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Beaches

Beaches in the Big Sur aren't the wide, sunburned strands you may be accustomed to. They require a bit more effort to reach and can be fog-shrouded in summer, but their dramatic charms will stay with you for years nonetheless.

Caution: Swimming on most ocean beaches in Big Sur is not advised due to rip currents, sleeper waves and cold water temperatures. Much safer swimming, tubing and boating can be enjoyed in summer in the Big Sur River's many waterholes and shallows.

ANDREW MOLERA STATE PARK Twenty-three miles south of Carmel, Andrew Molera is the largest state park on the South Coast. A wide, scenic path leads through meadows and sycamore trees to a sandy sheltered beach. The Big Sur River enters the sea here.

PFEIFFER BEACH See the picnic listings

SAND DOLLAR BEACH A mile south of the U.S. Forest Service Station in Pacific Valley, this sandy protected beach is possibly the finest beach in the area. Protected by a bluff to the north from cold winds, the weather here is quite mild. You might even risk taking off your parka. Jade Cove beach is two miles south.

 

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