Pfeiffer Beach is the most popular coastal access point in Big Sur, but you'd never know it's there if you didn't know where to look. It's at the end of an unmarked, narrow, winding road at the southern end of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. It's well worth seeking out—unspoiled sand surrounded by towering cliffs, a large arch-shaped rock formation just offshore, and waves crashing in over the rocks.
Although Pfeiffer Beach is the most popular place to access the shore in Big Sur, it's nothing like Santa Monica or Malibu Beach. There's no pier, and there are no attractions other than pristine sand, rugged rocks, wild flowers, and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Apart from a fenced walkway from the car park, it's just as nature created it.
Close to the shore, there's an ancient tree with exposed roots that twist and intertwine like a nest of gigantic serpents. The northern part of the beach has unusual purple sand, which is caused by minerals being washed down from the mountainside. Because of the rocks and strong currents, swimming is not recommended, but it's well worth a visit. And the sunsets are spectacular.