The Ultimate Guide to Big Sur : The Best Places to Stay, Where to Eat, and What to Do

Planning a trip to Big Sur means planning a trip exploring the best of California’s natural beauty, and the highlight of driving the Pacific Coast highway one. Rugged, majestic seaside cliffs, towering redwoods, and views that rival any in the world. It’s no wonder Big Sur tops most people’s travel bucket lists – and why it’s topping most of our post-COVID destinations travel lists – because if you live in California or anywhere on the West Coast, it’s an easy road trip destination that you don’t have to fly to get to. Plus it’s OUT THERE in nature, so you can really fully relax and feel separated from the wild world we’re all grappling with right now.

I’d recommend a getaway to Big Sur for anyone looking for a fun escape this summer or fall, when we might not able to travel internationally yet.  Hey, sometimes the most beautiful places are right in our own backyard right?

Where to Stay in Big Sur

There aren’t that many options for staying overnight in Big Sur, but it was a huge priority of mine to make happen on my trip down the coast.  Waking up surrounded by gorgeous redwoods just steps from the Pacific Coast? Yes please. Here are my favorite spots for a Big Sur vacation.

For luxury:

Post Ranch Inn

Hands down one of the most luxurious, one-of-a-kind lodging experience in all of California, the Post Ranch Inn was built to blend in with its redwood coastal surroundings. This rejuvenation haven was designed exclusively for secluded adult getaways, and makes for the perfect babymoon resort in the US. The sophisticated guesthouses, all of which have views of the sea or the mountains, have their own fireplace, stereo, and private decks. Activities here range from hiking and yoga, to farm to table dining and stargazing. Hello, heaven!

Ventana Inn

Photo by Fathom

Glamping in Big Sur

Glamping is all the benefits of camping – being out in the wilderness, roasting s’mores by the firepit, and cuddling under a blanket under the stars…. but with none of the hard work. Connected to a luxe resort, they have thought of everything at this glampsite, providing you with a safari tent complete with a super-comfy bed (so, don’t worry, it’s really more of a glam hotel room, not sleeping on the floor of a tent), electric warm blankets (that you control with a remote control by the bed), a fire pit and complimentary fire starters, a cooler packed with ice, comfy lounge chairs, a luxurious bath house, and so much more. 


Things to Do in Big Sur

The best hikes and views in Big Sur 

Mcway Falls

One of the most photographed waterfalls in the world is McWay Falls in Big Sur – an 80-foot waterfall that runs year-round off a granite cliff at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  It’s an easy half-mile hike along Overlook Trail to get there, and definitely a must-stop on highway one.

Have a picnic!

Grab some goodies at Big Sur deli and head to Bixby Bridge – which is where I had this picnic! 

Watch the sunset – they’re incredible.

Where to eat in Big Sur


A trip to Big Sur isn’t complete without a stop at Nepenthe restaurant. I love to stop at Nepenthe for a drink and soak in the views once I get to Big Sur. High above the pacific and tucked into the Santa Lucia mountains, this world-famous restaurant boasts one of the best locations on the California coast as well as one of the best wine lists in the world. Their burgers and all-american food is absolutely delicious, but keep in mind it’s a little pricey and you’re definitely paying for the views, as well. So, if you’re looking for something a little more casual, grab a drink at Nepenthe but dinner at the local Big Sur Taphouse after.

Big Sur Taphouse

Finding this taphouse was a huge highlight in Big Sur. While there are plenty of 5-star dining options on California’s most famous stretch of national park, after a day of roadtripping, this casual, historic, and rustic dinner spot was just what the doctor ordered. Did I mention the food is AMAZING? Grab a cozy table back by the fireplace, order the tacos or the sourdough melt, and relax with a Big Sur beer. The woodsy, old-timey restaurant will have you feeling like you’re in some wild wild west saloon in no time.

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.