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Couple of questions and suggestions please.

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Ventura, California
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Couple of questions and suggestions please.

Hi, we will be visiting Big Sur for three nights at the end of July and staying in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where we have reserved a tent site. There will be 5 kids aged 4-7 along with 4 adults. We are traveling from Ventura, CA. We have seen/stayed/stopped at many areas from Ventura to Hearst Castle, but have never really explored from San Simeon to Monterey. All of us are fond of hiking 4-5 mile round trips with moderate steepness, but prefer to stay off of narrow trails that have steep drop offs. We will not be visiting Hearst Castle, but may head into Monterey for the aquarium if 3 days seems like too much time for Big Sur on its own.

I would like to ask for some suggestions on some not to be missed spots that are appropriate for kids (We don't want to encroach on anyone's romantic sunsets). Also, would it be worth it to stop off at the elephant seal rookery at this time of year? And finally, has anyone ever stayed in the campground and technically had 9 people in a campsite rated at max of 8? Will this be a huge issue to the point that we should have another site reserved or will the rangers and other campers "turn a blind eye" to this? I know it sounds like a rowdy bunch, but we are well mannered, considerate, quiet campers.

Also, from here, we go to Hume Lake, Sequoia, and Yosemite for a grand total of 12 nights of tenting. What we really want to do is experience the rugged and wild Big Sur coastline and forests and hopefully see/do things that we won't be able to see/do at the other locations we are visiting.

Thanks in advance for your input!

San Diego...
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1. Re: Couple of questions and suggestions please.

Pfeiffer Beach is part of the Los Padres National Forest and has a winding road down to a parking lot with a $5 parking charge.

Several of the state parks in the area - Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP, Pfeiffer-Big Sur SP, Point Lobos SNR and, I believe, Andrew Molera SP - have an agreement to allow a day use parking fee for one apply to the others on the same day. Thus if you pay $10 to park at Point Lobos you can save your receipt and use that for parking at the others, and not have to pay again as long as it is the same day you paid.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a gem on the coast and well worth a half day in itself. The trails are short and easy; the scenery is spectacular, and there are opportunities to see wildlife such as sea lions, otters and birds. http://pointlobos.org

For a general guide to the Big Sur area see http://bigsurcalifornia.org and http://jrabold.net/bigsur/

Another member of this forum posted a travelogue of over 200 photos with descriptive captions at https:/…

Avila Beach...
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2. Re: Couple of questions and suggestions please.

I recently camped at Pfeiffer/Big Sur - my car permit for the campsite admitted me into all of the parks listed above (I believe Limekiln may be on that list as well). I would recommend the Headlands trail at Andrew Molera - there is also a trail that goes to the mouth of the river where you can wade across to the beach. But do not miss the branch to the right that goes up to the headlands - spectacular views. You can also go horseback riding on the beach there. The kids may also enjoy tubing on the Big Sur River.

Jackson, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Couple of questions and suggestions please.

Of course you. Should stop at the elephant seal rookery. it is Right on the road and you have to pass by it anyway . Even 15 minutes wouldbe worth it . Agree that Pt Lobos is a must the kids will love it besides the hiking the tide pooling opportunities are fascinating too. Must spend 3 hours, but if you bring a picnic you could easily spend the whole day.

If you are interested in doing some bike riding Monterey is a great place for it. 1-2 hour rental would allow you to ride along the scenic bike path along the coast and past a beach where harbor seals lay. You could ride up to the Pt Pinos Ligthouse and take a short tour with the kids.

There are multiple locations along cannery row area to rent bikes

Edited: 09 July 2013, 04:38
San Francisco...
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4. Re: Couple of questions and suggestions please.

Agree with comments above. Just be careful of poison oak and rip tides.

List of attractions summarized also at tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182762/Califo… and I would highlight Limekiln and McWay Falls.

5. Re: Couple of questions and suggestions please.

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