Big Sur is a region on the Central Coast of California. It contains vast wildernesses and breathtaking views as it stretches 72 miles along the rugged Pacific Ocean. While the region has no specific borders, most residents consider Big Sur to be bounded on the north by Malpaso Creek, approximately 129 miles south of San Francisco, and on the south by San Carpóforo Canyon, 244 miles north of Los Angeles.
The area is great for outdoor recreation and contains several state parks, two national wilderness areas, and is part of the Los Padres National Forest, all of which include hiking trails. The name during the Spanish colonial period was "el país grande del sur", meaning "the big country of the south", referring to the vast relatively unexplored region south of the city of Monterey, which was the capital of Alta California under both Spain and Mexico. It was anglicized as Big Sur by European settlers in 1915.
The most common activity in Big Sur is driving through to enjoy the scenery. The next most common activity are walks, hikes, and backpacking in the many open natural spaces.