Big Sur in California

9 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

California Highway 1 near Ragged Point © flickr.com - Fred Moore/cc-by-2.0

California Highway 1 near Ragged Point © flickr.com – Fred Moore/cc-by-2.0

Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States,” a “national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development” and “one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation.” The stunning views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for about 7 million people who live within a day’s drive and visitors from across the world. The region receives about the same number of visitors as Yosemite National Park, but offers extremely limited bus service, few restrooms, and a narrow two-lane highway with few places to park alongside the road. North-bound traffic during the peak summer season and holiday weekends is often backed up for about 20 miles (32km) from Big Sur Village to Carmel.   read more…

Hearst Castle on the Pacific Coast Highway

3 October 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Dining Room © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dining Room © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. Designed by architect Julia Morgan, it was a residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst between 1919 and 1947. Hearst died in 1951, and it became a California State Park in 1954. The site was opened to visitors in 1958. Since that time, it has been operated as the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts “millions of travelers each year”. Hearst formally named the estate “La Cuesta Encantada” (“The Enchanted Hill”), but usually called it “the ranch”. Hearst Castle and grounds are also sometimes referred to as “San Simeon“, without distinguishing between the Hearst property and the adjacent unincorporated area of the same name.   read more…

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