The amazing thing about the West Coast is that it is still mostly wild, open, and astoundingly beautiful country, where you can drive for miles and miles and have the scenery all to yourself.
Andrew Molera State Park
Spreading along the coast at the mouth of the Big Sur River, 20 miles south of Carmel, Andrew Molera State Park is a grassy former cattle ranch on the site of one of Big Sur’s oldest homesteads. In the 1850s, immigrant Juan Bautista Roger Cooper bought the land; in 1861, he built a cabin, which still stands along Hwy-1 near the park entrance. Well-blazed but sometimes boggy trails wind along both banks of the river down to the small beach, horses (831/625-5486) are available for hire, and there are quite a few nice places to camp (walk-in only). In winter, the park is also a popular resting spot for migrating monarch butterflies.