To Big Sur or Not To Big Sur

As of mid-October, it’s time to Big Sur. The popular recreation area that has inspired volumes, vision quests, photographs, and paintings is once again mostly connected to the world. Let’s be clear, Big Sur and its denizens still remain very much other worldly, which is why we love it.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, a casualty of February landslides, has reopened. Day trippers can now travel from Monterey on Highway 1 south to Gorda but will need to turn around to return (the highway south of here is closed).

We recommend a golden oldie experience, a day trip from Carmel. The Instagram-darling of McWay Falls can be glimpsed by taking a short hike on the Overlook Trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Plus, December kicks off whale watching season, and the Overlook, true to its name, overlooks the sea. Then follow with lunch at the classic road stop of Nepenthe. Opened in 1949, the multi-level restaurant fronts the Pacific.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Photo Credit: Visit California/Myles McGuinness

If you're not already a member, sign up now to start earning points toward incredible Joie de Vivre experiences and free air miles with your very next stay at one of our boutique hotels, each with its own unique brand and personality.