Roadside Resort, Gorda Springs Must Stop
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Click to enlarge this picture of the whaling themed resort village of Gorda Springs.
Information: Gorda Springs Resort is a beautiful highway 1 stopover spot with a whaling village theme; it should be part of anyone planning a road trip on PCH 1; they have the Whale Watchers Café; a general store / delicatessen, uniquely furnished motel, cottages and studios, a gift shop, espresso bar, and a full-service gas station; a wonderful place with a truly colorful long history serving travelers on the Big Sur Coast.
Near Points of Interest: Less than about 1 mile away Willow Creek Beach is a popular beach (and secret surf spot) destination for southern Big Sur Pacific Coastal Highway travelers and especially for visitors and guests at the two close by resorts Treebones Big Sur Yurt Resort and Gorda Springs Resort. Gorda Springs is at the heart of the Big Sur Coast and offers a virtual treasure trove of outdoor recreational sports opportunities. A good place to get maps, and information is the nearby Pacific Valley Station ( 5 miles north U.S. Forest Service telephone: 805-927-4211), they also have restrooms and public telephones and are located 1 mile north of Sand Dollar Beach Picnic Area on the east side of Pacific Coast Highway 1. Many outdoor sports enthusiasts of all kinds make Limekiln State Park, Plaskett Creek Campground or Kirk Creek Campgrounds their base camps for their excursions and activities. The steep picturesque mountain country is popular with hang gliders and paragliders; the coastal bluffs above Jade Cove are a designated landing area. Nearby back country roads and trails lead back to the wilderness for 4x4, mountain bike and horseback riding backpacking and hiking fans. Pacific ocean fishermen, surfers and scuba divers all come here for the outdoor recreation opportunities as do kayakers and other small watercraft owners.
Beach Access and Day Use Parks & Picnic Areas: Willow Creek Beach offers the first public beach access for 20 miles since Piedras Blancas Motel; Ragged Point Inn nature trail is 13 miles south has beach access but it is a short strenuous hike. For jade hunting, tide-pooling, scuba diving, surfing and rock-hoping the close by rocky beach at Willow Creek Beach is fine but just 2 miles north if you are looking for a beach to play and lay on it's impossible to beat the long white sandy beach at Sand Dollar Beach but 7 miles north Mill Creek Picnic Ground which has a quite nice small picnic spot and easier access to the beach area another a close option 8 miles north is Kirk Creek Campground, it has a nice short trail that leads down to the beach which is a popular spot for surfing, rock fishing and beachcombing. Another mile north past Kirk Creek Campground is Limekiln State Park. One of the best beaches on the Big Sur coast is Pfeiffer State Beach it is 34.5 miles, the turnoff is at Sycamore Canyon; another great long white sandy Big Sur Beach which is popular is just 2 miles north of here is Sand Dollar Beach which provides easy access to a large picnic area with restrooms and barbecue grills on the top of the bluff, there is a nice long big sandy beach at the bottom of some steep stairs, Sand Dollar Day Use Pincnic Area and Beach is a little over 2 miles north.
Near places to Eat: You never leave the resort and can get a sandwitch from the deli or enjoy Gorda's restaurant, Whale Watcher Cafe. The phenomenal all glass enclosed Pacific Ocean view restaurant at the Ragged Point Inn and Resort is only 12 scenic miles south on the Pacific Coast Highway 1, well worth the drive; you could even just grab a hamburger or hotdog there if you would rather, their Snack Bar is great too! My all time favorite Big Sur Ocean View restaurant Nepenthe is 33 gorgeous miles north on the scenic PCH; Lucia is 13 miles north and has a very nice ocean view restaurant ;try the fish & chips.
Near Hotel Lodgings & Resorts: Lucia Lodge is 13 miles ahead to the north and about 12 miles south is the wonderful Ragged Point Inn and Resort.
Near Campgrounds: One of my very favorite Big Sur Campgrounds, Plaskett Creek Campground, is just 3 miles to the north. Less than 1 mile to the north and offering very unique camping is Treebones Big Sur Yurt Resort. The closest other campground is to the north 10 miles Kirk Creek Campground; the next closest one to the north would be Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park which is 27 miles north.
Town of Gorda Springs History: The Costanoan and Esalen Indian tribes living along the Big Sur coast refreshed themselves with the fresh natural waters of the springs at Gorda for thousands of years before it was first settled by whites in 1878 when it became a stage coach stop in between Monterey and San Luis Obispo. Later during the Big Sur gold rush around 1880 Gorda became an important mining town bordering the Gorda and Los Burros gold mines; the Gorda and Los Burros gold mines were productive for years. Then after the opening of Highway 1 in 1937, Gorda Springs Resort became a stopover oasis for travelers of Pacific Coast Highway 1 as it is today.
Other Facilities, Services or Activities:
On the coast in this area the traveler services and tourist facilities are sparse and spread out and this won't change for the next 33 miles.
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Activities Points of Interest
Coastal Aerial Photos of this Location