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“Great family lodging among giant trees”

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Big Sur Campground & Cabins
Certificate of Excellence
Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great family lodging among giant trees”
Reviewed December 24, 2011

Big Sur Campground offers a few cabins for lodging, in addition to the traditional campground for tent and RV camping. We stayed in cabin C, which is an A-frame cabin with full kitchen / dining / double bed, and two lofts with twin beds in each. The campground is right on a small creek, with inner tubes for rent.

The campground is right on Highway 1, and in the most scenic area of Hwy 1 in California. We used it as our base for visiting the Big Sur area, Carmel, and Monterey.

The pricing is not cheap, our room approaching nearly $400 / night. Even though we had an enjoyable visit, I considered the price to be out of line with the rest of our California visit (this was the most expensive place and we stayed in San Francisco for much less). However, it was one of the few lodging options in the area that accepted a family with teenagers. Many of the lodging options in / around Big Sur are adults only.

The staff at this campground were among the most friendly people we encountered during our stay. They always greeted us warmly, had helpful tips and information about the area, and made us feel like they really enjoyed seeing us. This made our stay quite pleasant and comfortable.

Even though the price was high, we would definitely consider coming here again.

Room Tip: We were told by the staff that Cabin C is the biggest / best of the cabins in the campground.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank clpflash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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English first
Grand Junction, Colorado
Level Contributor
134 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights in November. Nice little cabin among the redwoods in the Big Sur area which was relatively close to the areas we wanted to be at for photography at sunrise and sunset. Clean, warm, comfortable beds. We were in and out during the day, but felt that $160 per night was a little steep for what we got and needed. A simple little motel room would have worked for us, but none the less, not sure we could have found one in that area.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sgphoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
Reviewed October 3, 2011

We have been going every year, the same weekend, for the last 5 years. It is a wonderful camp ground that is great for families and anyone who doesn't mnd the 10PM quiet time curfew. There is a playground for the kids, laundry, hot showers, and when it's hot out you can get soft serve ice cream. We have started bringing our friends (who have kids, and others that don't) and they fell in love with the camp grounds too. We usually like to pick a camp site on the river, and if you do too, I would suggest booking months in advance. Also, you are very close (driving distance) to some really beautiful beaches. We usually go to Pfieffer State Beach, and it's pretty much hit-or-miss if they weather will be amazing (warm, no or little wind), or the flip-side which is cold and/or you can get sand blasted...The only reason why I am not giving 5/5 stars is that they keep raising their prices every year.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MrsAgustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flemington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
49 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2011

We used a tent. Level site, water available. Bathrooms close by with showers, could have been a little cleaner. Sites were privately situated. Quiet hours enforced. Excellent amenities including free coffee. Spectacular redwoods.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank jorvik1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Modesto, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2011

My wife and I just returned from a six day, five night stay in one of their tent cabins. We arrived the Sunday following Labor Day. Honestly, I started having second thoughts after reading some of these reviews, but we figured that if we had a bad time, we simply wouldn't come back. Turned out, we had a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing stay.

The tent cabin we were in was clean (housekeeping came by to clean, make the bed, change towels and even pick up trash around our site every day) and comfortable. The bathrooms/showers were likewise clean - actually, the cleanest I've ever seen in a campground, cleaned every two hours. Showers were hot, strong, reasonably private and NOT coin operated. The staff was friendly and helpful. The camp store was well stocked, and believe it, the ice cream cones are great. This would be a great place for families.

If you're looking for truly secluded and isolated, go somewhere else. You simply won't get it here. But frankly, it's no worse than many other family/RV campgrounds we've visited.

My advice for a pleasant stay at Big Sur Campgrounds:

1. Avoid weekends if you can, and don't even consider a holiday weekend. You don't have the available space to avoid loud neighbors, and despite the 10pm quiet time, even one noisy campsite can ruin a peaceful Big Sur evening. For us, Sunday night wasn't bad, Monday night was loud. Then people started clearing out and all was peaceful and silent until we left on Friday morning. Schedule with common sense.

2. Go with the tent cabin. Yes, it costs more than tenting, but they're very comfortable and well tended.

3. Check the map and reserve the site you want - don't play the odds. The north end, riverside campsites are the ones you want. If you end up in the middle of the campground, especially in a regular tent site, you're going to be hating life because you're essentially going to be camping in a parking lot. We stayed in tent cabin 104 and never felt cramped, but being in a tent near the office on a busy night would be a nightmare.

4. Lock up your food in the car at night. Again, common sense. The raccoons are plentiful and they WILL conduct a thorough search for food at night.

5. Get free wifi at the Henry Miller Museum.

6. Skip nearby Nepenthe Restaurant (not operated by BSCG - just a side note). Food's decent, but overpriced and the service is lousy. Cook at camp or drive into nearby Carmel. Buy your firewood there as well.

7. Go to Pfieffer Beach. Don't expect to swim, and there's a slightly harrowing two mile drive down a winding one-lane road to get there, but the beach is totally worth it. One of the most breathtaking beaches I've ever seen in California.

Your mileage is sure to vary. You're going to have a very different experience on Memorial Day weekend than a random October Tuesday evening. But the staff is great, the camp is clean and safe, and we had no reason to complain. We'll be back.

Room Tip: Reserve a campsite in the north end of the grounds, and a tent cabin if possible. Don't end up...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Rob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
1 review
Reviewed September 15, 2011

I decided to take my son camping few weeks ago but was unable to make a reservation since all was booked. I decided to drive to Big Sur (in hope) to find one small spot for the two of us. (mind you, I have not been campiong "alone" in years). We ended passing few camps that were full and then we came accross this lovely place. As soon as we drove in, nice young lady assisted us. I told her we needed just one campsite and she said that she had one available. Told me to go take a look at it and come back to pay (if I like it). So we drove up to the site (without paying first). The site was huge!Big enough for RV and with plenty of privacy.
This lady was standing in the middle of it She told me her husband is paying for it as we speak...yeah, right. I drove back to the office and was pleasantly surprised that they were holding the site for us (although the man was ready to pay right away)...First come first serve! :)
Had a great time. There were mostly families with children and everyone seemed to have a
great time. Little bit noisy but other than that very safe and CLEAN!!! I have never seen public bathrooms this clean. They were cleaning them almost every hour. Hot (free) showers. I was impressed. Even my 12-yr old enjoyed himself quite a bit.
Just do not leave any food out at night. Neighbors made the mistake and racoons were having a party all night on their campsite...!
We will be back again. Thank you for the beautiful getaway :)) #45

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Denisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, CA
Level Contributor
89 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2011

While the location of these backgrounds is breathtaking, the set up of the camp leaves something to be desired. The campsites are small and right on top of each other. If you come with a tent, you might be staring at an rv next to you (not really our style). To me, camping is getting away from everything, not being able to hear your neighbors campfire conversation.

But the location really is great. There are lots of gorgeous trees and a river that you can splash around (although the weather is pretty cold because of the elevation).

They do have quiet hours which they take VERY seriously so take that into consideration if you're bringing small children or dogs. Or if you're looking to enjoy yourselves after 10pm.

And there's a really great beach nearby with cliffs that are fun to climb and huge waves - a good spot to sit and watch the surfers.

All in all, we won't be back, this style of camping isn't for everyone but there are many people who really enjoy it.

Room Tip: Try to book early so that you can get a cabin by the river.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank danielleybelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Sur Campground & Cabins

Property: Big Sur Campground & Cabins
Address: Route 1, Big Sur, CA
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Big Sur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located among majestic Coastal Redwood trees along the pristine Big Sur River, Big Sur Campground and Cabins offers camping and lodging with the emphasis on Family. Enjoy tent and RV camping on the forest floor as you watch the kids inner tube by in the cool water. Or pamper your family in one of several styles of cabins, from rustic tent cabins to fully equipped cabins with kitchens and fireplaces. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Big Sur Campground And Cabins
Big Sur Campground & Cabins Hotel Big Sur
Cabins Hotel Big Sur

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