Weekend Getaway: Big Sur
It's times like these when I'm reminded how insanely lucky I am to live where I live
Some of the world's most incredible places are a car ride away
Veteran's Day weekend, I was fortunate enough to join my friends on a quick getaway to Big Sur. Big Sur is a large national park on California's central coast that offers dramatic cliffs, a number of hiking trails, and expansive ocean views. It's a winding 3-hour drive away from San Francisco and the last 30 miles or so is along the cliff-side.
My friend had reserved a spot for us at Treebones Resort, an intimate and exclusive resort near the south end of Big Sur that rarely has weekend openings. It's highly coveted for the glamping experience it offers guests. There's a main lodge that serves a gourmet breakfast that you can enjoy on the wrap-around porch overlooking the ocean, as well as a restaurant that has a refreshingly upscale dinner menu. Perhaps the coolest dining feature is the sushi bar, which accepts guests on a first-come, first serve basis starting at 4:30. It's a small, intimate bar with only eight seats right in front of the sushi chef, who in between serving your nigiri will share his favorite surf spots. We got there just as it opened and were treated to delicious hamachi and albacore as we watched the sun set from our perch. Truly a memorable and romantic experience.
Treebones also has an on-site organic garden that supplies quite a bit of their menu. Guests are welcome to tour the garden themselves, which is beautifully terraced.
Treebones has a few different options for glamping and camping- there are a few campsites, yurts (individual permanent tents with running water and queen-sized beds), and nests, which are hand-crafted structures that allow campers to sleep perched in their own nest. The nests look really, really cool and arguably offer the best views on the property. We stayed in a yurt, which was spacious and luxurious. It had a wrap-around porch and an oculus skylight so you can see the moon and stars.
We spent all of Saturday hiking- first down to McWay Waterfall trail. McWay is one of a few spots in the world where a waterfall flows directly into the ocean.
The next hike was definitely more strenuous- I'm an avid hiker and I found myself stopping to catch my breath and stretch a lot! Ewoldsen Trail in Pfeiffer State Park is 4 1/2 miles and somehow almost entirely uphill. It was an excellent way to see the coast and immerse yourself in the lush foliage under sky-high redwoods.
On the way back, we stopped to walk down to Sand Dollar Beach where, unfortunately, we did not spot any sand dollars. The swell all over the coast was high this weekend and was definitely evident at the beach. In a matter of minutes, the beach had all but disappeared as the waves continued to pound and seep further up the sand. Big Sur doesn't have many beaches, the landscape is mainly large hills ending abruptly against the Pacific. Sand Dollar isn't a particularly beautiful beach and the water is ice cold, but it's hard not to appreciate the majesty and scale of the cliffs and expansive ocean. Big Sur has a way of making you notice how small you are.