Photo selection for the week of July 11 - 17, 2014
Undoubtedly, Highway 1 through the Big Sur region is one of the best and most scenic drives in the world. Between Carmel and Hearst Castle, these 90 miles offer astounding views of the Pacific Ocean and the boundary between it and the rugged hills.
The Ragged Point Inn is an haven for the traveler on the Pacific Coast Highway - either at the end or the beginning of their journey through Big Sur.
Services here include lodging, fine dining, fuel, ice cream shop, mini mart and fast food.
What might not be obvious at first glance is the opportunity to wander the grounds and view the Big Sur coastline from an unusual perspective.
Well, not really out at sea, but nearly so. The Inn and its grounds sit on a point that extends approximately 500 feet out and is 250 feet high. Technically, this isn't Ragged Point. That feature lies 1.5 miles to the south. However, the grounds of the Ragged Point Inn offers one of the best places for viewing the point.
Given the height above the water, this is also a great place for watching migrating gray whales.
If you haven't yet seen the 1949 video that I have on my main page, I invite you to check it out. It's a Chevrolet commercial about the San Luis Obispo area and the actual Ragged Point is featured there.
The two stacked photos above show Ragged Point from nearly the same perspective. My photo was taken on the Inn's grounds and the 1949 shot was from the turnout just south of the Inn. Comparing the "ragged rocks" shows little change in 65 years.
The beach shown here is San Carpoforo Beach and it is open to the public. I will write a page later with photos showing how to access this most southerly Big Sur beach.
Location: Northern San Luis Obispo County on California Highway 1 (aka PCH; Pacific Coast Highway or Cabrillo Highway)
Address: 19019 Highway 1, Ragged Point, CA 93452
GPS Coordinates: 35.7809, -121.3296
Phone: Restaurant - 805/927-5708; Hotel - 805/927-4502
Services available: Lodging; fine dining; fast food; mini-mart; gas station and ice cream shop.
Amenities and attractions: Views north and south of the Big Sur coastline; whale watching in season; a hiking trail down to a private beach; Black Swift falls (in season).
A mileage sign near Hearst Castle. Most of the land between San Simeon and Ragged Point is the Hearst Corporation's Piedra Blanca Ranch where the cattle have better ocean views than most of us could ever hope for.
An important note: The "Big Sur" referred to here on the sign is the little burg at the northern end. It doesn't mean the entire Big Sur coastline, so don't panic!
There is nice landscaping throughout the property. It makes for nice strolling.
The property at Ragged Point is dog-friendly. Some of the rooms allow a dog; the patio of the restaurant allows dogs and, as you can see, dogs are allowed through the grounds.
Besides this gazebo's day to day use, it is also used for the logical conclusion of the scene above - weddings. Not a bad venue.
This tiny beach is accessible to users of the Inn. There is a very steep trail which winds its way down. The beach here is about 200 feet wide and I preferred to take it in from above. Others may be more adventurous.
Lushly landscaped, the dining deck of the restaurant is a most pleasant spot for a meal. The hills in the background climb steeply and there are numerous trails through the Santa Lucia Range for hiking - both day hikes and overnights.
We were very pleased with the meal at the restaurant. I had the Kobe burger which was perhaps the best burger I've ever eaten. My wife had grilled fish which was perfectly done and seasoned. Well worth the stop.
The lodging viewed from the dining deck. If you are looking for more information and reservations you can check out the Inn's website here.
If you just stop here for gas and a quick trip to the mini mart, you're missing the best that Ragged Point Inn has to offer. Slow down and stroll the grounds. You won't be disappointed.