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Walking Big Sur

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No matter how you cut it, the only way to get to Big Sur is to test the fates and hit PCH, the Pacific Coast Highway. This means dramatic dips, twists and turns at cliff’s edge that aren't for the fainthearted. And as if that’s not enough, there is a mandatory crossing of one of the world's highest single span bridges. You may well find yourself in a cold sweat, saying 'Pull over. Seriously, I’d rather walk.'

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Walking Big Sur will not only put you on safe, solid ground (although you might want to keep an eye out for the mountain lions and poison oak), it will give you the opportunity to discover the natural beauty that remains hidden to mere passers-by.

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It still amazes me that a place so remote, so wild is a mere 150 miles south of San Francisco. It's as though civilization doesn't exist here. Map out your hike, and you’ll see what I mean. Head up and away from the coastline and deep into the Ventana Wilderness to walk amongst gi-normous redwoods, gushing waterfalls and technicolor flowers. It's like stepping into another world. Trust me; this is where the Hobbits would live if they moved to America.

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And yet another reason to visit this time of year (as if you really need one) is that viewing marine life is at its peak. Stay overnight at the rustic yet kitchsy Deetjen's Lodge, or the ultra chic Tickle Pink, wake up early to watch the seals come to shore, and be sure to keep an eye out for the gray whales. They migrate along the coast through April.

Jordan Whitley

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Images courtesy © hikinginbigsur.com

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