Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pacific Highway 1: Big Sur, California

The drive along Pacific Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles is one of the most picturesque road trips in the United States and the Big Sur coast alone is worth the trip. 

Big Sur is a gorgeous coastal area (as well as the name of the local town) in central California located about 145 miles south of San Francisco and 300 miles north of LA. 

The views are stunning: the two-lane highway snakes through rolling green mountains of lush forest, perched atop jagged cliffs that plunge into the Pacific Ocean. It's a beautiful drive, especially if you own or rent a convertible. And a lovely, relaxing weekend getaway into nature. 

In the Big Sur area, there are several camping grounds with cabins, but there are also two resorts worth mentioning that are very worth the price: Ventana and Post Ranch Inn. Post Ranch is on the coast, Ventana is in the forest just across the road. Both have amazing restaurants, which pride themselves on local/seasonal fare, and fantastic spas! So you can relax, enjoy some amazing food, a good spa session, peaceful walks in the mountains or on the beach and you feel like you really get away from it all! 

Ventana Inn & Spa -- This resort is all about serenity. The rooms are simply decorated and located in different buildings spread across the property, which blend into the mountain side. A trail through the forest leads from your room to the yoga studio, restaurant, spa. There are also two pools -- one of which is "bathing suits optional."

48123 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone: 831-667-2331

Post Ranch Inn & Spa -- This luxury hotel is one of the more unique ones I've seen. There are 39 rooms and two private houses and the design fuses beautifully and organically into the surrounding environment. Some of the structures are built into the side of the cliffs and others are built up into tree houses.  

47900 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA
Phone: 800-527-2200

A couple of other amazing points of interest not to be missed along the drive:

Pebble Beach: Located near Carmel about 30 miles north of Big Sur and home to one of the most beautiful and famous golf courses in the world. 

Piedras Blancas Rookery: Beaches just south of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, located about 60 miles south of Big Sur, which are home to more than 15,000 elephant seals throughout the year. Best time to see them is mid-March to mid-September. 


Unknown said...

Thanks for the info! I've been looking into Big Sur resorts and Post Ranch Inn is my favorite so far -- the views seem amazing.

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Unknown said...

Thanks for the info! I've been looking into Big Sur resorts and Post Ranch Inn is my favorite so far -- the views seem amazing.