While Big Sur is all about nature, that doesn’t mean you have to rough it when you visit. In fact, the Central Coast region boasts some of the state’s most celebrated accommodations, with ultra-luxurious rooms, top-notch spas and facilities, and unforgettable dining experiences. At Post Ranch Inn, suites and private houses are miraculously sculpted into the cliffs, and enormous picture windows provide unparalleled views of sea and sky. (If you like to whale-watch from your bed, you’ve found your dream destination.) There’s even a luxury car available for guests who need local wheels, and a shuttle that cruises you around the Big Sur coast.
On the opposite (inland) side of Highway 1, there’s Alila Ventana Big Sur, a redwood-shaded paradise where outdoor Japanese-style soaking tubs and big decks give suites a breezy, natural feel; or book a room with a fireplace for extra cozy comfort on foggy nights. The resort also has a glamping section where you can sleep in a beautifully furnished tent cabin under a canopy of redwoods. Dining here is also excellent, with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients provided by local farms. Here, and at Post Ranch, you can dine or book a spa treatment even if you’re not a guest—a nice way to spoil yourself without breaking the bank.
About a half-hour drive down Highway 1 is Treebones Resort, a unique collection of 16 luxury yurts perched on platforms, each with sweeping views of the Pacific. This is a glamping experience—complete with a hot tub, heated pool, spa, sushi bar, and outdoor bar—that truly makes the most of its stunning location. The minimally but thoughtfully appointed yurts have plush, comfortable beds, hot and cold running water, and redwood decks with Adirondack chairs. To really feel at one with nature, the adventurous can forgo those comforts and stay in the Human Nest or the Twig Hut—two hand-woven “wood art “ installations that can snugly accommodate two.