Gorda Springs by the Sea is located in the Big Sur area of the winding coastal Highway 1. Just 25 miles north of San Simeon’s Hearst Castle and 65 miles south of Carmel, the spot on the map is tiny but views are beyond compare. Whale Watcher Cafe, Pacific Market and romantic ocean view cottages await those wanting to linger as long as possible to enjoy the vistas afforded here. 


The town of Gorda Springs does not list its population but 100 people would likely be a generous estimate..  Once enjoyed by the Costanoan and Esalen Indian tribes for its natural spring waters, it became a stagecoach stop and was settled in 1878, just in time for the Big Sur gold rush which began around 1880. Gorda became an important mining town bordering the Gorda and Los Burros gold mines. 


Since the opening of Highway 1 in 1937, Gorda has been a stopover oasis for millions of travelers.  The rich hues of its garden flowers, hills, ocean waters and sky provide the perfect backdrop for nature lovers. Artists and photographers delight in the richness of the blues and aquamarines not seen in coastal waters further south.  There are many nearby hiking trails, fishing coves and beaches for surfing and beach combing. 


Because of its deep waters immediately offshore, Gorda does not have sand beaches for sunbathing. What it is known for is steep cliffs and rocks that provide a sanctuary for elephant seals and birds. Its vistas are perfect for watching the annual migrations of whales. 

The Whale Watcher Cafe advertises itself as a world renowned establishment offering a 60 year tradition of hospitality and gourmet dining in a romantic, nautical-like setting.  There is casual dining indoors and on garden patios. Daily specials served with fine wines, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner service allows travelers to stop the car and eat nearly any time. 



The Pacific Market and Gift Shop sells food delicacies for campers and travelers, staples, baked goods and snacks. Beers and wines, deli sandwiches, soups and salads are also available.  Souvenirs, gifts, film and camping supplies are sold in the shop, too. 


Information: Mailing address: Town of Gorda Springs
Highway 1, The South Coast, Big Sur, California, 93920

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