A new Instagram account is out to educate tourists behaving badly in one of the most beautiful coastlines of the world.
“BigSurHatesYou” is just what it sounds like. Run anonymously, the account labels itself as wanting to “(Educ)hate you” on everything you’ve been doing wrong in this rugged stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon. Thousands of tourists descend on this sliver of paradise hugging the narrow two-lane State Route 1, famous for its winding turns, misty cliffs and beaches, but some unfortunately forget to adhere to rules set by local and state officials.
The account posts photos of tourists misbehaving, including lighting illegal bonfires, trampling on wildflowers, taking selfies at “Area Closed” signs, posing next to seals and standing in the middle of the highway just to take a selfie.
“I don't speak Russian, so I can't even try to talk some sense into this person,” the anonymous author says in an Instagram post showing a tourist sitting right next to a resting seal.
“It looks like you are on the wrong side of the sign - Please remove that photo so others don't think it's okay to do that,” another post says next to a photo of a woman posing behind an “Area Closed” sign.
“Can you please add the hashtag #firepermit to your post so that people understand it's not okay to just build a campfire in the backcountry? Also, some more defensible space is very necessary,” the caption next to a tent in a wooded area reads.
Sometimes the tourists respond back, thanking the account.
Vandalism is often reported in national parks in California, including Yosemite and Joshua Tree. Environmental activists have used the power of social media to shame tourists behaving badly and even launched online petitions to help report violations.
Last year, residents of Big Sur launched the “Big Sur Pledge” to start campaigning for better behavior from tourists.