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And we’re already planning our next road trip.

By Marisa Spyker

California has more than a few iconic landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hollywood sign, to name a couple. But the most iconic California scene, we’d wager, is that of a car snaking through the craggy Big Sur coastline along Highway 1.

As of this week, visitors can once again embark on one of the world’s most epic 655-mile drives with the reopening of a picturesque stretch of highway that’s been closed for more than a year. In 2017, a string of bad-luck events set off by heavy rain and mudslides tumbled down on Big Sur, essentially cutting access to the city off from the rest of the state. Long detours sent drivers inland, adding more than two hours to the journey in some cases.

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With the celebrated reopening July 20, road trippers don’t have to skip out on the Highway’s most scenic 100-mile stretch from Carmel to Cambria—and Big Sur has tons of activity to offer.

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California
Photo: Kodiak Greenwood courtesy Post Ranch Inn

Stop in to the Esalen Institute for a restorative workshop for your mind and body, plus garden fresh meals and, yes, those dream-like views. Or set out on a stunning hike through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which culminates at a rocky oceanfront stretch where the beach is laced with purple sand. For the ultimate nirvana, rest your head at the Post Ranch Inn, an idyllic seaside retreat that balances rustic and luxurious just right.

Are you planning your vacation yet?

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