Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Best Hotels To Stay In Big Sur

Monterey Coolest Town In Big Sur

12 Best Hotels in Big Sur, CA

Monterey is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in California. Its also our pick for the coolest town in Big Sur. Located just north of Carmel-By-The-Sea, Monterey is packed with historic buildings, cultural attractions, and an incredible array of epic scenery.

Great shopping, delicious restaurants, hipster coffee shops, and stylish wine bars are just a few of the things that make Monterey one of the hottest destinations on the Pacific Coast.

Love to eat? Monterey is home to some of the best food in the region. Youll find creative and experimental restaurants serving up fresh and delicious seafood dishes, as well as American fare, Mexican feasts and delicacies from around the world.

In short, Monterey is the embodiment of that quintessential California cool.

Best Condo In Big Sur: Stunning Oceanfront Apartment

This oceanfront apartment is a dream come true for every traveller. Located pretty much on the beach, you just need to step out of the door to feel the sand under your feet. You can enjoy a top neighbourhood, with loads of attractions, dining options and other points of interest. During the warm summer days, you can have a BBQ on your patio and wake up in the morning to the sunrise while enjoying your first coffee to the sound of the waves.

Why We Recommend This Hotel

If youre in the region for a fun weekend trip and want to stay at one of the best Big Sur hotels for families, the Big Sur Lodge is a fantastic option. Its awesome rates and impressive location will definitely make for a cool vacation with your loved ones.

Explore the Pfeiffer State Park and enjoy fun outdoor activities, such as hiking, while appreciating natures beauty. After which, you can head back to the Big Sur Lodge and take a dip in the pool or relax in the cozy rooms on the property.

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Best Condo In San Simeon: 4

When visiting Big Sur for the first time, you should make your stay really special. This oceanfront condo offers unrestricted views of the sea, enough space your a group of friends or a large family, and a total of 2000 sq. ft. You can enjoy your private beach access and have your morning coffee while strolling on the sand. This home is a true gem and has only had the highest reviews from previous guests.

San Simeon Where To Stay In Big Sur For The First Time

Big Sur Hotels

San Simeon is the southernmost town along the Big Sur coastline and where you should stay if you are visiting Big Sur for the first time as you will find the most amazing Pacific Ocean views, famous attractions, and an amazing food scene!

There are so many things to discover in San Simeon but if you wanna hear about some of them, the fabulous Hearst Castle and the Neptune Pool are the most impressive ones. You will also find many nice beaches on the Big Sur Coast, have a chance to see elephant seals, and find so many good restaurants with stunning ocean views. How does that sound?

San Simeon offers very nice accommodation options but I have to say that they can be expensive and fill up so quickly. Dont worry, you can secure your place with an early reservation and get better deals on hotels just like that. If you plan to do a road trip in California and want to add another amazing destination, check out the best places to stay in Yosemite National Park.

Lets have a look at the best places to stay in San Simeon:

Things to do in San Simeon


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Fernwood Campground & Resort

Fernwood does it all from campground sites to glamping motel and tent cabins for rent. The location is ideal for getting out into the state parks and exploring Big Sur. Youll find a range of accommodations here for under $200 a night which is a great option to be right in the heart of Big Sur.

Close to: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Andrew Molera State ParkBudget: $$

Things To See And Do In Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

  • See the massive and ancient Redwood Forests.
  • Hike to the exquisite Pfeiffer Falls.
  • Spot local wildlife including deer, skunks, bobcats and birds.
  • Visit nearby Pfeiffer Beach and watch the fiery sunset.
  • Build a fire and enjoy a night of sleeping under the stars.
  • Hike the Buzzards Roost and enjoy panoramic views of the ocean, Sycamore Canyon and the Santa Lucia Mountains.
  • Take a refreshing and relaxing dip in Big Sur River Gorge.
  • Enjoy an incredible meal at Sierra Mar restaurant, just a short drive outside of the park.
  • Climb over rocks and around fallen trees on the family-friendly Gorge Hike.

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If You Recovered From Covid

If you recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days , you do NOT need to get a test 3-5 days after travel. People can continue to test positive for up to 90 days after diagnosis and not be infectious to others. You also do not need to self-quarantine after travel. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after travel, isolate and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.

This Is My Second Time Im Staying

The 3 Best Hotels To Stay In Big Sur California

This is my second time Im staying. First was like heaven. But second because of climate, fires, and of course corona, it wasnt fun at all. So many people in river, we couldnt even get a chair to Soak our feet on the cold river . Restaurant wasnt pleasurable. You ordering your food First to go. Then go to restaurant area you canSit and eat your meal, which is like fast food style.Over roll I love this hotel. I definitely come back again.

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Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

Steps from Cannery Row and perched atop a sea cliff, this luxurious four-star hotel is the top hotel in Monterey. Many of the elegant guest rooms and luxurious suites at the Monterey Plaza Hotel have sweeping views of the ocean or the harbor, and some have in-room fireplaces.

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa is less than a 30-minute drive from Garrapata State Park on the northern end of the Big Sur coast, and other central Big Sur attractions, like Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, are an hour-long drive away.

Monterey Plaza Hotel offers plenty of amenities to keep guests on the property, including an open-to-the-public day spa with services like massages, facials, and full-body wraps. The spa is located on the top floor of the hotel, with stunning ocean vistas, alongside two soothing whirlpools that share the same dramatic view.

The in-house Schooners Coastal Kitchen is an award-winning eatery with ocean views, and the hotel’s Tidal Coffee offers fresh pastries and hot beverages on Cannery Row.

Address: 400 Cannery Row, Monterey, California

Cute Hotel Room In Monterey: Seafront Home With Amazing Hosts

Stay the night in this cute Victorian house in the absolute best location in Monterey. The famous lighthouse, beach and lovers point are only a couple of blocks from your doorstep, so you can reach all of the hotspots within a few minutes of walking. The host rents different rooms like a typical hotel, but with the advantage of speaking directly to her and getting the absolute best recommendations for the area. Youll be well looked after in this cute Airbnb.

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Best Hotel In King City: Keefers Inn

Keefers Inn is our recommendation for where to stay in King City. Situated at the heart of the city, this motel is close to popular attractions. It has a fitness centre, an outdoor swimming pool, and a BBQ area for guests.

Composed of 47 rooms, Keefers Inn is a great base for your time in Big Sur.

Things To See And Do In King City

Post Ranch Inn Hotel, California, Photo Gallery ...
  • Stretch your legs at San Lorenzo County Park by exploring the hiking trails or playing a game of horseshoes.
  • Step back in time and explore the exhibits at the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum.
  • Get back to nature at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
  • Enjoy homemade American fare at The Cork & Plough.
  • Dig your teeth into delicious tacos at Tacos La Poteranca DE Jalisco.
  • Grab a quick and delicious bite at the Wildhorse Café
  • Dine on delicious Mexican dishes in a relaxed atmosphere at Guadalajara Restaurant.
  • Play a round of 18 at the King City Golf Course.

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We Greatly Enjoyed The Monterey Aquarium 17 Mile Drive

We greatly enjoyed the Monterey Aquarium, 17 mile drive, Ventana Resort, Treebones yurts, beautiful hiking, the sea lions and just the spectacular scenery. We went specifically to San Luis Obispo for the farmer’s market and were disappointed in the small turnout from vendors that we had experienced a few years before. Wished we hadn’t spent the night in San Francisco and had driven over to the coast when we got off the plane, but we’ll know the next time.

Best Big Sur Hotels To Stay In

With over 90 miles of postcard-worthy coastline, Big Sur is an unmissable sight in California. While some travelers opt to take a road trip along the iconic Highway 1, staying overnight gives more time for tourists to explore and make the most out of their trip. From Big Sur glamping tents and cozy inns to world-class accommodations, there are plenty of choices for travelers looking for the perfect Big Sur hotels. All of these accommodations also have a wide price point so theres no need to worry about breaking the bank.

So if youre looking where to stay in Big Sur, heres a look at some of the best hotels in this beautiful region!

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Treebones Resort & Campground

71895 Highway 1, South Big Sur, CA

Described as a premier glamping experience, Treebones offers unique lodging and dining on Californias breathtaking Big Sur Coast. You can stay in tent-like yurts that are fully furnished, or you can choose a campsite and bring your own tents and gear. If you decide on a yurt, which is a circular fabric structure with a wood lattice frame, you can expect a queen-sized bed with fresh linens and cozy comforters, heat, electricity, a hot & cold sink vanity, pine wood floors and French doors that open to a redwood deck with incredible coastal views.

Treebones Resort, Big Sur

  • Local hiking trains & state parks

Prices start at $170 USD per night and there is a two-night minimum.


Big Sur is a road trip MUST to experience at least once in your life. However, if youre like me, youll become obsessed and end up revisiting again and again to continue to explore its ruggedly gorgeous and wild coastline.

If you havent yet read my complete travel guide to Big Sur, make sure to give it a read!

Have questions for me about Big Sur, Carmel and area? Have feedback on this blog post? Please feel free to shoot me a comment below! I would love to hear from you!

Best Budget: Ripplewood Resort

Post Ranch Inn: California Luxury Minute Resorts

True budget accommodation is hard to come by in Big Sur but Ripplewood Resort offers good value for money with well-equipped cabins well under $150 per night. Located next-door to Glen Oaks on Highway 1, the resort receives positive TripAdvisor reviews for its cozy atmosphere and scenic riverside setting. All cabins include a private deck, coffee maker, mini-fridge, heater, and daily housekeeping. It may be worth forking out a little extra for one with a full kitchen, though, that way you’re able to cut down on overall costs by self-catering. You can purchase ingredients at the on-site grocery store while the gas station is convenient for filling up ahead of a day spent exploring the surrounding area. If you dont feel like cooking, you can order simple but tasty meals for breakfast and lunch from the Ripplewood Café. Expect staples such as cheeseburgers, enchiladas, and burritos. Wi-Fi is available in the restaurant but not in the cabins.

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Best For Romance: Ventana Big Sur An Alila Resort

Courtesy of Alila Hotels and Resorts

Adults-only Ventana Big Sur is a magical five-star resort perfect for romantic getaways. It sits amidst 160 acres of ancient redwood forest interspersed with astonishing ocean views. Spend intimate moments soaking in the Japanese hot baths, or relaxing by the heated outdoor pools . At Spa Alila, you can enjoy couples treatments in a private outdoor cabana, while a $50 experience fee entitles you to a range of activities including yoga classes and sommelier wine and cheese hours.

The Sur House restaurant provides the perfect setting for a special meal. Pair Pacific-sourced seafood with small-production Central Coast wines, then sit back on the terrace and admire the breathtaking cliff-top views. All of the rustic-chic rooms and suites spoil with a king bed, an artisan mini-bar, and a private deck. For an extra touch of romance, ask for one with a fireplace and hot tub. Adventurous couples should also consider booking one of the resorts safari-style glamping tents.

Best Historic: Deetjens Big Sur Inn

Courtesy of Deetjens Big Sur Inn

Those wanting to step back in time should stay at Deetjens Big Sur Inn. Situated amidst beautiful gardens on the edge of Castro Canyon creek, the redwood inn was built by Helmuth and Helen Deetjen in the early 1930s. The creek served as a stop for travelers on the coastal wagon road before the completion of Highway 1 and the inn is now recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, rustic rooms are filled with antique furniture and hand-crafted artifacts and many have quirky features such as window seats, fireplaces, or private gardens.

Grandpas Room belonged to the inns founder and still houses his beloved vinyl collection. In keeping with the era, there are no TVs and you wont find internet or cell coverage on the property. Some rooms share a bathroom and the walls are thin but for many reviewers, the hotels charm makes sacrificing a few modern comforts worthwhile. Deetjens Restaurant serves an award-winning breakfast spread in addition to organic local meals and small-production Californian wines.

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Best Airbnb In Big Sur: Beautiful Seafront Home

You really cant get any closer to the water this stunning seafront condominium is a dream come true for travelers that want to enjoy a beautiful view and a calm and peaceful home. If you visit at the right time, you can even see dolphins jumping out of the water while sipping on your morning coffee. Since the Airbnb is located quite a bit from the town centre, it would be ideal if you had a car to get from A to B.

Big Sur Camping: Public Campgrounds In Big Sur


Camping in Big Sur includes everything from tenting to RV camping even glamping!

Be sure to check the Parks website ahead of time to ensure the area hasnt been closed due to flood damage or other adverse conditions. And youll want to make advance reservations some campgrounds are booking six months ahead. Online reservations can be made at Reserve California or you can call tollfree: 1-800-444-7275.

The Big Sur Chamber of Commerce provides a good overview of camping in the area, and they do a great job of updating the information. For instance, I found out that Bottchers Gap Campground is now closed until further notice.

Sadly, due to dry weather, California has lately been a high-risk area for wildfires. As a result, many campgrounds have fire restrictions. You can check with the U.S. Forest Service here before heading out on your camping adventure.

Here are some of the Big Sur campgrounds I recommend:

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Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Best Place To Stay In Big Sur For Families

Get back to nature and enjoy a breath of fresh air by staying in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This state park and nature reserve is located away from the Big Sur Coast just north of San Simeon.

It covers more than 1,006 acres of protected land and is home to rivers, waterfalls, and unforgettable natural sights.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is our top choice for where to stay for families visiting Big Sur as its packed with outdoor adventures kids of all ages will love. Whether you want to swim in the river or hike to the top of the mountain, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has it all!

Monterey The Coolest Area To Stay In Big Sur

Monterey is located just 5 miles north of Carmel-By-The-Sea and the biggest town in Big Sur that offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Monterey is a very charming town where you will find historical sites, impressive art galleries, fun attractions, and amazing seafood restaurants. Isnt it cool, there is a bit of everything here!

The first thing you should do in Monterey is to have a stroll at the historic Old Fishermans Wharf checking out the cute cafes with beautiful views. If you feel like shopping you will find so many nice shops at Cannery Row. During the sunset go to Lovers Point Park and watch breathtaking views. At night you pick one of many good restaurants and taste the regions famous wines and local seafood.

Monterey offers a great selection of hotels and Ive already handpicked the top 4 for all budgets. If you still want more options check out our ultimate guide to the top places to stay in Monterey.

  • Visit the Monterey Museum of Art and the Monterey State Historic Park
  • Sample good wines at A Taste of Monterey Wine Market & Bistro
  • Have dinner at Yama Sushi Bar & Restaurant
  • Go for a stroll at Lovers Point Park
  • Have delicious seafood at the Sea Harvest Fish Market & Restaurant

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