Photo: Alila Ventana Big Sur

These Big Sur Hotels Come With Easy Access to the Beach and Mountains

Epic Stays
by Molly O'Brien Aug 17, 2023

Big Sur is an amazing place to visit and explore. It’s a rugged stretch of California coastline that has an incredible combination of mountains, ocean views, beaches, and redwood forests. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach or more adventurous activities like hiking in the Santa Lucia Mountains, these Big Sur hotels ensure you’re within reach.

Traveling to California? Check out Matador’s California accommodations guides:

We hope you love these Big Sur hotels! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Sur Grove Big Sur

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Sur Grove Big Sur feels like a serene central coast escape, 11 miles from Point Lobos State Reserve. The cabin is a quaint 1930s building that’s been lovingly restored to feel like a tranquil space with plenty of natural light from the skylight windows and eclectic woodsy furnishings. Outdoors, this property features an outdoor patio and a beautiful terrace space. Inside, there are two separate bedrooms, a living room space with a flat-screen TV, and a well-equipped kitchen — and there’s even a barbecue grill outside.

Price: From $350 per night

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Big Sur Campground and Cabins

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The 11-acre Big Sur Campground and Cabins property is a cozy and sustainable place to spend the night exploring the region. This spot has been a beloved and historic part of Big Sur since 1953, set amongst the towering redwoods right off Highway 1 and nestled into a river embankment. Visitors can choose from a lineup of RV sites, campgrounds, or cabins. Each unit is equipped with bed linen and towels, and there’s a mini market on-site to buy essentials for cooking and adventuring. Relax with one of the bookable wellness activities ranging from yoga and meditation to bodywork. Get active on the basketball court or with a scenic hike before settling down by the shared firepit in the evening to soak up Big Sur’s magical atmosphere.

Price: From $235 per night

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Alila Ventana Big Sur

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Alila Ventana Big Sur is an adults-only resort perched on 160 secluded acres set amongst a stretch of seemingly unspoiled coastline. Towering trees surround the property, which offers endless opportunities to appreciate nature and the local lands at a new, immersive level. Guests can take advantage of amazing on-site amenities like the two heated pools adjoined by a Japanese hot bath and programming like unparalleled stargazing experiences, astrology readings and even “cosmic yoga” which “combines celestial exploration and attunement of the body and mind,” taking participants on a healing inner journey. Dine at the resort’s restaurant, The Sur House, or sip a glass of California wine at The Sur House Terrace and Bar, which overlooks the ocean.

Price: From $1,500 per night

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Fernwood Resort

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This rustic property feels like taking a trip back in time to a nostalgic period of history when Big Sur was still an undiscovered, untouched hidden gem set along the rugged California coastline. This retro, technology-free resort doesn’t offer access to phones, TV or appliances like a mini-fridge. Choose between spending the night at a mix of different down-to-earth accommodations like forest cabins, adventure tents, tent cabins, motel rooms, RV camping, or traditional campgrounds. There are breathtaking forest views from the cozy guest rooms, and outside, guests can enjoy more mountain views from the sun terrace. There’s a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere felt on-site within the restaurant and bar, shared lounge space, and out at the tennis table on the property’s back deck.

Price: From $180 per night

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Big Sur River Inn

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This California hotel is perched adjacent to the Big Sur River, just a 10-minute drive from Pfeiffer Day Use Beach and close to the redwood hiking trails of Andrew Molera State Park. The property features an on-site restaurant and bar serving hearty American fare, as well as a seasonal swimming pool. Each guest room has its own private entrance and private bathroom and is furnished with classic wood accents and nature-inspired artwork.

Price: From $195 per night

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Big Sur Lodge

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This historic property is tucked away deep into the peace of the forest, surrounded by the majestic redwood trees of the iconic Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The grounds are known to have always been a safe, healing space for travelers seeking respite from the business of city life. Here, guests can stay in one of the 60-plus pet-friendly cottages on-site, in-between experiencing the destination’s abundance of outdoor adventure. There’s an on-site gift shop, a seasonal pool, a restaurant and bar, and easy access to a plethora of local hiking trails (visitors even get a daily park pass for three parks included with the room rate for the length of the stay).

Price: From $275 per night

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Glen Oaks Big Sur

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This 1950s motor lodge has been modernized and trendified to offer a sense of contemporary comfort with a nostalgic, rustic flourish. Guests can choose between cottages and cabins tucked away in the redwoods making for a secluded spot to spend a night in Big Sur. There’s even a restaurant on-site called Big Sur Roadhouse, which serves fresh California cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.

Price: From $250 per night

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Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn

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This historic property actually dates back to the 1930s sitting in the heart of Big Sur, surrounded by forest land and boasting scenic views of the ocean. Guestrooms are cozy and homey, featuring antique furnishings and authentic original design elements like wood-burning fireplaces.

Price: From $150 per night

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Post Ranch Inn

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Post Ranch Inn is the quintessential combination of romance and outdoor adventure. This property blends a sophisticated countryside simplicity with modern comforts and tops it all off with breathtaking ocean views. The inn features 39 guestrooms, a spa, an infinity pool, and an array of additional complimentary wellness and adventure activities for guests to enjoy on and off-site. There’s an award-winning restaurant called Sierra Mar which serves cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients and environmental sustainability at the top of mind.

Price: From $1,750 per night

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Where to stay in Big Sur?

Big Sur is a large, remote stretch of land on California’s Central Coast, nestled between Monterey and San Luis Obispo. There are plenty of spots to stay while visiting this region, and guests should ultimately decide where to stay based on what type of experience they’re looking for. Luxury properties like Post Ranch Inn and Alila Ventana Big Sur offer the comfort and elegance of an upscale resort. More rustic accommodations like Big Sur Campground and Cabins offer guests a more “down to earth” experience.

Where is Big Sur?

Big Sur sits along California’s iconic Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, as a long stretch of land roughly 50 miles south of San Francisco and 300 miles north of Los Angeles. The closest major towns to Big Sur are Carmel in the north and Cambria to the south. The closest airport to Big Sur is the Monterey Regional Airport, and the largest major airport near Big Sur is San Francisco International Airport.

What to do in Big Sur?

Some major attractions to see and do in Big Sur include visiting Pfeiffer Beach, seeing McWay Falls, checking out Bixby Bridge, and hiking around Andrew Molera State Park and Limekiln State Park, among other scenic wildlife areas. Always follow the “Leave No Trace” principles and respect the land, leaving it as you found it (or cleaner and nicer!).

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