy day trip to the gorgeous California coastline of Big Sur. We headed out early on Sunday morning and stopped for Sunday Mass at the very special Carmel Mission of San Carlo Borromeo. This is one of the best restored and beautiful of the California Missions.
Heading another half hour south we stopped at Nepenthe Restaurant - this restaurant sits high on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The views from here are incredible. The prices are a bit steep, but you have to think that you are paying for the gorgeous views.
From Nepenthe, we headed another 10 miles south to the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Since were weren't going to spend much time at the park, we decided to avoid the hefty $25 park fees and opted to park on the side of Hwy 1. We took the easy and simple half-mile Overlook Trail which treated us to dramatic ocean views. This quick and easy trail winds around the bluff, high on a hill. From here, you get a view of McWay Falls - the only major California waterfall to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The beach below you with the waterfall falling from the cliffs looks like something out of the South Pacific. The color of the water here is a gorgeous blue-green, and the rock formations are stunning. Interesting enough, this beach was created after a landslide changed the topography of this little cove. Previous to this, the waterfall fell right into the ocean - today, it only falls in when there is a high tide.
Turning the corner on the hike, you are once again stunned by yet another gorgeous coastline view. At the end of the trail are the remnants of the Waterfall House - a summer home onced owned by U.S. Congressman Lathrop and his wife back in the 1920's. The home was huge with a marble staircase winding to the upstairs. They even had a light rail system. The house and property were deeded to the State of California, and the house was destroyed in 1965. You can only imagine the unobstructed view they had from their home.