Gaby’s Guide to Big Sur

Big Sur is one of the most magical places in California. It’s home to some truly amazing restaurants, a handful of hikes that will kick you into shape and plenty of cute hotels and spas where you can relax! Read on to see my can’t miss stops while visiting Big Sur!

Gaby's Guide to Big Sur

I’ve been to Big Sur a handful of times… most recently for our 1 year wedding anniversary. It’s a little slice of heaven and a perfect weekend getaway!

Glen Oaks Lodge – one of the first places I ever stayed in Big Sur was Glen Oaks. It’s a super chic lodge nestled into the forest with basically no wifi, no tv and no valet. It’s exactly what you want while you’re on a weekend getaway. They go however have heated floors, amazing rooms with outdoor firepits and it’s a hop skip and a jump away from my favorite bakery. It’s not on the water but it’s seriously stunning.

Pfeiffer Falls – in order to eat everything I do while traveling, there has to be some form of workout involved before or after meals. Pfeiffer Falls is just that!! Plus it’s majorly gorgeous.

Big Sur Bakery – without a doubt this is my favorite place to eat in town. The food is incredible for breakfast, lunch and dinner… although I’m partial to breakfast and lunch! Get the pizza, it’s a game changer.

Post Ranch Inn – I mean, what’s a vacation without the occasional splurge! Post Ranch is just that. It’s one of the most gorgeous hotels I’ve every stayed at and the restaurant there is really wonderful. Sierra Mar (their restaurant) sits on top of a cliff and overlooks the water which makes for an unbeatable view while you eat. Both times I’ve been we opted for the prix fixe menu which was pricey, but totally incredible.

Ventana Inn – Another favorite is the Ventana Inn! The restaurant is warm and romantic and the food and drink is seriously delish! Word on the street is that they have a killer spa… so I need to make my way back and try that out asap!

Nepenthe – While Nepenthe has a restaurant that’s always packed… I’m partial to just going there to hang out. They have one of the most beautiful views in Big Sur. If you go in the afternoon, while the sun in shining, you can post up at a table and just chill.

Ewoldsen Trail – another hike!! Because we’ve gotta burn all those calories from breakfast, lunch, second lunch and dinner. Obviously.

Treebones Resort – Raise your hand if you’ve stayed at a yurt! Have you even heard of a yurt? It’s basically a super posh teepee that bananas and awesome. I’ve become slightly obsessed with Treebones, their fabulous yurts and their restaurant Wild Coast which uses it’s own garden for most of the menu. It’s a fantastic place to stay and eat if you’re with a group of friends and just want to have a great time.

Cambria, California

Cambria Beach, California

Gaby - Big Sur

Big Sur, California

Big Sur Bakery

Big Sur Bakery - Breakfast Pizza

Big Sur Bakery - Avocado Hummus Sandwich

Big Sur - Nepenthe Patio

Big Sur - State Park

Big Sur, California

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19 Comments

  1. The yurt hotel looks like it would be a fun experience. Haven’t been to Big Sur in forever, but your photos sure make me want to go back sooner rather than later!

  2. It looks like it was a wonderful anniversary weekend, hope you have many more. I’ve heard of Big Sur, but never seen pictures so something to bear in mind next time I cross the Atlantic. The food looks fab too, love pizza with egg on it!

  3. I haven’t been to Big Sur in many years. Clearly, that needs to change! Thank you for the great ideas.

  4. All of the places you listed are amazing but they are also for those who have money for a special occasion. Respectfully, I would like to add a few places that most people can afford. The Maiden Pub has great food and a variety of micro brews available. The Big Sur Market (which is right next door) has awesome and huge burritos for $8 at the burrito bar in the back of the store (2 can share 1 or save part for later). Go to Pfeiffer Burns State Park store and restaurant for ice cream and souvenirs. There is a trail head just across the Hwy from there that switchbacks all the way up the hillside to a 360 degree view of ocean and mountains. Trail name is Buzzards Roost. Andrew Molera State Park has campsites that are first come first served for less than $25 night. This park has numerous trails for all levels of hikers and there is a wide variety of ecosystems in this park alone. Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Definitely get out of the car and explore it!

    1. Hi Stacey!!! I need that burrito in my life IMMEDIATELY!! Yes, I totally understand that some of the places I recommended are for special occasions. We were there celebrating our anniversary 🙂 But… I’m seriously looking forward to trying your recs. They all sound awesome!!

    2. Thank you for the head up specially for those travellers with budget in mind. Truly wonderful ideas.

  5. I love Big Sur and The Esalen Institute. This is GOD’s gift to the west coast of our wonderful USA.

  6. You also left off the River Inn. On Sunday afternoon, you can grab a chair and pull it into the river, if it is warm enough, kick back and listen to the jazz band. The food and drinks are very good as well as reasonably priced. The Inn is lovely and not nearly as expensive as Post Ranch or Vantana but you have to book early. They are very busy during Sunday brunch so don’t forget your reservations.

  7. What a great site you have Gabby! 15 years ago I made the trip with my lifetime bestest of friends from my home in Upstate, NY. We have The Finger Lakes, wineries and gorgeous Autumn’s. Traveling from San Francisco to Big Sur was a fabulous experience. The beaches, State Parks, wildlife and food; all awesome. If you plan on visiting the Finger Lakes I can make some good recommendations.

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