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Pfeiffer Beach aka Purple Sand Beach in Big Sur

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It’s Travel Tuesday, and today we are featuring Pfeiffer Beach aka. Purple Sand Beach in Big Sur. During the holidays, we went on a road trip up the Central Coast. We did not plan any of our stops and just winged it – that’s how we roll. We love exploring with our children, and when a park ranger told us about a purple sand beach, we could not stop until we found it!

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If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know how much my family loves going to the beach. The thought of seeing a purple sand beach sounded surreal to our family.


While driving along the twisty road, and after many stops, we thought we had missed the beach. There was no wifi, and we were traveling without a map. We stopped at a little post office along the road just to find out that we were just steps away from the turn-off to this beach.


As we turned off the main road, we started down a long (narrow) road (where I did hit a tree, and my husband will probably tease me about it for the next 30 years). I recommend driving carefully and using the turnouts for the cars coming the other direction.

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When we got to the end of the road, there was park entrance where there is a fee for parking. (Some families choose to park outside of the gates,and walk a 1/2 mile to the beach)

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In the parking lot was nice clean bathrooms, and the entrance to the beach. The entrance had big beautiful trees creating a beautiful tunnel. The kids were mesmerized by the beautiful trees and didn’t wait a second before climbing them.

When our feet first touched the sand at Pfeiffer Beach, we said, “this isn’t a purple sand beach?” Just when we thought we had been fooled, we noticed a purple tint to sand down by the water. Although, the entire beach was not bright purple like we had hoped, we were still in love with the beauty of the tinted purple sand.

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The beach was beautiful. The kids rolled down the sand dunes, climbed the rocks and were mesmerized by the beautiful rock arches. My daughter and I created unforgettable memories sitting on a rustic wood log talking and enjoying the beautiful crashing waves.


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If your family is planning a trip to Big Sur or along the Central Coast, I recommend making a stop at Pfeiffer Park to witness this beautiful miracle of nature.


Where is it located? It is located at the end of Sycamore Canyon Road off Hwy. 1. The entrance is right after a small sandwich shop and post office.


Cost: $5 for parking


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