Fernwood

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Rating: C

Improved directions!

You don't have to look far to find reminders of the '60s in the Big Sur area, including a nude swimming hole that, says Fred of Pacific Grove, seems like "a flashback" to the era of hippies and flower children. Next to a creek near the Fernwood Resort and its Redwood Grill Restaurant, some 30 miles south of Carmel, visitors will find a nude beach will some telltale signs of the period. "Look for old couches on the riverbank, naked people, and a river," says Fred. Or you may be the only person there. "Nobody bothers you," says Fred.

Unknown.

How to find it:

The beach is about a quarter mile north of the Grill and three quarters of a mile north of Pfeiffer Beach (see next entry), so if you pass either, turn around. Just south of the Big Sur River (see previous entry) on Highway 1, look for St. Francis Church and an old sign on the ocean side of the road directing visitors to the bar and grill. Follow the path that starts at the sign; it will take you down to a streamside swimming hole used by local skinny-dippers.

The beach:

A creekside swimming hole.

The crowd:

"There's usually nobody there," says Fred.

Problems:

Unknown legal status; needs better directions.

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