The natural beauty of Big Sur is a great place to get away from it all and the size of the area means that you can often hike in total solitude. Numerous hiking trails run through the area, from a gentle coastal walk past redwoods and the 80-foot McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, to the mountainous terrain of Los Padres National Forest.
The area famously inspired such artists and writers as Ansel Adams and Jack Kerouac and is still home to a large artistic community. You will find dozens of galleries and studios throughout the area, and the Henry Miller Memorial Library hosts a varied schedule of readings, workshops, concerts and film screenings.
Occasional winter mudslides can close the Highway 1 around Big Sur: check conditions before you go.