Big Sur’s Ventana campground; the window to the pacific coast

How we spent the weekends camping in the redwoods to plug in to nature connected us to pure solitude and the very charming pacific coast. The Pfeiffer forest, the ocean and rolling hills collectively brought us to a peaceful retreat enjoying every element as we bonded together as a family.

The cooler weather and the last warm glow of summer’s romance hinted a deep longing for the outdoors. An itch to go on a road trip, sleeping on the earth feeling its every vibration against your very chest, surrounded by redwood giant and the calming sound of steady water streams at a nearby creek tuning out the busy life; bringing you closer to nature’s cradles and peaceful lullaby.

This is our very first camping trip together as a family in the beautiful west coast within the giant red woods, splurging the remaining summer’s glow and it’s gorgeous settings to make way to fall and winter season. Welcome to California’s best- the Pacific coast and its superlative weather. A window and a glimpse to the golden state.

The campground

Ventana campgrounds in Big Sur California has to be one of the very intimate encounter with nature without the long hike and trail to find yourself in tune with nature. A perfect intro to families with small children and the desire to soak in every bit of its element. The campground boast a twist of the outdoor splendor and luxury style accommodation with its very own glamping experience, and or simply going for the more classical way of setting up the tent. We chose the latter for our first camping trip as a family. Either one you choose bring in the majestic embrace of nature, shaded and tucked away in the very heart of the California redwoods, minutes away from the scenic byways of the gorgeous pacific coast highway; Route one.

our camp site within the tall redwood trees in the heart of the Pfeiffer forest

The tall giant redwoods tower over bringing in a playful ray of sun as it penetrate through the warm summer afternoon. That same scattered light form a prism of dancing glitters of different striking colors like one looking through a kaleidoscope. The fog roll in early morning blanketing a striking dreamy feel as you sip and enjoy a warm hot chocolate. The temperature does drop a comfortable crisp cool morning. Coffee hits a different level here as you take in your first and last sip. Enchanting and majestic are just dumbfounded words to describe this indescribable surreal encounter with nature.

A nice beautiful hike within the vicinity takes you to your own secluded beach view and path to rolling grassy hills. The paths and trails are easily accessible for anyone with young children. Pack plenty of snacks and water as you trek the forest.

Following post creek will take you down to a wash where you and the family can dip in the fresh waters shaded with the tall redwood trees. This path will lead you to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, a 1,000 acre of forest and wild, all for you to indulge. It has a wide variety of hiking trails to choose from for a nice perfect slow and steady hike to explore with the whole family.

a refreshing hike along the creek with plenty of nature’s element bring a wonderful play and fun for the children as they engage in exploring nature under the playful warm sun.

surrounded by tall trees and clear waters bring in every element and candid surprises of echoing laughters and a carefree summer’s day

Joel paddle through the downstream with a few broken branches he’s found along the way.

Road trips and ice cream

As we hit the road early the next day, we planned a trip to few nearby stops the pacific coast is very well known for. This type of a weekend getaway can bring out the charm in travel as you appreciate how the different time of the day elaborate the beauty and expression of a true road trip and the very simple joy it brings going about without a set itinerary; only rolled down windows and an easy open road song- you’re on your way!

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. —Khalil Gibran

Ice cream at a random gas stop is liberating in a way that keeps the very ethos of a summer’s road trip. Continue on the journey as deep as you can with no time constraint splurging to bring out the child within and the nature seeker soul that yern to implode with inspiration. Stand on a vista point and take a generous amount of the air and smile with eyes closed as you feel the sun glimmer on your face. Be vocal about it and tell the ocean, the birds in the air and to your family. Feel every boulder and caress the very essence of the day.

At the beach

crossing a wooden bridge on one of our hikes down to the beach. India is secured on the Minimies, a wonderful carrier I have loved using on many of our hikes.

The beach is very hard to miss. Be ready for a spontaneous dip in the cool pacific waters as the light breeze and squawking seagull invite you in with the rolling tide. Bring a nice half tent for a days trip and a light picnic blanket. The Pfeiffer Beach is a comfortable walking distance away and is the closest to the campground.

Other sites to see

You can drive the famous route 1 byway that highlights the gorgeous pacific coast with a breathtaking view of the crashing surf below. Maintain a steady and comfortable speed with open windows to feel the mesmerizing pacific ocean against your face and enjoy a quick stop at one of the many vistas along the way that paint a grand 360 view of the beautiful coastline, grassy fields of wildflowers on rolling hills and the picturesque pacific coast highway that curl around hillside and cliffs to take your breath away. Look up and you might find a gorgeous condor taking flight across vistas.

There are many wonderful sites to see along the way. Talking highway 1 north will take you to the beautiful and quaint town of Monterey bay with wonderful shops and restaurants to choose from. You cannot miss the iconic Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along the way. It is a few minutes drive from the campground as you exit to the main highway. 25 minutes north you will find the aesthetic engineered Bixby creek bridge that blend in the astounding bold but beautiful element of the pacific coast.

Heading highway 1 South will take you to Mcway cove and a beautiful hike to the beach with a magnificent element of the forest, cliffs, the beach, turquoise pacific waters and the Mcway waterfall all in one place. It is truly a paradise set within a paradise.

Take your drive further south and up a steep mountain to New Camaldoli Hermitage for a breath taking view and awe inspiring place to meditate, and hear the monk chant as you take in the pacific wind and dancing golden glitters on the horizon. There are vista stations along the way with a bench facing the pacific ocean. It is an incredible place to visit with a gorgeous sweeping view of the pacific coast below. Prayers and meditation is a refreshing welcome here.

Hearst Castle is 4-5 hours drive south from the monastery if you have the extra time. It is a must see while traveling to San Simeon valley.

There are few places to see the seals and the sea otters up close. Elephant Seal Viewing Point is a wonderful viewing deck and has a wonderful view of the Piedras Blancas Light Station nearby.

There are many more places to see on your road trip to California’s pacific coast highway. This introduction to an ideal six day road trip will give you plenty of inspiration to draw you in to planning your next trip to the coast. The idea to enjoy all the elements in the heart of the golden coast tie in the very essence of joy, fun, rest and inspiration with your growing family.

The benefits the outdoor on the children

The love story of my children was crafter perfectly on this road trip capturing the very beautiful bond between the two of them hand in hand and a heartwarming hug that sparked a deeper longing for Joycee and I to take them to more beautiful and inspiring places like the pacific coast.

Nature has a way of providing the soul to reflect and meditate on the very balance of the psyche. It nurtures the mind and body reflected on your young and growing family. The very fundamental of learning through play and the new found habit to engage in the outdoors. What better way to share that joy than to be interwoven with nature.

These are the moments we live for. Going back to the very basic as you unplug from the busy world and find refuge in nature. It teaches us a lot about our capability and capacity as nurturing human beings. Camping is for everyone and for every age. It gives us a new set of perspective to love deeply and take these moments with the abundance of lasting memories as we gather the very basics of life.

As the campground is name Ventana, it truly is the window to your new found set of eyes in the beautiful Pacific Coast; and the beginning- a wonderful introduction to camping with your young family. What are you waiting for?

Thank you for the coffee.

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