It’s going to be that time of year again soon… spring break! Since this feels…
The Perfect Weekend in Big Sur
There are few places that match the rugged beauty of Big Sur.
It is a strip of land sandwiched between the Santa Lucia Mountains and a beautiful stretch of undeveloped Pacific coastline. It still looks much as it did centuries ago, and there is a certain timelessness to the surroundings that speaks to me. A weekend away in Big Sur never goes out of style. Here’s how to make the most of it.
Sycamore Cabin at Glen Oaks, Big Sur
Being in a place of such immense natural beauty, you want to stay somewhere where you can have a direct connection to it. The “Sycamore Cabin” at Glen Oaks Big Sur is just that place. It’s a beautiful cabin with an elegant, contemporary design with all of the modern conveniences of home, but is nestled within the famous redwood trees.
The cabin features a secluded patio, complete with Adirondack chairs and a fire pit. Imagine relaxing at the end of the day next to a fire, listening to the wind whistling through the Redwoods and the gurgling of the nearby Big Sur River. Now wake up because your boss is wondering why you aren’t working.
Jade Cove Trail, Big Sur
Start your morning the “life just doesn’t get any better than this” way with a drive along Big Sur’s famous Jade Cove Trail. The trail itself is only about a mile and half in length, but the scenery is so breathtaking you’ll want to go back and forth a couple of times. After the run, walk down to the rocky beach below and hunt for the naturally occurring jade that is the trail’s namesake.
Is there anything more rewarding after heavy exercise than to tuck into a couple hundred calories of breakfast goodness? My pick for the best breakfast goes to Café Kevah. The café is located down a slope and has gorgeous views of the Pacific Coastline. Try the Café Kevah Benedict (two poached eggs, with crab and avocado) or the potato flour “spudnut” doughnut with a cup of coffee. Order all three and you’ll have just the right amount of fuel to get your through to dinner!
Henry Miller Library
Big Sur has long been a colony for artists. After breakfast and a quick shower, head out to one of the many art galleries that line the Pacific Coast Highway (Big Sur’s main drag). Visit the Henry Miller Library and check in on their inspiring exhibits. Miller called Big Sur home for many years, and the Institute formed in his memory acts as a memorial to the man and his works, while encouraging new artists.
Dinner at Deetjen’s
When was the last time you ate at a restaurant that has been around for close to 75 years? Deetjen’s is another institution in Big Sur and it’s been serving locals and travelers alike since 1939. With that kind of pedigree, you might suspect that the fare would be traditional and stodgy, but one look at the menu shows that they have been staying current with the trending force of California cuisine. The spicy seafood paella is a must.
Midnight Soak at Esalen Hot Springs
Long before settlers of European descent ever set eyes on Big Sur, the local Native Americans used the local hot springs for their medicinal qualities. The Esalen Institute offers several soaking pools all with gorgeous views of the tumultuous Pacific. The 1am soak under a blanket of stars is popular. Reservations are required, so call well in advance. Oh, and one other small teeny weeny detail that might be important to know… the hot springs are “swimsuit optional” That’s why I am suggesting a night soak after dinner and a few glasses of courage-building wine. Drunk responsibly, of course.
Ewoldsen Trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park
It’s the morning, so it’s time for another life affirming hike. The Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park and its famous Ewoldsen Trail is reason to begin journaling alone! A 4.5 mile loop winds through the local Redwood forest, along small creeks and features a stop at a 20’ waterfall. You’ll also see the remains of a home built by the people who donated the land to the state’s Park Service. Between the distance and the terrain, you’ll have easily walked off any over-indulgence from the night before and created an appetite for everyone’s favorite between meals, meal. Brunch!
Big Sur Bakery
Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant is only 3 miles from Glen Oaks, so getting there involves either a short car ride or a brisk walk (in case you needed more cardio after that hike!). The bakery is located in a charming farmhouse and the menu has several very tempting options on it to fuel up for the day. The 9-grain pancakes are must because, well-pancakes are always a must.
This spa has an eye-popping location perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Post Ranch Inn is a beautiful destination and is world famous for its stunning views and gorgeously decorated rooms. All this equals pricey but you could take advantage of the extensive services the Spa offers. From its Jade Stone therapy to it’s Hungarian Herbal Body Wrap, it offers a full menu of treatments. But after breakfast at a farmhouse I’d suggest the Wildflower Facial to cap off a day and a trip that has you in touch with your more natural side.
Have you explored Big Sur? What was your favorite memory or experience?
This Post Has 9 Comments
We love Nepenthe. We never miss the opportunity to dine there when we are anywhere close to Big Sur.
the little restaurant at Lucia makes excellent Fish and Chips and the view is really spectacular.
Glad you had the chance to see Big Sur.
Samantha – A big thank you from everyone at Glen Oaks Big Sur! We appreciate your wonderful comments and lovely pictures of both the Sycamore Cabin and all of Big Sur! Next time you visit, I would also highly recommend the Tan Bark Trail and Spring Beach Trail. Two of my favorite hikes along with the Ewoldsen Trail. Cheers and Happy Travels!
You must check out Esalen Institute the Human potential place. Wonderful workshops and organic food. Interesting people. Natural hot springs on cliff and 5.2 Million Bath House with Body Works.
Thanks for the memories…last year we attended a wedding on the side of a Big Sur cliff. We stayed in a cabin at one of the campgrounds as we waited too long to book at room at Deetjen’s with the rest of the wedding party. It was a glorious weekend!
The outside beer garden behind Big Sur Taphouse was a slice of heaven. Truly a highlight of our coastal vacation.
My wife and I are planing a trip to the west coast in the new year ! Big sur is on my bucket list , thanks for the heads up !
The elephant seal rookery was unbelievable and should not be missed.