When you need to test out some new fall layers, you can’t beat a weekend surfing and exploring with friends in Big Sur. It’s an easy escape from the daily hustle and bustle of Southern California that’s always worth the drive. Get on the Pacific Coast Highway north of Los Angeles and you’ll understand why the road trip has kept surfers and outdoorsmen coming back to this beautiful stretch of rugged Californian coastline since the swinging 60’s. There are iconic surf spots and stunning 360 degree views around every green bend.
Big Sur starts where the cell service ends, and you can’t mistake the raw shoreline for anywhere else on the west coast. You’ll be greeted by pristinely dense redwood and sycamore forests, epic off-road camping, and a few fickle waves to satisfy your saltwater needs. The surf might not be world-class and you better pack some thick neoprene suits, but the beautiful endless backdrops and empty lineups make up for it. Fall is an amazing time to pack up the car and visit, with crisp weather, combo swells, and less tourist-y crowds, but you can’t go wrong any time of year.
Autumn in California begins as early as mid September in areas like the Sierra Mountains. For locals, it's a classic time of year when the trees shed their summer leaves, the air gets chilly, and a full thermos of warm coffee is never forgotten on the morning commute. On this trip, our roast of choice was California's own Pete's Coffee, which was founded in Berkeley, CA cir.1966. And while the evergreen redwoods of Big Sur are defiantly against changing color no matter the season, the air and water were no match for the annual drop in temperature.
There's nothing like the chill of the late season ocean water on your bare face while the sun is still making its way over the mountains. The quietness of this untouched coastline gave us a lot of time to just unplug, step back from it all and get back in touch with mother nature. Between our daily trips to the cold surf, we kept out the chill with thick fleece and hot soup. Though none of us were 5-star chefs, it didn't take much to satisfy four hungry stomachs after a long day of back-to-back hiking, board sessions and scenic nature walks. With our 4-wheeled lodgings settled neatly in our grassy camping spot, we took on most treks by foot. From lugging our surfboards down to the beach to climbing through the thick forest to reach those sweet panoramic views, we certainly didn't miss leg day on this vacation. Every evening the sunset was stunning, as is usual on this side of the country, and marked a great end to another great day in our makeshift paradise.
Even though it's never exactly swimsuit season in Big Sur, we’re stoked that we were still able to bring some Maui Rippers along for the ride. Click here to check out our new fall capsule of ultra-warm joggers, sweatpants and beanies, designed to throw on after a brisk dawn patrol or before your mid-day nap so you can keep comfortable all day and night long.