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977 votes

Bixby Bridge

Highway 1, Big Sur, California 93923 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Mon 12a-11:59p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    not Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • No Public
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“THE Iconic Big Sur landmark!”

The bridge is “one of the most photographed features on the West Coast” because of its location along the scenic Central Coast of California, and has frequently been used in automobile commercials. The bridge has become a regional landmark and was used in the opening sequences of the television series Then Came Bronson, the films Play Misty for Me and The Sandpiper. The bridge was also in a first season episode of NBC's show Heroes ("Company Man"), even though the scene was placed in Texas. Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Bridge, is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California. The bridge is located 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco and 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel in Monterey County along California Highway One. Prior to the opening of the bridge in 1932, residents of the Big Sur area were virtually cut off during winter due to the often impassable Old Coast Road that led 11 miles (18 km) inland. At its completion, the bridge was built under budget for $199,861 and was the longest concrete arch span at 320 feet (98 m) on the California State Highway System. Beginning in about 1855, travelers followed a very rough and dangerous track from Carmel south towards Big Sur. At Bixby Creek, the road turned 11 miles (18 km) inland and then led to the Post Ranch on the Rancho El Sur. The 30 miles (48 km) trip could take three days by wagon or stagecoach. The single-lane road was closed in winter when it became impassable. Coast residents would occasionally receive supplies via a hazardous landing by boat from Monterey or San Francisco. After it was built, the bridge was at times referred to as the Rainbow Bridge. This stems from a nearby resort, Rainbow Lodge, which was operated for a period of time by an Army Captain, Howard Sharpe and his wife, Frida. After lumbering came to an end, the Sharpes bought the ranch in the Bixby Creek Canyon in 1919. Sharpe built a dirt road from the lodge up the canyon to Bixby Landing and another road down to the beach at the mouth of Bixby Creek. He sold part of his land to the state to form part of the bridge right of way in 1930.

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  • 31 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
March 29, 2021
Rated 5.0

The landmark for Big Sur and Monterey Bay! There are a couple of pull offs on both sides of the bridge and both sides of the road, but it gets very crowded during the day. We went around 9am one morning and saw a pod of dolphins in the water below. There are a couple of steep man made paths around the mountains of the bridge - but definitely do them at your own risk. They're narrow and on the edge.

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Bixby Bridge

Highway 1
Big Sur, California
93923 USA
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Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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    Wheelchair Accessible
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