Big Sur Culture & Traditions: Local History, Customs, Festivals

Big Sur Culture & Traditions: Local History, Customs, Festivals

Exploring the Rich Culture and Traditions of Big Sur

Located along the stunning coastline of California, Big Sur is not only renowned for its natural beauty but also for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant traditions that have been preserved and celebrated through the years. From local history to customs and festivals, Big Sur offers a fascinating glimpse into a unique way of life.

Local History

The history of Big Sur is deeply rooted in the Native American heritage of the region. The indigenous peoples, such as the Esselen and Ohlone tribes, have inhabited these lands for thousands of years, leaving behind a legacy of ancient traditions and customs.

European exploration and colonization in the 16th century brought Spanish influences to Big Sur, further shaping the cultural landscape of the area. The Gold Rush of the mid-19th century also played a significant role in the development of Big Sur, attracting settlers and adventurers seeking their fortunes.


The people of Big Sur take great pride in preserving their customs and traditions, which are deeply connected to the natural environment that surrounds them. Practices such as sustainable living, artisan craftsmanship, and a strong sense of community are integral parts of everyday life in Big Sur.

Visitors to Big Sur will often encounter locals engaging in traditional activities such as fishing, farming, and weaving, all of which reflect a deep respect for the land and a desire to live in harmony with nature.


Throughout the year, Big Sur comes alive with a variety of festivals and celebrations that showcase the cultural diversity and artistic talent of the community. From music festivals to art fairs, there is always something exciting happening in Big Sur.

  • Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series
  • Big Sur Fashion Show
  • Big Sur Food and Wine Festival
  • Big Sur Music Festival

These festivals not only provide entertainment for locals and visitors alike but also serve as important events for preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Big Sur.