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How We Used to Go Glamping in Big Sur

Why Big Sur?

Big Sur is a 90-mile stretch of rugged coastline in Central California, between Carmel and San Simeon.  It is renown for its stunning vistas of impressive cliffs that meet the sea, majestic coastal Redwood trees, and of course the winding Highway 1, where you can take it all in.  Big Sur’s exudes an aura of peace that is almost other-worldly, even when you’ve only seen it in photographs.  That was us until this past April, when we had the chance to experience it first hand.

Why Glamping?

We wanted to camp with our kids, rather than stay at a hotel so that we could experience Big Sur in all its glory.  We wanted an experience that was more raw; we wanted to be in nature, but we didn’t want to buy an arsenal of camping gear since we only go camping maybe once a year.  After researching our options, we decided to rent an RV. With an RV, we could camp with many of the comforts of home and without having to spend a lot on camping equipment that we weren’t sure we would ever use again. So in essence, we decided we were going to go glamping in Big Sur!

Why Outdoorsy?

Once we were set on renting an RV, we realized that we were facing another challenge.  We’ve driven RVs before, so completing the 6 hour drive from Orange County would not be a problem, but how would we get around once we were there.  We had a list of a few places  we absolutely wanted to visit while we were in Big Sur. McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach, and Bixby bridge are all several miles from Big Sur campground, where we wanted to stay.  So when I came across, I knew I had hit the jackpot!  Outdoorsy is a site dedicated to private RV and trailer rentals.  You can search in the area you are going to visit and rent locally.  That way we could drive our car there, so we would be able to move around and sightsee or go out for a meal,  and we could stay in the RV- the best of both worlds.  Actually, it get better!  For a minimal fee, the lovely people that we rented our RV from dropped it off at the campground for us and picked it up when we were ready to head home.

Big Sur Campground

Big Sur Campground has tent and RV camping and rustic cabins that you can rent. It is located in a grove of majestic coastal redwoods, along the Big Sur river. It is well cared for and maintained. The campsites are large and come with a picnic table and fire pit. There are several easy hiking trails that start right from the entrance of the campground, which are perfect for small children.

McWay Falls

McWay Falls is an 80-foot tall waterfall that flows year round and empties directly into the ocean. It is a short and relatively easy walk from the parking area to the viewing area, where one can see this stunning waterfall.

Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge is one of the most picturesque bridges in California. It’s located right on Highway 1, south of Carmel, and is every bit as awe-inspiring in real life as it is on TV. There are pull over areas, where one can stop to snap a photo, but remember to go early, as it gets more and more crowded as the day goes on.

Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach is one of those off the beaten path gems that is worth the extra effort. It is off Highway 1 on Sycamore Canyon Road, a 2 mile winding narrow road that takes you down to the beach. RVs and trailers are not allowed on this road, and there area no signs. The only indication that there is anything at the turn off is a yellow sign that says “Narrow Road”. We had to stop and ask for directions, but found it pretty easily after that. Just make sure to drive slowly as you get closer because it’s easy to miss.

Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant

One of our favorite little discoveries during our time in Big Sur was the Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant. With its quaint and rustic decor, it serves up some tasty salads, sandwiches and baked goods. The kids also had a great time exploring the zen garden just outside the restaurant. It makes for a great pit stop, since it’s attached to a small gas station as well.

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