Waterfalls of Coastal California (Big Sur and the Bay Area)

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Coastal California is where it's said to be the most dramatic place where the ocean meets the sky.

Linked by the twisty yet scenic Highway 1, it was here that we were able to find waterfall excursions featuring ocean panoramas and dramatic sunsets. Such places captured our imagination (and envision it did the same to many other Californians - whether they're nature lovers or city slickers looking for a blissful getaway). In fact, my wife and I considered getting married on the Big Sur Coast, which sits at the heart of this incredible landscape.

Among the more dramatic near-ocean waterfalls are McWay Falls in Big Sur and Alamere Falls in the Point Reyes National Seashore. We also visited some waterfalls amongst coastal redwood trees such as Berry Creek Falls.

Plus, one of the waterfalls in this region cracked our Top 10 USA Waterfalls List. Can you guess which one?

In any case, for the purposes of this discussion, this section covers the California Coast as far south as the Santa Lucia Wilderness (near San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande), as far north as Point Reyes, and this includes many of the waterfalls near the San Francisco Bay Area (including Silicon Valley and as far east as the Oakland outskirts). Indeed, many of the waterfalls are within a reasonable day trip or relaxing weekend trip from the Bay Area urban sprawl.

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Click on the waterfalls below to read more about them.

Salmon Creek Falls

3 Salmon Creek Falls

Big Sur
Limekiln Falls

2.5 Limekiln Falls

Big Sur / Limekiln State Park
McWay Falls nestled in the gorgeous McWay Cove

4 McWay Falls

Big Sur / Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Canyon Falls

1 Canyon Falls

Big Sur / Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Pfeiffer Falls

2 Pfeiffer Falls

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
The beach-bound Alamere Falls

4 Alamere Falls

Point Reyes National Seashore
Little Falls

2 Little Falls

near San Luis Obispo / Santa Lucia Wilderness
Castro Canyon Waterfall

1 "Castro Canyon Waterfall"

Big Sur
Cataract Falls

2 Cataract Falls

Mt Tamalpais
Carson Falls

2 Carson Falls

Mt Tamalpais
Cascade Falls

1 Cascade Falls

Berry Creek Falls

3 Berry Creek Falls

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Silver Falls

2.5 Silver Falls and Golden Cascade

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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