Big Sur

 Macway Falls, Big Sur, California

Macway Falls, Big Sur, California

This post was written in collaboration with our friend Willow Kalatchi, Elite Travel International.

Big Sur offers its own special magic, making it the perfect weekend getaway. The scenic drive up the coast sets the mood for this destination and the final 90-mile winding stretch of Highway 1 where the mountains crash into the sea marks your arrival to the quaint town of Big Sur. The rugged landscape is so inspiring. It’s no wonder that it has been a haven for artists, musicians and soul searchers for decades.

We like to go there simply to disconnect. To find oneself temporarily inaccessible and completely in the moment is a priceless gift in these fast-paced cyber times. And now is the perfect time to take advantage of the unspoiled landscape and go for a hike along the waterfall or forest trails, especially since Highway 1 has recently reopened (from the North) after an extended road closure and is as beautiful as ever. 

 

WHERE TO STAY

Post Ranch Inn

One of the all time most romantic hotels on earth, the Post Ranch Inn remains unbeatable as far as location. You can spot migrating whales from the two heated infinity spas overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean, so don't forget your swimsuit.

For booking inquiries and added amenities contact info@theartofrefinedtravel.com

 
 Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

 

Ventana

After a year of extensive renovations and new management, Ventana has reopened and has a fresh look. We especially like the added option of “glamping” complete with your own safari-like canvas tent, Bath House access with heated floors, teak showers and luxury linens. There are even s’mores by the campfire.

For booking inquiries and added amenities contact info@theartofrefinedtravel.com

 
 Ventana, Big Sur

Ventana, Big Sur

 

 

WHERE TO EAT

Sierra Mar

Post Ranch Inn’s signature restaurant offers fine dining in an amazing setting. Sierra Mar features a seasonal menu but for us, it’s all about the breathtaking views, fantastic wine list and well-appointed dining room.

 
 Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

 

Big Sur Bakery

Rustic and cozy, the Big Sur Bakery has an 8-foot deep authentic brick pizza oven that is kept burning from the wee small hours of the morning until late in the evening. It makes perfectly crisp pizzas and to-die-for boules. In the morning, the bakery is a great place to snag coffee and baked goods prior to heading to the beach or for a hike. By the evening, it becomes a cozy dining room with a wood-burning fireplace serving delicious seasonal plates. Make sure to get at least one pizza for the table.

 
 The Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant

The Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant

 

Nepenthe

You'll take a step back in time when you visit Nepenthe for lunch. Famous for its Ambrosia Burger and perfectly crisp French fries, you can enjoy classic American food with unforgettable views. Don't forget to pop into its neighboring Phoenix gift shop.

 
 Nepenthe Restaurant, Big Sur

Nepenthe Restaurant, Big Sur

 

WHAT TO DO

Go for a massage at the Esalen Institute

About 25 minutes (12 miles) South of Post Ranch Inn and Ventana is one of the most unique locations for a massage on the California coast. The Institute Day Pass is included in a massage booking and allows you to soak in the natural hot springs, which are carved into the mountain above the ocean. Be aware that the hot springs are ‘clothing optional’ so don't be alarmed. Be sure to book massages in advance as appointments are limited.

 
 Esalen Institute, Big Sur

Esalen Institute, Big Sur

 

Visit Hawthorne Gallery

Big Sur inspires some amazing art and it's always a treat to wander around the Hawthorne Gallery, located just south of Post Ranch Inn and Ventana on Highway 1. Many artists from this gallery find their way onto display on the expansive grounds of the Post Ranch Inn. Some of my favorites are the whimsical metal sculptures of Albert Paley and Randy Strong.

 
 Hawthorne Gallery, Big Sur

Hawthorne Gallery, Big Sur

 

Take a walk on Pfeiffer Beach

Just North of Post Ranch and Ventana you can take a turn off Highway 1 onto Sycamore Canyon Road. At the bottom of the hill is my favorite beach in Big Sur and one of the only places you can get right up close to the wild Pacific Ocean.

 
 Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur

 

Visit Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park  

About 9.5 miles South of Post Ranch Inn and Ventana is Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. If you are ambitious, there is an extensive network of hiking trails to the east of the Highway but if not, it can suffice to take the little footpath on the ocean side of the Highway. Make sure that you get that quintessential picture of McWay falls!

 
 Ewolsdon Trail, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur

Ewolsdon Trail, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur

 
 
 
 Willow Kalatchi,  Elite Travel International

About Willow Kalatchi

Willow Kalatchi is on the Elite Travel International team and specializes in unique luxury experiences and adventures. Using her lifelong passion for exploring the globe and knowledge of some of the worlds most spectacular locations and hotels, Willow creates tailor-made unique travel itineraries for the discerning Traveler. She has visited 38 countries to date and counting.