Drive the narrow, winding, spectacular back-door route to Big Sur: Nacimiento-Fergusson Road

Los Angeles Times 

Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor. Why: It'll quicken your pulse, drop your jaw and demand your full attention. What: Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, a winding, two-lane highway, begins in the Salinas Valley countryside north of Paso Robles, next to the often-overlooked Mission San Antonio de Padua and the Army's Ft. Then for 7 miles, via dozens of switchback turns, it wends its way down the western slopes to Big Sur. It meets Highway 1 at Kirk Creek, about 4 miles south of Lucia and 10 miles north of Mud Creek, where landslide repairs have closed Highway 1. Motorcyclists have loved Nacimiento-Fergusson Road for years, and traffic has been relatively thin.