Where should my girlfriend and I stay around Big Sur in June?
April 17, 2008 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Where should my girlfriend and I stay for a quiet, semi-romantic weekend around Big Sur in June?

My girlfriend will be visiting from Australia for two weeks at the end of May/beginning of June. We're planning to get the hell out of San Francisco for four days, Thursday to Sunday. We've both driven through Big Sur but never spent any time there, so we thought that would be a good destination.

We've talked about camping, and if we decide to do that I think I'm going to go with Andrew Molera State Park, as suggested to me in this thread I started a year ago. However, I'm interested in presenting an alternative that involves more traditional accommodations.

All we really want to do is walk on the beach, hike in the woods, sit around in the sun and just enjoy some peace and quiet. So I think, location-wise, something near Andrew Molera would be a good bet. I also have this idea that having our own hot tub to chill in at the end of the day would be extremely sweet, but the two places I've discovered with that kind of amenity are "spas" which run in the $1k+ per night price range, so I'm not sure if that idea is feasible with my budget (maybe $500/night?).

On the whole I'm open to any suggestions about lodging, stuff to do, places to eat, etc. I'm just looking for a memorable weekend!
posted by autojack to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The single nicest hotel on the entire California is right there. It's tiny - rustic little apartments / cabins - on a creek, right on the main highway, across the street from the nicest beach in the area. Terrific hiking nearby.

Deetjen's Big Sur Inn is relatively inexpensive, fantastically romantic, and - amazingly, given the rough-looking (but very comfortable) accomodations, one of the two or three best restaurants between the Bay Area and Santa Barbara.

Plus, you'll frequently see famous people there.

Just up the road is Nepenthe, which is a bit overpriced and just OK as far as food goes, but built into the cliff over the ocean, has the nicest dining view I've ever experienced.

Just south is Esalen, too, and while I think the baths (hot spring-fed bowls in the side of the cliff just over the breakwater) are open only to folks attending workshops, it might be worth calling to investigate.
posted by luriete at 2:11 PM on April 17, 2008

I stayed in one of the cabin thingies at Big Sur Lodge in Pfeiffer State Park, and it was great. No hot tub, but quite nice, very affordable for the area. The room rate included admission to Pfeiffer, Molera, and a couple of other parks in the area.
posted by dersins at 2:15 PM on April 17, 2008

Every fall we stay at this place, in one of the A-frame cabins. Affordable, comfortable, close to all the Big Sur attractions. A little too private campgroundy, but not too bad.

I've always wanted to stay here. A little more upscale than the A-Frame (and maybe closer to your $500/night expectations). I've eaten at the restaurant a couple times and it was good.

Ventana might be the place you're looking for (although it may be outside your budget). Unfortunately, it appears to be booked through May-early June. The great view from the deck almost justifies the $7 cappuccino.
posted by notyou at 2:18 PM on April 17, 2008

My wife and I spend a few nights in Glen Oaks motel. It's close to both Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and and the amazing Pfeiffer beach. No hot tub, but pretty confortable (fire place, nice decoration). As an alternative to Nepenthe, there's also River Inn, which had decent food for fair prices.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:19 PM on April 17, 2008

I was at Ventana once and thought it was snooty and overpriced. Big Sur River Inn is supposed to be very nice, though - thanks for that, notyou, I really should try that place. What a good question this was! Lots of great recommendations.
posted by luriete at 2:20 PM on April 17, 2008

Hmm. I think Nepenthe, as noted by luriete, was the place I had in mind for the deck and and the view and the cappuccino, not Ventana.
posted by notyou at 2:23 PM on April 17, 2008

Oh yes, Nepenthe's deck and view are amazing. the cafe is just burgers & beer, and is fine; the restaurant is overpriced and not horrible or great, but the ceiling is a big glass window and is fantastic at sunset. Here's my wife enjoying the afternoon on the lower of their two decks.
posted by luriete at 2:37 PM on April 17, 2008

And if you don't mind a short drive, San Simeon is not far, and Hearst Castle is always exciting - I've always wanted to do the night tour.
posted by luriete at 2:37 PM on April 17, 2008

I second (third?) the Big Sur Lodge -- it's quiet, peaceful, clean, and lovely. We stayed there and went to Ventana for the day. If you book a massage/other spa appointment, you can use Ventana's pools, hot tub, and some other facilities.
posted by babysingsing at 2:41 PM on April 17, 2008

Treebones Resort - they have yurts that are supposed to be pretty awesome.
posted by andifsohow at 2:57 PM on April 17, 2008

Be sure to head up to Carmel, Monterey and the 17-Mile Drive.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:55 PM on April 17, 2008

I was going to suggest Treebones, as andifsohow did. I got engaged there outside our yurt. It's a really cool place and the people who run it are super nice and it's really quite unique. They have a pool and a hot tub, too. Super mellow and quiet.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:07 PM on April 17, 2008

Ripplewood Resort, get one of the cabins down by the river. They go for about $100-$120 a night. Rustic, quiet, beautiful. You can get a box of kitchen appliances when you move in and cook, if you're interested.

Be sure to get breakfast at the Ripplewood cafe (next to the store) if you like cheap and delicious. Deetjun's is great food if you want fancier and delicious, and Nepenthe's for beautiful and overpriced.
posted by jasper411 at 9:04 PM on April 17, 2008

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