Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is definitely off the beaten path. Located just south of Big Sur Station on Highway 1, take the narrow Sycamore Canyon Road (with no signposts!) which winds down to the shore. There is a parking area at the bottom and then you can walk to the beach.
The focal point of the beach is Keyhole Rock which has a natural arch at the base and there are loads of rock pools to explore. The north end of the beach has magical purple sand which comes from manganese garnet rocks in the cliffs.
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