Photo of Big Sur

About Big Sur

South of Monterey, beautiful Big Sur sits between a 90-mile stretch of the Pacific Ocean and the craggy Santa Lucia Range. Rugged and raw, this wilderness is all the more surprising in that it has continued to exist in hip California, the USA’s third most populous state. An iconic region which has inspired Native Americans, early Spanish settlers and generations of writers, Big Sur promises an adventurous escape admist spell-binding scenery. Accommodation options include everything from simple motor lodges to luxurious couples’ hideaways, fit for a whole host of tastes and budgets. Nestled within a dramatic landscape of mountains and forests, the best places to stay in Big Sur are remote, restful and seriously special.

150 miles from San Francisco, this area has long appealed to creatives, counter-culture icons — Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S Thompson and the hippies of the 1960s, amongst others — as well as lovers of the great outdoors. Campers and diving holidaymakers also adore Big Sur. Make your way along the sweeping curves of Highway 1 to enormous Brixby Bridge, Point Sur Lighthouse and Big Sur village, amongst other landmarks.

The best of Big Sur lies further off the beaten track. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Andrew Molera State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are particular highlights. Retreat into the wilderness for days of hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, fishing, wildlife spotting, horse riding and yoga, before feasting on organic, locally-sourced produce or sipping Californian wine. Clamber through forests of towering redwoods before unwinding around a campfire, or enjoying a soak in your private hot tub at one of the best places to stay in Big Sur. The views will undoubtedly be dazzling.

The Best Places to Stay in Big Sur

For an Eco-Escape

  • Treebones Resort prides itself on being one of the pioneers of the 'glamping' movement, offering stylish yurts with space for couples, friends or families, in tune with the wilderness of Big Sur. Expect delectable, sustainably-sourced fare, yoga, hiking and fishing, and a family-friendly feel. A relaxed, family-run eco-escape.

For Romance

  • Ventana Inn & Spa promises a gorgeous, adults-only break with 34 rustic rooms (some featuring hot tubs) offering open fireplaces and views of the mountains as well as the sea. The surrounding 160 forested acres are brilliant for outdoorsy adventures, whilst the restaurant is famed for delicious dishes crafted from local, seasonal produce. The spa tops it all off! Bliss.
  • Post Ranch Inn is perched 1200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, with expansive views from swish contemporary rooms and suites with indulgent hot tubs. Boasting three infinity pools, two spas, a gym and an award-winning restaurant, this is a fabulous choice for a couples' hideaway.

For Great Value

  • Glen Oaks offers secluded lodges and cottages in the stunning redwood forests of Big Sur. Many of the cabins are self-catering, and some have space for families or groups. There is also a good onsite restaurant, and access to lots of the area's outdoor activities. A more affordable, low-key getaway. Round off your evenings with s'mores by the campfire.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR VILLA

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to San Jose International Airport, and travel to Big Sur by bus or taxi. There are also regular flights to Monterey Regional Airport (MRY), just a 40-minute drive from Big Sur village.
  • Alternatively, contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car. The Californian coastline is a famously fantastic region to explore by road.
  • Big Sur is at its busiest during the summer months, when the sunshine and warm weather draw visitors to California's fantastic beaches. Time your trip for the spring (April and May) or autumn (September and October) for fewer crowds and beautiful hikes.

STILL NOT SURE?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Big Sur

Best Hotels in Big Sur

  • Glen Oaks California, Big Sur 9 rooms from £137

    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Great walks  -  Limekiln State Park has a whole host of beautiful walks.
    Back to Nature  -  Secluded cabins nestled on the edge of a redwood grove.
    Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.
    RestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Glen Oaks are a cluster of cabins tucked away in the Red Wood forests of the Big Sur. The decor perfectly marries modern features with rustic charm. You can self cater or enjoy the locally sourced delights of The Big Sur Roadhouse Restaurant. Perfect eco-chic! See More

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  • Treebones Resort Big Sur 16 rooms from £234

    Great walks  -  Big Sur hike offers canyons, waterfalls, rocky beaches and historic sites.
    Local markets  -  Explore what Big Sur has to offer from local produce and arts and crafts.
    Kayaking  -  Sea Kayaking for 60 miles at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
    Restrictions on children  -  Treebones only accepts children over 6 years
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller

    Be at one with nature while gorging on oceanic views, glamping in stylish yurts and feasting on organic locally sourced produce for all meals. Put up your own tent or call a yurt a home, a fantastic spot for all the Big Sur offers. Environmentally conscious, a great treat. See More

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  • Ventana Inn and Spa Big Sur 34 rooms from £390

    Spa  -  With Japanese baths and a plethora of treatments to choose from
    Views  -  Stunning views over Big Sur's Pacific coastline
    Seaside  -  Beautiful setting and easy access to the ocean.
    Great walks  -  Get involved in the morning hikes.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    Adult-only boutique hideaway and spa with spectacular sunset views and Japanese hot baths set amid 243 acres. Rustic chic rooms & suites vary from offering fireplaces to hot tubs, mountain views to poolside. Fresh, locally sourced, sustainable produce is found at the restaurant. A romantic getaway. See More

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  • Post Ranch Inn Big Sur 39 rooms from £644

    Views  -  Over the Pacific Ocean.
    Great walks  -  Point Lobos State Reserve and others treks are trails loved treks.
    Private Hot Tub  -  Many of the suites have a private hot tub on the deck
    Surfing  -  Pfeiffer Beach is only one mile away.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet

    1200 feet above the Pacific Ocean stands, a romantic getaway with modern, spacious rooms. Mind blowing views and hot tubs come as standard with access to 3 infinity pools, 2 spas, a gym and an award-winning restaurant. Big Sur is a great base for trekking and photography. The perfect intimate spot! See More

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