Hotels in Big Sur, California

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Big Sur Hotels

The steep, sweeping mountains of Big Sur lead down to dramatic, rugged coastlines where the clear blue waters roar against the shore. Explore this quiet, mostly undeveloped area and you’ll find small coves with golden sands where you can enjoy the Californian sun, while looking out at the dramatic waves of the sea. The town has managed to avoid most of the excesses of modern life, making it a great retreat for those who just want to listen to the waves and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Things to see

Hiking through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park you’ll be surrounded by redwoods, as well as conifers and oak trees, many of which are hundreds of years old and tower over the nature trail. In amongst the wooded areas you may spot local wildlife including deer, squirrels, and beautiful rare birds. Follow the trail and you’ll also come across areas of meadow covered in wildflowers, with the roar of the ocean never far away. The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park covers the coastal area, as well as the dramatic ridges nearby, and by taking the hiking trail you can get up close to features such as the dramatic waterfall running from the cliffs to the stormy ocean below. In certain months you can watch whales migrating or returning to their summer breeding grounds, and this often depends on the weather. There’s also an impressive scuba diving area for experienced divers along the rocky coastline.

Hotels in Big Sur

The isolation of the area is one of the main draws of Big Sur, so there aren’t a huge number of hotels here. Rather, they have focused on building luxury retreats with all the amenities you’ll need. You can find features such as outdoor pools, spas, hot baths, sundecks, and saunas, perfect for relaxing after a hard day of hiking. Most hotels in the area will also have restaurants and bars, with world-class cuisine on the menu. Luxury hotels in Big Sur also have impressive guestrooms, often with dramatic mountain or forest views, and you will find extras such as separate living areas, fireplaces, luxurious king size beds, and oversized tubs.

Where to stay

Big Sur is spread over a wide geographical area, so there aren’t any particular areas that are well-known, as many resorts and hotels are isolated and tucked away. On the Pacific Ocean Highway you’ll come across the small town of Posts, which has a few small shops, some cozy restaurants, and hosts the Henry Miller Memorial Library which offers cultural events and writing workshops. The nearby small town of Gorda also offers facilities for tourists such as a gas station, a general store, and some local restaurants.

How to get to Big Sur

With such an isolated location, a car is essential for travel in Big Sur, and visitors who arrive at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport can easily pick up a hire car from the terminal. From there it’s just under 2 hours to Big Sur, and the drive itself will allow you to take in the scenery of the area. There is some public transport available, with the Monterey-Salinas Transit authority running buses from Monterey to Big Sur which takes about an hour. You could therefore plan to take the Greyhound to Monterey and then switch to local transportation if you want a car-free vacation.

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