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October 28, 2015

Travel Guide: A Weekend in Big Sur

It's been a month of fun adventures (see my Nola travel guide!) and the latest one was one for the books! Have you ever been to Big Sur? One word: MAGICAL. The bf and I just got back and already want to plan our next trip! 

See our favorite stops below + the one thing you CANNOT forget! 

big sur travel guide, what to do in big sur, where to eat in big sur, west coast road trip

We started our trip in SF, rented a car, then made our way down to LA with a stay at Treebones Resort.  Note: if you're planning to rent a car definitely do some research! Apparently car rental companies don't want you to rent a car in location A and return it to location B so they impose really ridiculous fees (I mean, like airplane flight $$) so it takes some calls and what not to get a deal. We booked our "silver stallion" aka a silver Toyota Corolla through AVIS.

DON'T FORGET: there's absolutely NO cell service in Big Sur; even the resorts have very spotty wifi or none at all.  Don't forget to:

- screenshot all direction (psst... here is the google map of the above)
- screenshot any places you want to visit
- download music to your phone; this is game changer, especially because there's a lot of driving involved with a trip like this and the radio doesn't work

Yurt at Treebones, Where to stay in big Sur, What is a yurt
{Yurt at Treebones}

Let's talk about Treebones Resort aka the coolest spot ever. While they do have regular camp grounds, the Yurts are the main attraction at Treebones. Think "glamping". Each Yurt is fully equipped with heater, sink, and a wine opener. (the important things!) Bathrooms are communal up by the lodge, so bring shower flip-flops. Almost every yurt has a view of the ocean; the scenery is nuts! Tweet me if you have more Qs about Treebones, always happy to answer.


big sur river inn - a beautiful outdoor restaurant that is right on the Big Sur river. It's at the northern most point of Big Sur, so if you happen to be traveling in from SF it's a great first top. We did dinner here: the pesto pasta and burger were delicious!

big sur bakery - definitely the best brunch spot in town. If you're not grabbing brunch just stop by for pastries and a coffee!

nepenthe - talk about dining with a view. This is by far the most beautiful spot we dined at all weekend. You'll be instantly transported to the Amalfi coast or somewhere in Italy. Expect a wait but I promise it's totally worth it. Apparently the burger is the BEST thing on the menu, however, we found that out from some regulars after we finished our lunch.

madonna inn - if you happen to be driving all the way back to LA then make sure to stop at the Madonna Inn to a) check out the property and b) eat at the restaurant. It's so quirky and fun!

Lovers point Monterey, Monterey scenic outlook

sites to see

lovers point - gorgeous park and lookout point in Monterey. This is definitely a stop only if you're coming from SF, and although 15 minutes out of the way, the views are so stunning!

pfieffer state beach - not to be confused with the 2 other pfieffer locations, this is the spot that actually allows you to lay on the beach and play in the water. All the rest are only lookout points high above the water!

julia pfieffer burns state park - the Mcway waterfall is located within this park as well as a few great hiking trails. It's $10 park in the park itself, so you could park on the highway and walk which many people ended up doing.

elephant seals - a little wildlife action on the way back to LA. There are 100s of elephant seals hanging on the beach, mating, fighting, napping... it's fun!

where to visit in big sur, julia pfeiffer state park
treebones resort, where to stay in big sur, pursuit of shoes travels
{hanging couch at treebones}

The stunning views combined with total relaxation is what makes Big Sur such a great spot. There's nothing like being entirely off the grid for a weekend surrounded by some of natures most beautiful things. And now you know why I can't wait to go back!

If you're looking for other fun weekend trips, check out my other travel diaries below:

{New Orleans // Hicksville Trailer Palace + Joshua Tree // Miami // Dallas}


  1. I am dragging the man friend to this adventure! Thanks for these incredible recommendations and can't wait to share stories - xx

  2. I can't get over the BEAUTY of your photos!! I actually saved the second-last pic because it's just so stunning! WOW.

    Awesome guide to Big Sur & great tips (screen shot-ing?! SO SMART).

    1. Thanks girl! Hope you had a great NYE. Happy 2016, wishing you all the good things xx

  3. Your trip looked amazing! I'm planning on making a drive from SF to LA next year, so these are excellent tips! If you don't mind me asking, what did you consider a decent deal for the car rental? Thanks for these recommendations - might stay at the Big Sur River Inn on the way down!

    1. Hi Vicky -

      You will have the best time. Honestly, the rental car situation was the worst - apparently rental car companies do not like you taking a car from point A and returning it at point B which makes NO sense. I remember they added like a $200 - $300 premium to the weekend rental just because we weren't returning it back in SF. It too some hunting but we went with hurtz and the whole thing was about $450ish? Not very cheap - we could've flown home for that much but it was totally worth it! Have a great trip. xx - Ashley

  4. Hello, Just in case someone is trying to google this: The Big Sur parks are called pfeiffer, not pfieffer. ; )


Thank you for your lovely comments... Keep pursuing shoes!