We are excited to announce the second installment of a new series here on LaurenConrad.com: Wanderlust Wednesday, a monthly travel guide post written by one of our favorite Instagrammers and travel bloggers, @LucyLaucht! In today’s post, Lucy will be sharing the inside scoop on where to stay and what to see in Big Sur, California. Enjoy, and check back each month for a new Wanderlust Wednesday post…
Magical McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Hello everyone! It’s Lucy here. Last month, I told you all about where to go in Tulum, Mexico and today I’ll be talking about Big Sur, California. Imagine a land of towering Redwoods and deserted beaches, where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the roiling Pacific Ocean. That’s Big Sur for you. This coastal gem has a magical perfumed scent of sage and soft chaparral, and it’s one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever seen. So wind your windows down, stop frequently for the beautiful, rocky vistas, and, if you can, time your arrival to sunset and toast the last rays over a local glass of pinot noir. Here’s what to do in Big Sur…
In Big Sur the air is filled with the scent of coastal sage and soft chaparral.
Where to Sleep
- Deetjens. A collection of pint-sized, wisteria-draped wood cabins, nestled among Redwood trees (it’s hard to get more romantic than that.) Founded in 1930, Deetjens is one of the oldest accommodations in Big Sur. An onsite library and lack of cell service or wifi makes this place all the more heavenly.
Deetjens, my favorite place in Big Sur.
- Perched on a cliff high above ocean, the Post Ranch Inn is the spot for a little luxe.
Room with a view at Post Ranch Inn.
- Big Sur River Inn has some of the more inexpensive cabins in town. Rooms overlook the Big Sur River and Route 1 (be prepared for road noise!).
Windswept views of Big Sur River mouth beach.
- For the adventurous, check out Big Sur Cabin Rental.
- Campgrounds abound, try Kirk creek camping, Andrew Molera State Park or Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
Road tripping through Big Sur.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Big Sur bakery. Heavenly for a morning coffee, a glazed donut and watching the early morning sun filter through the Redwoods. (Just watch the blue jays, they like glazed donuts too). The lunch menu is amazing. The pizza might just be the best I’ve ever tasted.
Breakfast at Big Sur Bakery is a must.
- Deetjens. Delicious, homely food and great local wines. Reservations are required, as the cozy dining room gets busy.
Watch the blue jays!
- Post Ranch Inn. Go here for breathtaking sunsets in a gorgeous setting. Their wine selection is incredible. (Tip, sit outside, take a table under the far awning, which has a heater to keep your feet warm. Amazing for when the sun drops and it gets cold.)
- Nepenthe. Another amazing spot for sunset drinks.
Golden hour at Nepenthe, a great spot for sunset.
- Big Sur River Inn. Drink delicious reds in front of the toasty fire.
What To Do
- McWay falls, an 80-foot waterfall and emerald-water cove, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Go before sunrise and you might be lucky enough to have it to yourself.
Early morning light at McWay Falls.
- Big Sur River Mouth Beach. Walk the Beach Trail from the Andrew Molera state park car park. The beach is beautiful, windswept and often empty. Cross the river at the shallowest point and scale the rocks, following the trail out to Molera Point. Find the little spot where you can sit among the California sagebrush, overlook the park and beyond to the Santa Lucia Mountains, it’s pretty magical.
Horse riders on Big Sur River Mouth Beach.
- Garrapatta beach. A beautiful white sand beach reached by a track that descends through a narrow valley of wild Calla Lilies (they flower in January.) Park along the road and enter at gates 17, 18 or 19.
- Watch for gray whales, December through April are migration months for these magical creatures.
- Hike the Tanbark Trail. The six-mile trail winds through Redwood canyons and oak forests to reveal the most spectacular coastal views. Sunset from the top is stunning beyond words.
Hiking the Tanbark Trail.
Sunset on the Tanbark Trail.
And there you have it! Everything you need to eat, sleep, and see in Big Sur.
Now all you need is a packing list. Here are some of the essentials I recommend bringing…
What city would you like to see me do my next travel guide on?
Give me your suggestions in the comments below. And stay tuned for next months Wanderlust Wednesday. Thanks for having me, LaurenConrad.com readers!
P.S. Be sure to follow along with more of Lucy’s adventures on @lucylaucht.