Big Sur is an area, not a town. It extends about 100 miles along the California Coast, starting just south of Carmel Highlands and running all the way to San Carporforo Creek in the south. Along this mountainous stretch of coast, you’ll experience some of the most beautiful and magnificent views in the world.
Most of Big Sur falls within the Los Padres National Forest or California State Park Lands. There are no commercial establishments for several miles as you head toward the Big Sur River Inn. Most travelers want to take their time, making frequent stops at the many viewing points along Highway One to take in the staggering views and snap a few photos.
Closer to the Big Sur River Inn, you’ll find the Point Sur Lighthouse sitting on its own small mountain. In years past three different lighthouse keepers staffed the lighthouse, living on the edge of the world with their families. Today, the light is maintained via computerized controls and no one needs to be there on a full time basis. Learn the history of the Point Sur Lighthouse by signing up for a guided tour, led by lighthouse volunteers, and offered several times each week.
A short drive south of Point Sur, and just a few miles from the Big Sur River Inn, you’ll pass Andrew Molera State Park. This lovely little park offers beautiful hiking trails with mountain and ocean views, as well as a spectacular beach, about one mile’s walk from the parking lot. If you love horses, sign up for a trail ride on horseback with Molera Trail Rides.
Two miles south of Molera you’ll arrive at the Big Sur River Inn, known affectionately as the heart of the Big Sur community. Just as our River Inn sign comes into view, you’ll see an entirely unique Big Sur-style Valero Gas Station on the right, complete with our colorful ice cream truck (that no one ever seems to be able to resist). Just past our Valero, nestled among tall coastal redwoods, you’ll find our general store, historic riverside lodge with heated swimming pool, and our restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Big Sur River Inn is conveniently located to three State Parks. Staying with us, you have easy access to miles of hiking trails, beautiful beaches with tide pools, and numerous gift shops and galleries.
There is something for everyone right on our doorstep. You may even choose to spend your entire vacation on our scenic grounds, settling in next to the Big Sur River – lounging in a big wooden chair in the babbling water, with a cool drink in hand.