California’s Hwy. 1 stretch between Carmel, heart of Big Sur open

California’s Hwy. 1 stretch between Carmel, heart of Big Sur open

BIG SUR — Clients should know that a drive along California’s famously beautiful coastal route, the iconic Highway 1, is still possible despite damage wreaked by 2017’s winter storms.

Earlier this year, eroded hillsides caused the 320-foot long Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge to buckle. Then a mudslide took out part of Highway 1 and the affected section will be closed for at least a year, according to state estimates.

However construction crews have worked around the clock to restore access to parts of Highway 1, including the stretch between Carmel and the heart of Big Sur. And while Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is still closed – and will remain closed until at least September 2017 – a quick detour offers up wineries, attractions and more.

Visit SLO CAL, the state’s marketing organization responsible for promoting San Luis Obispo County, calls the inland route ‘The Best Detour You Will Ever Take’.

Travellers can easily get from Highway 1 in SLO CAL to Monterey and back onto Highway 1 using the detour, says Visit SLO CAL.

The detour, from Ragged Point to Monterey, takes about 30 minutes longer than the original Highway 1 route.

Highlights on the detour include lavish Hearst Castle, built by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst (the inspiration for Charles Foster Kane in Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane), and Elephant Seal Vista Point where hundreds of elephant seals mingle, molt and tend to their pups on the beach below. Paso Robles is also on the route, recently named ‘Best Wine Country Town’ for its wineries, vineyards and distilleries.

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