Guide to Big Sur

Here is my review of the best places to see, stay, and do in Big Sur so you can plan your own trip!


Art courtesy of Stanislav Petrov


My friends and I did a little research before we decided what to do and where to stay. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money, we wanted to save our pennies for other things. But we also wanted to be comfortable, have a bathroom and didn’t want to sleep in a tent. We wanted to be close to the water and enjoy hiking. We also didn’t want to drive too far from Santa Cruz as it was a long drive. It was a tall order but I think we found the best place we could have! Enter the Fernwood Campground and Resort. This was the best place we could have stayed! Ok, it was a little pricey but the convenience, the amenities, and the location made it so worth it. We had an amazing cabin right on the water, right next to a private beach and in walking distance to the famous Big Sur Deli.


For the price, we had a full kitchen, a bathroom, a queen-sized bed, and even a living room with a comfy couch. We could relax whenever we wanted and had plenty of privacy. Amenities included a hot tub, BBQ, and even a small outdoor fridge. They also had complimentary breakfast and outdoor fire pits to keep us warm at night. We enjoyed the Big Sur Deli and the fact that we could walk there! There is nothing more fun than enjoying a home-cooked meal at the end of a long day of hiking. The kitchen was fully stocked with pots, pans, dishes and even spices!


While it is a little pricey I think it is a great place to stay and offers a very unique experience. My only complaint was the WiFi. It didn’t reach our cabin and we had to go to the main building to connect to the internet. While not a huge deal it did make it a little annoying.

All in all, though, I think it was the best place to stay.


We were in the middle of everything, close to hiking, the water, and had everything we needed. It was the best way to enjoy Big Sur!


When to Visit Big Sur

Summer is the best time to visit Big Sur. This is when it gets the most visitors, the weather is the most stable and the crowds are the smallest. December through April visitors can expect chilly temperatures, heavy rain, and snow. For these months I recommend dressing warmly and double-checking the weather. It can change rapidly and you don’t want to end up stranded in the middle of the forest.


For the best weather the months of July, August and September are ideal. The days are warm, the nights are cool and the crowds are low. However, they can still get hot and humid. The sun is at its strongest and it can be a challenge just to walk in the forest. The biggest downside to visiting during the summer is that the water is very cold and swimming is not possible. If you plan on doing any water activities make sure you plan ahead!





The best time to visit Big Sur to hike is during October, November, or April. The summer heat has subsided and the forest is just beautiful. The water is perfect for swimming and there are hardly any crowds. It is a great time to visit but you will still need to plan ahead. The temperatures can change very quickly, and it is important to be prepared for anything. Even if there isn’t a storm in sight it can still be raining in the forest. It is also important to stay hydrated and bring plenty of water. This will ensure your safety and comfort; you don’t want to get dehydrated.


Where to Stay in Big Sur

The best place to stay in Big Sur is at the Fernwood Campground and Resort. The accommodations are comfortable, the prices are fair and it is the best place to be if you are visiting the area. If you are looking to save a little money, camping or AirBnB are both good options. The Fernwood Campground and Resort offers a camping option, it is right on the water and there is a ton of fun activities in the area.



Art courtesy of Stanislov Petrov


If you are looking for an AirBnB, I have used the service multiple times and love it!

If you are looking for a hotel, there are a few options in the area. This is a good list of hotels in the area.


Where to Eat in Big Sur

If you are looking for a restaurant that is as beautiful as it is delicious, you will have to visit the Big Sur Deli. This is an incredible restaurant with amazing food and a very unique atmosphere. The food is home cooked and the staff is amazing. We decided to eat there multiple times because the service was so great and the food was delicious. If you are looking for something a little more casual, check out The Shed. They have amazing burgers and sandwiches, plus the service is speedy and the prices are fair.


What to Do in Big Sur

Hike! There are so many amazing hikes in the area that you are bound to find one you will love. The Ventana Wilderness is the most popular destination for hikers and offers a variety of trails. Its 4,000 acres offer everything from easy walks to overnight treks. The Pfeiffer Beach is a great place to visit, enjoy the water and take in the views. If you are looking for a little more adventure you can visit the Redwood Creek Challenge.





This is an insanely fun outdoor experience that will leave you exhausted and exhilarated.

If you are looking for an easy hike, I recommend the walk down to the coast. It is only a couple miles and the views are incredible. There are a lot of fun hikes in the area but these are the most popular. If you are looking for a guidebook, this is the best one. It is a little more expensive than other guides but it is very detailed and the maps are incredibly helpful. If you want to enjoy the area but don’t want to hike you can visit the Elephant Seal Cove, just a quick drive away.


This is a fun place to visit, especially if you are looking for a unique activity. The bike rental shop is right there and you can rent a bike and cruise around the beach. It is a great way to enjoy the area and you will have fun cruising around on the beach. If you are looking for more fun things to do in the area, you can visit the historic post office and a lot of the shops in the area.


There are also a lot of fun restaurants and cafes to visit, many of which are on the main street and offer amazing food. If you are looking for a fun way to spend the day, you can also visit the Hotel Corque and enjoy the hot springs. The hotel offers a lot of fun activities and you can visit them for a small fee. If you are looking for something a little more relaxing, an outdoor massage is the way to go.


The outdoor massage is incredible and the masseuse is amazing. It is a fun way to enjoy the area and you will leave feeling incredibly refreshed.


How to Get to Big Sur

The best way to get to Big Sur is by car. You will drive through Monterey on the way, you will pass by Carmel and take Highway 1 north to the coast. There are a lot of great tours in the area and this is a good list of them. If you are looking for a guidebook, this is the best one. It is a little more expensive than other guides but it is very detailed and covers everything in the area.


That is my review of Big Sur. It is one of the most beautiful places in California and I am so glad I got to visit. If you are looking for a fun weekend or even a week-long trip, visit the area and enjoy

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