Driving the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) on the west coast of California is something I simply cannot recommend highly enough – the views, freedom and sense of adventure that it offers are incredible. There are so many beautiful places to stop at along this iconic road, especially through Big Sur between Carmel by the Sea and San Simeon, so you’ll need to plan ahead and decide where you want to stop and what you want to see. Somewhere that you cannot afford to miss out however on is the beautiful Bixby Creek Bridge.
Opened in 1932 the Bixby Creek Bridge is a “reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge” that is 110 m (360 ft) long and stands 280 feet 85 m (280 ft) tall.
The bridge is located 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel and 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco. It doesn’t really matter where you are driving the PCH from Santa Monica to San Francisco or vice versa as the bridge is on the main road so you can simply park up on the side of road, explore the area and take some photos.
With the bridge being so close to the coastline it makes it incredible attractive to photographers. A quick Google search of anything relating to the Pacific Coast Highway or Big Sur and you’ll see streams of photos of the Bixby bridge in a variety of weather and lighting conditions wit the coastline stretching away to the horizon. It’s a photographer’s dream.
We visited the Bixby Bridge in 2016 during our honeymoon and it was one of the key highlights of our road trip from Santa Monica to San Francisco. The bridge wasn’t busy, was fairly safe to explore and take photos of and everyone else there was a tourist or native on vacation so everyone was in good spirits.
So if you’re planning a trip to the California Coast this year or next and looking to drive through Big Sur, make sure you allow time to stop here and take in the coastal views. You’ll absolutely love it!
Are you planning to visit the Bixby Bridge? We’d love to know your plans, let us know in the comments!