The Itinerary: Big Sur

The drive into Big Sur is a cinematic journey, winding along California’s Highway 1 with the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge as a dramatic entry point. Immersed in the landscapes that features in the hit show, “Big Little Lies,” the coastal cliffs unveil breathtaking Pacific views. Towering redwoods stand sentinel in the lush woods, inviting exploration. Visitors, drawn by the mystique of the setting, can embark on hikes, revel in coastal vistas, and absorb the serenity of McWay Falls. The allure lies not just in the scenery, but in the escapism that connects travellers to the coastal tales and the natural wonders that make Big Sur an unforgettable retreat.

3pm Check into Glen Oaks

Nestled amidst the redwood forests of Big Sur, there is a haven of rustic luxury. It’s easy to see why Glen Oaks has become a sanctuary to escape the demands of daily life, the cabins blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings while the modern amenities such as underfloor heating in the bathroom and remote controlled fire ensure a cosy stay. 

Each cabin is uniquely designed, the brand new Pfeiffer Cabin’s wooden interior is warm and inviting complete with a king bed and separate living space. The private terrace is enclosed by majestic redwoods and features a large fire pit and deep standalone bath tub. Take time to soak and  unwind beneath the towering trees for a truly extraordinary and rejuvenating experience.

6pm Dinner at Post Ranch Inn

The restaurant at Post Ranch Inn is a conservatory perched atop the cliffs of Big Sur, and offers a dining experience that rivals the breathtaking views. As the Pacific Ocean stretches to the horizon, indulge in a sensory journey during sunset, where the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues. The fine dining menu reflects the region’s bounty, with dishes like Grilled Pacific Yellowtail and Monterey Bay Abalone. Each plate is a masterpiece, crafted with precision and creativity. The combination of exquisite cuisine and panoramic ocean views creates an unparalleled dining experience.

9am Breakfast at Big Sur Roadhouse

Redesigned by esteemed San Francisco designer, Steve Justrich, the Big Sur Roadhouse beckons with its cosy ambiance and culinary delights amid the redwood-lined landscape. Request a seat at the back overlooking the river for a truly exquisite breakfast experience. 

The seasonal menu is created with fresh local ingredients and offers the very best of Californian cuisine. Start the day with fresh seasonal fruit, followed by the decadent Brioche French Toast or savoury California Benedict, and embrace the flavours of the region. 

9am Hike at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Embark on a hike through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to unveil a tapestry of natural wonders. The Valley View Trail meanders through ancient redwoods and offered a mesmerising journey. Traverse the verdant terrain, where encounters with wildlife, include coming face to face with stags and does alongside the singsong of local birds, create an enchanting experience. The park exudes a serene ambiance, inviting introspection amid the towering trees and babbling streams. 

The main attraction, McWay Falls, captivates with its cascading beauty. Grounding in the forest becomes a meditative practice, where the rustle of leaves and the scent of pine envelop visitors in a profound connection to nature. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a sanctuary, beckoning hikers to immerse themselves in the mystical embrace of California’s coastal wilderness.

1pm Lunch at Coast Cafe

Nestled along the scenic Highway 1, the restaurant boasts coastal-chic aesthetics with panoramic views of the Pacific. Frequented by locals and travellers alike, the cafe exudes a laid-back charm. The adjacent shop offers artisanal goods, reflecting the bohemian spirit of Big Sur. 

The menu is perfect for the health conscious and feature ingredients that are organic, local and ethically sourced. Opt for the Smoked Chickpea Miso Stew is a delicious warming bowl of goodness featuring butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, rice and greens. The Chocolate Landslide Ice Cream Sundae is created in-house and pairs perfectly with a Iced Oat & Honey Chai.

3pm Henry Miller Memorial Library

Founded in 1981, the Henry Miller Memorial Library pays homage to the prolific American writer Henry Miller, renowned for his provocative works like “Tropic of Cancer.” The library serves as a cultural haven in Big Sur, hosting literary events and fostering artistic expression. The library’s significance lies in preserving Miller’s legacy and providing a space for creative minds to converge. Its rustic charm, surrounded by nature, mirrors the bohemian spirit of Miller himself, creating an immersive experience for visitors seeking literary inspiration in the captivating landscapes that influenced Miller’s groundbreaking writings.

5pm Botanical Pours at Alila Ventana 

The Botanical Pours experience at Alila Ventana Big Sur is a sensory journey set high above California’s coastline. Overlooking the clouds, participants craft artisanal cocktails using locally foraged botanicals. Engaging with the natural elements, guests create libations like the refreshing Beekeper’s Lemon Balm Cocktail, created with a homemade lemon balm syrup, a fresh lemon balm leaves, a choice of bourbon or whiskey and topped off with club soda. 

Stay behind to enjoy your drink by the fire pit. Watch the sky turn a pastel pink as the sun sets behind the mountain and the moon begins to rise.

7pm Cocktails and dinner at Nepenthe

Perched on the cliffs of Big Sur, Nepenthe offers a culinary voyage amid breathtaking views of the Pacific. Legend has it that the property was originally owned by Hollywood starlet, Rita Hayworth and the legendary Orson Welles after they fell in love with the view and became enamoured with the idea that they would create a retreat to get away from Hollywood. Sadly their vision never came to fruition and they sold it to Lolly and Bill Fassett who took over the property and moved in with their five children in 1947. With a feeling that the site was “too wonderful to keep to themselves” Lolly grew the idea of Nepenthe and opened the doors to the iconic eatery in 1949. 

Start with the Smoked Wild Salmon, smoked Alaskan salmon complimented by cream cheese and Rustic Bakery flatbread crisps. Savour the signature Ambrosiaburger, you can also opt for the vegetarian option, and pair it with a classic Pomegranate Martini.

A coastal masterpiece, Big Sur captivates with rugged cliffs, ancient redwoods, and panoramic seascapes—will leave an ethereal imprint on your soul.