That drive is amazing, and no pictures could do it justice. I highly recommend it. As you probably know because you're reading this blog post, Jack Kerouac wrote a novel, Big Sur, about a period of time he spent -- supposedly drying out -- at Lawrence Ferlinghetti's cabin in Bixby Creek Canyon (called Raton Canyon in the novel).
On our way to our lodgings in Big Sur we took these pictures at an overlook, thinking it was Bixby Creek Canyon Bridge. It turned out to be the Big Creek Bridge. Bixby Bridge is north of that. As such, we didn't get pictures of the Bixby Bridge, but there are plenty on line to look at.
|Our first view of the Big Creek Bridge|
|A closer view|
|My copy of Big Sur on the informational sign at the Big Creek Bridge overlook (the picture of Bixby on the sign threw us off)|
|Crystal holding my copy of Big Sur with Big Creek Bridge in the background|
Where we stayed in Big Sur
|Our room at the Big Sur River Inn|
|For sale in the Big Sur River Inn gift shop|
On our second day at Big Sur we decided we wanted to dip our toes in the Pacific, so we went to Andrew Molera State Park where it's about a mile walk to the beach from the parking lot (all level). As I write this, the park is closed because of nearby wildfires burning out of control.
|Crystal crossing the Big Sur River on the way to the beach in Andrew Molera State Park|
|Me at Andrew Molera State Park (11 miles south of Bixby Bridge)|
|Crystal at Molera|
|Me at Molera|
That night we had drinks and an appetizer at Nepenthe, which Jack mentions in Big Sur and is the title of a book Crystal recently read. It's an architectural marvel of a restaurant perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean.
|Nepenthe has an old school telephone - and it works (good thing: little to no cell service in Big Sur)|
Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting Big Sur. Cell phone reception is spotty to nonexistent. Lodging is expensive, but the Big Sur River Inn is a good choice. They have a restaurant/bar and general store right there so you don't have to leave the property for food or supplies. The road is very curvy so don't be in a hurry (use the turnouts to let the dangerous drivers pass you). Molera State Park has fairly easy public access to the ocean. Big Sur refers to the area, so don't expect to find a specific place by that name (although there is a post office just south of where we stayed).
As to visiting Bixby Beach where Jack listened to the plowsh of the waves and wrote "Sea," I had no intention of doing that but I suppose if you are not averse to trespassing on private property you might be able to walk to it. This 2011 blog post has some info you may want to consider: http://indietravelpodcast.com/usa/kerouacs-big-sur-dont-hung-bixby/, although as recently as 2005 it was possible as evidenced by Jerry Cimino, Steve Edington, and John Cassady making it: http://www.thebeatmuseumonwheels.com/ourblog/bixby.htm.
Which reminds me, if you haven't watched the 2008 documentary, One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur, I recommend it.