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Big Sur info

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Texas
posts: 9
reviews: 2
Big Sur info

I have never been to this area, but notice that Big Sur was ranked No 2 in the trip advisor "Best 25 places in the US. My husband and I would like to go somewhere beautiful, with mountains and trees this fall for a quick get away. Any ideas would really be apprecieate.

Shell Beach...
Destination Expert
for Big Sur
posts: 1,267
reviews: 7
1. Re: Big Sur info

Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the US, if not the world. It's 90 miles of coast between Carmel and Cambria where a mountain range ascends directly out the ocean. Highway 1 follows the cliffs along the coast most of the way, with jaw-dropping views. It's also the southernmost extent of the coast redwood, so there are abundant forests. The northern end of Big Sur is about 2.5 hours drive south of SFO airport. This goList may give you more ideas of things to do and see.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i14592-Big_Sur_…

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,849
reviews: 3
2. Re: Big Sur info

You should be aware that Big Sur suffered a huge fire this summer which left the hillsides and trails severely damaged. One local resident said it looks like the moon. It will probably take a good, but gentle rain season before Big Sur begins to heal.

The area will have visible burn scars, but Big Sur's beauty is more than skin deep. The good news is that the fire did not affect the west side of the highway, leaving a great deal of natural beauty left to enjoy.

Just thought you should be aware of this.

posts: 27,610
reviews: 740
3. Re: Big Sur info

Hi and welcome to the forums! Big Sur is a gorgeous area to spend time in, you may also want to check out nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Carmel Highland's area. Pt. Lobos State Reserve is very scenic, there is a slight fee to enter the park. Enjoy your travels! :)

Texas
posts: 9
reviews: 2
4. Re: Big Sur info

Wow, thank you for all the info. Also, I have never been to Seqouia, to see the redwoods. Does anyone have an opinion about choosing Big Sur or Seqouia?

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 14,849
reviews: 3
5. Re: Big Sur info

I would still go with Big Sur. Greatest meeting of land and sea in the world, IMO.

Shell Beach...
Destination Expert
for Big Sur
posts: 1,267
reviews: 7
6. Re: Big Sur info

Agreed. No ocean views at Sequoia. Big Sur is like no other place in the world.

Texas
posts: 9
reviews: 2
7. Re: Big Sur info

Ok, great. Any suggestions about where to stay?

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Big Sur
posts: 549
reviews: 40
8. Re: Big Sur info

Sure! Many suggestions. :) Here are my top picks based on my many trips to Big Sur and my diligent researching of the accommodations when I was planning my Big Sur wedding four years ago.

If you want to splurge and spend a lot of money: Post Ranch Inn and Ventana. Absolutely divine. PRI is newer and probably a notch above, but Ventana is also heavenly. PRI is on the ocean side of the highway, so the views are much better. Ventana is right across the road and while they sell some roooms as ocean view, you're really so far from the ocean that it's just a blue strip. And often, the haze or fog obstructs that view anyways.

The best option for a more moderate budget in my opinion is Big Sur Lodge. It's located right on a state park, so you can go hiking without even leaving the property. There is also a cafe and general store on site.

I used to consider Glen Oaks as my number two choice after Big Sur Lodge, and they've recently renovated, so I think it's probably an even better option than before. But it's just a small, simple motel.

One of my favorite places in the entire world is the Esalen Institute. It's about 20 miles south of Big Sur itself (but that whole stretch of coastline is really referred to as Big Sur). Esalen is not a hotel or motel, but it's like a retreat center. Sort of. Hard to describe. It started in the 60s during the human potential movement. You can go there for workshops, or just to stay. The accomodations are simple, rustic cabins. The setting is out of this world. It's on the ocean side of the highway, and all around the property are cliffs looking out onto the crashing waves. One of the most fabulous elements of Esalen are the natural hot spring baths. It's clothing optional, and you won't see anyone in a bathing suit. That's awkward you're first time, but not anything to worry about. Plus, you can go down at night when it's dark if you're really self conscious. The lodging rates include three delicious meals per day served buffet style in a lodge, morning dance or yoga classes and access to the art barn and meditation house. It's a very, very special place...unlike anything else...and I'm not doing it justice in my attempt to describe it. But if this intrigues you check out the website at www.esalen.org

Further south even from Eslaen is Treebones, which is a collection of yurts and a few camp sites high on a hill on the non-ocean side of the highway. I've never stayed there, but I've stopped to check it out. I have to say that I didn't quite feel the magic there, but I have a good friend who stayed there for a month to write, and she absolutely loved it. I've heard other good reports on TA as well.

Hope that helps! You will love Big Sur!

Shell Beach...
Destination Expert
for Big Sur
posts: 1,267
reviews: 7
9. Re: Big Sur info

The Post Ranch Inn is my favorite hotel in the world, but in case your budget isn't in the $550-$2200/night range, I've stayed in the Big Sur Lodge too and thought it was fine. You may want to review the goList linked to my earlier post, as I've reviewed several hotels and restaurants in the area.

Sheffield, United...
posts: 300
reviews: 44
10. Re: Big Sur info

I'm also planning a big trip involving a drive between LA-SF. I was thinking about 1 nt SLO, 1 nt Big Sur area, and 1 nt Pacific Grove, but reconsidering about 2 nts given the comments on the thread.

So for 2 nights between LA and SF, would you suggest San Luis or somewhere like Carmel/Pacific Grove?

Has the Carmel area been damaged by fire, or is it just the 20-30 mile stretch around Big Sur? I looked at the institute's website and prices seemed around $600 which seems really expensive, especially as it says "simple accommodation", what do you get for your money, or is it simply a very very expensive area for accommodation?

Lots of questions - hope someone can help with at least a few!