Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur: Address, Phone Number, Pfeiffer Beach Reviews: 4.5/5

Pfeiffer Beach
4.5
Popular mentions

4.5
1,356 reviews
Excellent
1,043
Very good
226
Average
54
Poor
16
Terrible
17

Rachel548
Farmington Hills, MI426 contributions
Aug. 2021 • Family
I took away one star for the difficulties finding the road, waiting to be let down to parking, and then the long narrow road down to the parking lots. It was certainly an adventure. Otherwise though, we enjoyed this place. We arrived in late afternoon and only waited maybe 5mins for parking. The water was rough but trekking the beach, checking out the rock formations, and playing in the purple sand were fun memories.
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

L B
Bloomfield Hills, MI22 contributions
Aug. 2021
You must get here well before noon in order to get a parking space or else you will be turned away. Very limited parking for the amount of people that want to go to this beach (during peak tourist season). Look for the large yellow "Narrow Road" sign on West side of Hwy 1. There are no signs that actually say Pfeiffer Beach before the road. It is well worth the 2 mile drive down the narrow winding road to get there. Amazing rock formations with waves crashing through carved holes in rocks, wide expansive beach with plenty of room, very picturesque. A must see in the Big Sur area!
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DarkSolstice
San Diego, CA74 contributions
Aug. 2021
We were doing a road trip with the family up to San Francisco and then down the coast back to San Diego. This was one of a couple of stops along Big Sur and it was well worth it! We passed the turnoff, which is not well marked, and then made the tricky drive down to the entrance. Mostly, the drive is fine, but there were a couple of spots where folks would get stuck and have to spend a few minutes maneuvering around one another. Some folks didn't have much patience for that, which made it a bit stressful. Anyhow, the parking lot was full so we have to wait about 40 minutes for our turn to go in. The beach was worth it though. 'Purple' sand is a stretch, although the sand was pretty interesting and had some color at certain angles... especially a bit further down the beach. Rock formations and wave action were awesome. We had our two young kids here and it was definitely a bit too rough for them to play in the waves, but they had a great time anyhow.
Written August 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Franel123
London, UK34 contributions
Sep. 2020
Very much an intsa location! Waterfall tumbling to a sandy beach. Never seen anything like it elsewhere.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

prashant_newaskar
Dallas, TX554 contributions
Aug. 2021 • Family
The entrance from the highway leading to the beach is without signage of the Pfeiffer beach. One could easily miss it. The two mile connecting road is quite narrow for two way transportation. One has wait for a short while to let the oncoming vehicle pass. The beach is supposed to have purple sands. What you actually see is faint shades of purple. The beach is quite outstanding. There are big rock formations standing in the water. Portions of rocks have been eroded by the constant pounding by the waves. Waves from the ocean gushing in through these holes look mesmerising. The weather was cool and nice. You can spend hours at the beach enjoying the beauty.
Written August 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Reed
Orlando, FL1,337 contributions
Jun. 2021 • Couples
Reviewing a beach?!? This feels so weird, but trust me, this beach is worth a review. Pfeiffer is a somewhat “hidden” beach in the Big Sur area. The turn off isn’t well marked and it is a bit of a long crazy drive from CA-1. That being said, it is a state park and it’s well appointed with paved lots and camping style hole in the ground toilets when you get there. They limit the attendance based on the amount of parking spaces so while the beach won’t feel crowded you may have a tough time getting in on a busy weekend. There is someone stationed at the top so you can’t even drive down unless there is available parking, but there is also no where to wait if there isn’t. So you might have to circle out to main road and back a few times.

As I’m sure you are aware, the highlight is the purple sand - and it’s legit. It’s not the entire beach, it’s in sections formed by some sort of magic run off from the rocks after it rains. It’s really amazing. Lots of other great photo spots as well, it’s an Instagram friendly beach so you will see many more folks taking photos than enjoying the beach, but it’s really cool, feels somewhat secluded and special even though it’s popular. Worth going out of your way for!
Written July 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MyBucketListTrips
204 contributions
Jul. 2021 • Family
Gorgeous beach and surf. Purple sand. Dogs on leash are permitted on beach. Definitely worth stopping to explore when in the Big Sur area.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Grantshadow
New York City, NY171 contributions
Jun. 2021
Beautiful beach, with epic winds. I actually was given a camera by a stranger to shoot his proposal to his girlfriend. Loved being there even though there was construction going on so we had to park on side of the road. Here was the jarring part: Some guy came around the beach with a "staff" shirt "warning" us the construction crew was calling tow trucks. Some folks ran back but I made mental calculation that nearest tow truck was an hour away. Sure enough, got to the construction guys and they told me the "staff" below was some rich landowner's kid trying to play "police" with us. Drove back out and sure enough, there was the little trustfunder looking triumphantly at the folks he scared off. Pfreiffer Beach belongs to everyone, not just the rich kids from the Bay Area buying million dollar houses above it. Don't fall for the tow truck and other scams they have going to scare people easy from OUR beach.
Written June 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PatrickMc1
Durham, NC6 contributions
Jun. 2021
Just got back from trip to see my daughter who is out in Big Sur working at one of the campgrounds. I won't say which one. We really enjoyed our time in the area and it is beautiful! But, I would have given it a 5 star rating except for a few things. I have no issues with staying in places as long as it is clear what is available when you are staying someplace. Here are some tidbits: for 90 miles of the US 1 Hwy, there are very few places that have cell service. We stayed at Big Sur Lodge and they don't have WiFi but also no land lines in the rooms and very spotty cell service. This was not stated. Our daughter did warn us of the cell service but thought the lodge would have WiFi or something. Nothing. Second expect to pay a premium on gas along that section of the road as well as food. No issues but definitely something to consider. Camping is quite expensive if you can't get a site at the state park. Also consider what you won't get at most of those private sites. The views along the Hwy 1 are gorgeous but there are many areas that are privately owned land that limits your access to the beach even if the beach is not privately owned. Even the Pfeiffer State Park Beach is problematic to get to. You have to drive down. You can't park somewhere else if the parking lot is full. You are not allowed to walk down the road. It is dangerous even if you wanted to. The lot gets full pretty fast so this is probably not the best choice if you have to make sure you are able to get on the beach. I would suggest going to Monterey and going to Lover's Point. It is great and there is a beach that is quite accessible. As someone from NC, I was quite taken with the ocean and mountain views. Just thought I would provide some valuable info for others that want to see those sites.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dean_Amy-2004
Gettysburg, PA5,494 contributions
Jun. 2021 • Family
Different from the east coast beaches we are accustomed to, it is beautiful to see the rocky shore and shaded purple sand. The water was COLD but just had to dip our toes in the Pacific Ocean.
Thanks to other posts with directions we had absolutely no trouble dining it, but you definitely have to know what to look for and where to look or you will miss it- it is NOT marked.
I was a bit concerned we’d have an issue getting in based on other reviews. We went on a Wednesday and arrived before 11 am. We were the 3rd car in the furthest lot but just 30 min later it was almost full. Moral of the review, go early and you should be fine.
Written June 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,175
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing