Sykes Hot Springs sits near a redwood stand 10 miles inland from Big Sur's jagged coast and just above the chilly Big Sur river and by a comfortable Venana Wilderness campground popular with locals. The springs themselves are fairly small, fitting groups of three to five people. Jumping in and out of the rushing river is a refreshing way to pass the afternoon, but Sykes is at its best at night, when the area is most quiet. Visitors should just be advised that this is Northern California and nudity is common in the springs.
Credit: Corey Rich / Getty Images
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