View of the Big Sur coastline

Cabins, Inns, Campsites: Here’s Where to Stay in Big Sur Now

Despite taking up just a sliver of California’s lengthy coastline, Big Sur manages to pack in some of the country’s most stunning landscapes. In between hikes through towering redwoods in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and photo-ops at Highway One’s many pull-offs (including that gotta-have-it shot of Bixby Bridge), bed down in one of the area’s best hotels, whose ocean views and rustic digs will have you majorly rethinking city life.

Senior Editor, Jetsetter | @lindseytravels |

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Bedroom at Ventana Big Sur
Patio at Ventana Big Sur

Post Ranch Inn

Coastal American getaway dreams are realized at Post Ranch Inn, an eco-luxe escape that clings to a cliff 1,200 feet above the Pacific. Celebrities especially love the seclusion of its 39 adults-only standalone suites (and one private residence), whose floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the Santa Lucia Mountains or water below. You won’t find a TV or clock in sight, though complimentary in-room minibars—and those views—are distraction enough. When you finally leave your sanctuary, book a treatment at the spa; guided shaman sessions get you in tune with your body and your mind.

Courtyard at Ventana Big Sur
Pool at Ventana Big Sur

Ventana Big Sur

Nearly 250 acres of larger-than-life redwoods paint the perfect backdrop for this rustic-chic Big Sur retreat built by Hollywood producer Lawrence Spector (who used his profits from the success of Easy Rider to build it). Nature plays a leading role in each of the 60 guest cabins, from the river stone fireplaces to the hammocks strung up on decks, deep soaking tubs, and natural light streaming in through oversize windows. Whether you stick to your view of the ocean or strike out on trail hikes to see hidden waterfalls and local wildlife, you’ll find peace and romance here in spades. The locally sourced seafood at The Restaurant at Ventana only adds to the allure.

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Glen Oaks Big Sur

Overarchingly, Big Sur is home to either wallet-emptying five-star luxury hotels or bare-bones hippie hangouts. Glen Oaks, refreshingly, finds a perfect sweet spot right in between. The 2005 refurb of this 1950s motor lodge gave it some serious love, so you’ll now find luxe additions like gas fireplaces and organic cotton linens alongside more humble details like adobe walls and no televisions (or sea views). Still looking for something a little more elevated? The standalone cottages come with heated bathroom floors and fire pits for putting those mini-bar s’mores kits to good use.

Bedroom at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn
Patio of Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

This 1930s lodge isn’t the most remote place to stay in Big Sur, but it certainly feels like it. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Deetjen’s once served as a resting place for travelers following the wagon road along the coast—what we now know as Highway One. Today, its clutch of cabins still sit hidden among the trees, almost all of the rooms have fireplaces, and dinners (pork tenderloin, roast chicken) in the farmhouse-style dining room are served by old-fashioned lamplight. Even better than dinner is breakfast—everything organic, locally sourced, and delicious.

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Interior view of Treebones Resort
Bathroom at a tent at Treebones Resort

Images Courtesy of Kodiak Greenwood


Treebones Resort

You’ll be giving up some creature comforts—bathrooms are communal, for one—when you book a room at Treebones Resort, but we doubt you’ll mind once you get a load of the view. Almost every one of the 16 wood-floored yurts and campsites at this off-the-grid eco-resort has sweeping vistas of the ocean, not to mention the main lodge serves gratis waffles each morning and hosts barbecue dinners at night.

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