Big Sur, California is the Angelina Jolie of American tourist destinations. Sure, that’s a bold statement, but here, you’ll find a drop-dead, gorgeous piece of rugged, California coastline that’s home to some of the country’s most diverse and unspoiled wildlife, .01% style homes, hotels and spas, rugged men and Big Sur has beguiled some of the hottest celebs in Hollywood to make wedding plans in her bush.
Set along the magnificent California Coastal One Highway you’ve all heard of, at a nice half way-ish point between San Francisco and Los Angeles, it’s the perfect weekend escape for anyone living out west and, more, a full on destination for everyone else. Actually, if you didn’t buy the whole Angelina Jolie comparison above, you should accept that this is the Amalfi coast of the US. And while hetero holy matrimony season may be winding (and Prop 8 continues to linger like a fart in a car), Big Sur is still quite a must-see couples destination through the fall, winter and spring. So check it out. Here’s 8 reasons for you and your boo to get yourselves to Big Sur.
1—Stay in California’s Best Hotel
The Post Ranch Inn in has been named the #1 hotel in all of California and one of the top in the world by Travel and Leisure. It floats majestically over the Pacific Ocean, on the cliffs of Big Sur, and offers a tranquil retreat and an unforgettable escape. Organic architecture hugs the coast’s dramatic beauty and the 39 guest rooms blend rustic elegance, comfort and privacy. Each room provides a wood-burning fireplace, indoor spa tub, mini-bar with complimentary snacks and a private deck with an ocean or mountain view. Winner of Wine Spectator‘s prestigious Grand Award, Sierra Mar restaurant offers guests an unconventional fine dining experience that invites guests to indulge in an exploration of food and wine. Guests can relax by the pools and take in the splendid views; rejuvenate with a treatment at the award-winning spa or daily yoga class; or explore all that nature has to offer. Also, You’ll wanna hit up Sierra Mar, recognized as one of the best designed restaurants in all of California by the San Francisco Zagat Guide. And in Cali, that’s quite a feat.
2—Go where Ann Hathaway Had Her Wedding Reception
This would be the Ventanna Inn & Spa, which is also consistently given top ranks among the travel mags and has an outdoor spa that’s so natural you might hike right through it.
The Treebones Resort was just named one of the ten best coastal eco-resorts in the world by Coastal Living Magazine. This spot features seven ocean view tent campsites and a slew of Yurts (basically, a fancy cabin, pictured) accessorized with draw dropping views of the Pacific at Cape San Martin in south Big Sur. There are two restaurant venues at the Resort: coastal cuisine boasting fresh organic greens harvested from resort garden and the famous Sunset Sushi Bar.
4—See Nature at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Not much. Just 267 miles of one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems. Here you can do things like kayak, scuba dive, chill at the beach, or go see the whales, sea otters and look out for California condors flying overhead. Also, a cool aquarium
There are about 9 national parks in Big Sur—Pfeiffer Beach, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (great picnic spot!), Andrew Molera State Park, Partington Canyon and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are among them. You can make it easy or go hardcore, check in at each park to curate your perfect day in the woods.
6—Get an “Essence Portrait”
At The Dome Studio and Carabella Theater, it is totally possible to watch your inner landscape unfold in brilliant colors while discovering your spirit guides, angels, animal spirits, and soul mates. Huh? Well, there’s someone named Sofanya located there who paints your essence through your unique color patterns. Sofanya has been creating her “Essence Portraits” for over 16 years now, both at her Dome Gallery and Studios and through her website for people unable to get to Big Sur. A visit to her Dome Gallery & Studios and Carabella’s Theatre in the magical redwood forest is not to be missed.
7—Eat a view for lunch
The lunch at Nepenthe is really good but it could just as well be mediocre, you wouldn’t really give a shit because your eyes’d be filling you up on the expansive 50 miles of coastline offered up on the view.