by Gabrielle Antonette and Carrie Nusbaum
Pfeiffer Beach is in Big Sur State Park, but it's worth singling out. It may even be the most breathtaking beach in California. It's a convenient (ish) 5-hour drive from Los Angeles and a 3-hour drive from San Francisco. The best time to go is at sunset, and we really mean it. The sun peeks through and around the rocks in just the perfect way. It may never be warm enough for swimming, but that really doesn't detract from its perfection.
From the PCH, the road down the beach isn't clearly marked, and since Big Sur has notoriously bad cell reception, you might need to stop and ask for a tip (we did). Address: Sycamore Canyon Rd Hwy 1, Big Sur, CA 93920.