One of our adventures on the #Tentacles FAM tour was to spend the morning exploring and taking a hike at Point Lobos, a place I remember visiting back in elementary school for the first time.
Often called “the crown jewel of the State Park System,” Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offers sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, hiking and jogging to all that arrive.
In addition to the spectacular beauty, nearly every aspect of its resources is of scientific interest. There are rare plant communities, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora and fauna of both land and sea. This area contains headlands, coves and rolling meadows. The offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters and migrating gray whales (from December to May). Thousands of seabirds also make the reserve their home. Hiking trails follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves. The area used to be the home of a turn-of -the-century whaling and abalone industry. A small cabin built by Chinese fishermen from that era still remains at Whalers Cove and is now a cultural history museum.
Spring is a wonderful time to hike and if you can find a parking spot just outside the park, it’s free and just adds a few more steps to your pedometer! We took about a 4 mile round-trip trail by Whaler’s Cove, Whaler’s Cabin and Whaling Station Museum and jumped onto the North Shore Trail. It’s a family-friendly hike, sure there are some steep inclines but overall the path is something my 8 year old could muster.
Keep your eyes out for tons of mama Harbor seals and their pups, we came across so many it was really precious! Everywhere you look, you have post card views so bring a camera! Plan for a few hours at Point Lobos.
Big Sur’s Bixby Bridge
It is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world and one of the most photographed bridges along the Pacific coast due to location and structural aesthetics. As you head south to Big Sur on Highway 1, make sure you stop and snap some photographs, I don’t think you can get a bad one! Posting this photo on one of my social media sites, a follower commented, “looks like Ireland.” Now I haven’t been there, but if it looks like home, then I’m putting it on my bucket list!
Big Sur Roadhouse Restaurant
I honestly can’t wait to make this trip happen again for my family, especially when the end result is lunch at Big Sur Roadhouse! That near 4 mile hike sure built up an appetite and it’s perfect when you visit this restaurant, because you’re going to want to eat…a lot!
I’ve yet to visit New Orleans (another bucket list location), but I think we have the next best thing with chef Matt Glazer’s Cajun-style cuisine. Walking into the Big Sur Roadhouse you think you’re in an art gallery, the modern design by Steve Justrich is bright and you suddenly forget where you are for a moment. Indoor and outdoor dining, the lunch menu was served to us family style and we started with a kale Caesar salad that was out of this world. My first experience with kale was a pleasant surprise, then the dish of marinated veggies had me insisting on coming back with my husband! White corn grits were hit with a kick and a cheesy flavor and my ultimate favorite was the red beans and rice!Muffaletta sandwiches and hot roast beef Po’Boy’s with yummy pepperoncini just made my afternoon! Flavors were out of this world and I can see ordering a little of everything on a future visit so everyone can take in all that the restaurant has to offer! Normally our family would pack a lunch for a picnic, but our next trip we’ll skip eating out of a paper bag and stopping at Big Sur Roadhouse.
We’re already looking at the calendar for one of those weekend days that would be perfect for a family drive down the coast. To learn more about their menus (food served all day), visit, http://www.glenoaksbigsur.com/roadhouse.html.
Our experience was hosted as part of our FAM tour, all opinions are completely my own.