Big Sur, the 90 mile stretch of coastline south of Carmel from Point Sur Lighthouse all the way to Hearst Castle. It is one of the world's most beautiful shorelines with its 5,000-foot-tall mountains rising straight up from the Pacific Ocean. The original named given to it by the Spanish was El Pais Grande de Sur, the "Big Country." What makes this place so scenic maybe the the fact that the population has remained about the same since around 1900, a population of 1,500, then again, it's been like that too for the past 3,000 years.
The Pacific Coast Highway is the main artery around this area, and was the first scenic route in the state. It was opened in 1937, and has constantly been giving headaches to CalTrans with its mudslides and washouts. But the beauty of Big Sur gives it a good reason to be kept open no matter what the problems.