Pfeiffer Beach – Big Sur, California

Relax on Pfeiffer Beach’s Purple Sand.  Located deep in the heart of Big Sur, California is a beautiful beach that looks as though it has barely been touched. Pfeiffer Beach is a very popular beach among the local people, but many tourists either don’t know about the beach or have a difficult time trying to find it. If you are travelling to Big Sur and want to head to the beach, this area is well worth finding. The rocks formations just off shore are simply incredible.

Kids and adults will like the unique purple colored sand that makes up a portion of the beach area. This sand, however, can be blown around on windy days, which makes it difficult to enjoy the beach.

The beach is quite clean, and is perfect for relaxing in the sun, wading, swimming, and even surfing for those who have plenty of experience. Remember, however, there is no lifeguard on duty, so you will be swimming at your own risk. You can bring your dog as long as it is on a leash – but be sure to clean up any mess that it makes.

The beach also has restrooms, which will come as a welcome relief to most people, as driving all the way back out onto the main road to find a restroom would put a damper on the fun.

Because the beach is so remote, there are no nearby places to get a bite to eat. Instead, you could eat in town before you come, or you could pack a picnic lunch.

Many people have a hard time getting to the beach, and that is because the turnoff is difficult to see. The turnoff is just past the Big Sur Pfeiffer State Park entrance. The named of the road is Sycamore Canyon Road. Make sure you regard other traffic while finding this road. Take the road west about two miles and you will come upon the beach.

The beach is available for day use only, so you can’t camp on the beach. It is open from 9 AM to 8 PM. In addition, you can’t have fires on the beach, but there really isn’t a need for one anyway. You can find nearby hotels in Big Sur, as well as campgrounds, if you plan on being in the area for more than a single day.

The fee for using the beach is $5 per vehicle – that’s not bad for to spend a day at a beautiful and unspoiled beach with your family. Be sure to bring your camera as well; you will find many great things to photograph!


  1. Can we host our wedding reception at Julia Pfeiffer Beach? Thank you!

  2. I have forwarded your email on to park management and requested they contact you directly. Pat Watson, Editor

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