Romantic Weekend in Big Sur, California
Evangelina Faith Montes de Oca
Road Trip Travel
The Monterey/Big Sur area was my go-to destination when I lived in California. I would drive out here almost every month just to get lost on the 17 mile drive and relax. It's truly a serene, romantic destination for those who are looking for privacy and the best of the Pacific coastal line.
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Where to stay
Post Ranch Inn
This is bucket-list Big Sur: Chic clifftop cottages in a spectacularly romantic setting overlooking the Pacific.
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Daily full breakfast, for two guests per bedroom
$100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
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Day 1: Post Ranch Inn Spa & Relaxation
As you arrive and get settled at the Post Ranch Inn, take your time to truly unwind and enjoy the moment. This is the night to relax and take in the surrounding area. Your room comes with half a bottle of champagne, a fireplace and gorgeous aerial views. This is perfect for setting the mood for your first night in the Big Sur area.
Tip: The destination tends to be very chilly, so make sure to bring a few sweaters. Also, you might even want to check out the spa at the Post Ranch Inn while exploring the grounds.
Day 2: Hiking, Beaches & Waterfalls
Day two is all about sightseeing! You have the famous Pfeiffer Beach. The focal point on your walk to the shore is the massive rock – actually two rocks – in the crashing surf. One rock has a rock arch in it known as the Keyhole Arch. This amazing natural structure allows for waves and even the last rays of daylight to pass through it. As you can imagine, the spot is strikingly beautiful at sunset.
Head out to Molera Beach to check out the crescent oceanside and enjoy its flora and fauna. This park is still relatively undeveloped and offers visitors great hiking and beaches as well as panoramic views of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a federal marine protected area.
Finally, a visit to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a true bucket list destination. It features redwood, tanoak, madrone, chaparral and an 80 foot waterfall Mcway Falls that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean. Another waterfall to visit is a trail hike to Pfeiffer Falls for forest views.
After a full day of hiking and soaking up the sun, have dinner overlooking the sea at Sierra Mar. This beautiful restaurant has a stunning interior and an even more impressive wine cellar.
Day 3: 17 Mile Drive & Monterey Exploration
As you check out and drive up the coast to Monterey, you'll pass the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge. Make sure to stop at EVERY overlook, trust me! From here you'll hit Carmel and then enter onto the 17 mile drive. Carmel-by-the-Sea is a unique little town, so I would definitely make a pitstop for lunch at either The Pocket or Toro Sushi. After you make it through the 17 mile drive, don't forget to stop at the overlooks! You'll arrive in Cannery Row, a famous Steinbeck location. Check in to the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa for your final night, and then walk the streets to make your reservation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a beautiful location where the aquarium sits just on the cliffside.
Need to Know
If you're a car enthusiast, make sure to plan your visit during the month of August for Monterey Car Week.
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