BIG SUR TOTALLY BLEW MY LITTLE MIND!! The 90 mile stretch of cliffside highway from San Simeon (about 4 hours north of LA) up to Carmel is nature at its best. Big Sur is a peaceful adventure. With no wifi and no cell service, we used a paper map like it was the 1900s! There’s something so relaxing about being disconnected and having nowhere to be. We woke up before sunrise, ate donuts for lunch, and our only plan for the day was to be on a beach (any beach!) for sunset.
POST RANCH INN is the definition of natural luxury. The rooms are built into the cliffs and have floor-to-ceiling windows, fire-places, outdoor hot tubs, and heated-floors. They even have tree house rooms! The hotel restaurant Sierra Mar is the best in Big Sur. A truly unique experience with a price tag to match.
TREEBONES RESORT has incredible yurts for those of us more into clamping than camping. They also have treehousesand “The Nest” which is a life-size wood-woven nest where you bring your own sleeping bag and you’re essentially sleeping outside. I haven’t been brave enough for this yet, but if you can promise me nice weather, I’d love to sleep up there!
RAGGED POINT INN is a cozy motel at the southern end of Big Sur. All rooms have ocean views and there’s a hiking trail that takes you down to the ocean. Beautiful gardens, but the buildings feel like a well-preserved time capsule, like the west coast version of Dirty Dancing. The views here are incredible - such a special place to wake up!
BIG SUR BAKERY for the most delicious baked goods, espresso, fresh bread, and pizzas, and soups and salads… okay EVERYTHING HERE IS GREAT!! This casual roadside “bakery” far exceeded my expectations - it’s a proper restaurant and the service is superb. They often sell out of the sweets, so arrive early and prepare to wait in line. Make a reservation if you’re going for dinner.
NEPENTHE Like everything in Big Sur, this place is about the views. The food is decent, but the cliffside outdoor patio with panoramic views of the ocean and the mountains will make you feel so lucky to live on planet Earth!
SIERRA MAR is the restaurant at Post Ranch Inn. You’re so cliffside, you’re basically floating in the ocean while eating modern culinary creations you never knew existed. Come for the food, stay for the views, or vice versa? This is my favorite place to watch the sunset!
ELEPHANT SEAL BEACH where you’ll smell (and hear) the elephant seals before you see them. These critters are the perfect mix of playful and lazy… I think some of my best friends are Elephant Seals disguised as humans!
MCWAY FALLS is a must-see. The most photographed spot in Big Sur so don’t expect any privacy here. A short walk will get you the very best view of this hillside waterfall pouring onto the white sand beach and into the clearest blue ocean.
BIXBY BRIDGE is the Golden Gate Bridge of Big Sur. The giant arch bridge is a popular photo-op so expect a small crowd. Stop and enjoy this manmade wonder and try not to feel any less proud of yourself for constructing that Ikea shelf.
17 MILE DRIVE is not in Big Sur, but the entrance is about 15 minutes from Carmel. It’s $10 per car, but worth every penny. Stunning beaches, houses, flowers, trees, and golf courses. Suddenly, I want to learn how to play golf!