As one passes San Simeon along Highway 1, the road becomes far more curvy and the hills make you question where exactly are you going and what you are getting yourself into. Cell phone coverage is spotty, but who wants to even think about texting when you see the tall trees and expansive Pacific Ocean from the small vista points that occasionally line this narrow two-lane route?

Then you arrive at a smattering of cabins and a small parking lot. You’ve arrived at Ragged Point Inn, named for the spot that launches the drive along Big Sur for another 100 miles to Monterey.

Unfortunately, if you are driving north from points such as Hearst Castle or San Luis Obispo, this is it for a while. A massive rock slide (several, actually) has closed Highway 1 just north of here for the indeterminable future, making that romantic drive impossible.

Those rockslides have made it a tough going for those who live in this area and rely on tourism for a living. But for now, you will have to settle for this being your final destination if you happen to be driving north along Highway 1.

But life could be worse. Ragged Point sums up why this section of the Golden State has become my favorite part of California. Sure, I love the national parks near my home base of Fresno; and the desert is sublime with its weathered landscape and spectacular scenery. But this section of the state is quiet, bereft of development, and most likely will remain this way far into the future.

The staff at the Ragged Point Inn is friendly and welcoming; this is a great point to get caffeinated up and you would be remiss if you did not climb down the steep trail that takes you down to the shore. Dogs are welcome, too, but of course, be respectful. Most of all, enjoy the lush landscape, which really can make you believe there is a god  . . . or more than one, even.

Image credit: Leon Kaye

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

God's country, or shore, at least

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

The climb down was definitely worth it

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

Make sure you have good hiking shoes to make this climb

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

You don't even know California is home to almost 40 million people

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

You walk from flower gardens, and then see this

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

Just be wary when taking that selfie

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

View from the Ragged Point Inn

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

You will get wet if you're not cautious

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

The grounds of the Ragged Point Inn are lovely

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

Ragged Point as conquered by Whiskey

Travel, Ragged Point, central coast, California, San Simeon, Big Sur, Leon Kaye

This is quite the trek for a canine

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.