Beloved of beat poets, surfers and sunset seekers, Big Sur – a rugged stretch of coastline two hours drive from San Francisco, beginning where the Santa Lucia mountains rise sharply from the Pacific Ocean – retains iconic status among ocean lovers. And in an area famed for its natural beauty, the McWay Falls stand out as an impossibly striking vista. The waterfall spills 80ft into a beach cove framed by the wild waves of the Pacific and, whilst stunning at any time of the day, is particularly memorable at sunset. The more adventurous can take a walk through a tin tunnel which takes you to an ocean view on the other side of the waterfall.

UJ’s Insider Tips

Visit Pfeiffer Beach which nestles in a cove 2 1/2 miles from Highway 1, and is reached by negotiating the tight curves of a narrow road that snakes through the lush Sycamore Canyon. The rolling sea bashes the shoreline relentlessly leaving it strewn with driftwood and a dramatic arched rock looms just offshore.

Big Sur, San Francisco, USA