Photo courtesy Callum Snape.
At 86 years old, Bixby Bridge is more than a historic gateway to Big Sur; it is one of the most photographed landmarks in Monterey County, gracefully spanning 714 feet across a deep and wild canyon along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, suspending drivers and pedestrians 280 feet in the air. Named after intrepid New York City businessman Charles Henry Bixby, who visited the Monterey Peninsula in 1868 and later owned land in the area, the bridge continues to attract visitors en masse. Its celebrity has soared thanks to appearances in commercials promoting products from Ferrari and BMW to Corona beer and in films such as Play Misty for Me and, more recently, the HBO melodrama Big Little Lies. The bridge even has its own postage stamp. The parabolic shape of its arch and the tall spandrel columns add to an overall intense aesthetic experience.