In this Big Sur BnB and accommodation guide, I'll show you where to stay along the Big Sur coastline so you can have the ultimate cycling or road trip adventure!
Big Sur BNB and Accommodation Guide
Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places in California. It has a reputation for being one of the most scenic drives in the world, but it also has many other attractions to offer.
This article will help you find accommodation in Big Sur that suits your needs and budget, whether you're looking for an inexpensive campsite, Big Sur AirBnB, or a luxurious hotel room with views of the Pacific Ocean.
First though, what or where is Big Sur?
Big Sur is a 90 miles stretch of coastal route that begins in Carmel in the north, and finishes in San Simeon in the south in California. It's an enjoyable drive or cycle ride, and it takes you through a lot of beautiful scenery.
While there are some stunning views of the coast and sea, there's not actually all that much beach access along the way. There's plenty of Redwoods though!
Places to stay in Big Sur
With towering redwoods and coastal views, Big Sur is a place that people visit to relax and enjoy nature. The best way to see all Big Sur has to offer is by staying there for a few days, but this can be expensive.
Fortunately, there are many options available including hotels, AirBnB rentals or camping grounds. In fact, if you're on a budget camping is definitely the way to go.
When I was cycling the Pacific Coast Highway, I stayed at the Big Sur Pfeiffer Campground and the San Simeon Campground. In San Simeon I shared a campsite with other cyclists, meaning that I only paid 3 dollars.
I'm sure there are also wild camping opportunities along the Big Sur route if you're discreet enough as well!
Camping in Big Sur
There are no shortage of camping options in Big Sur – there's almost a hundred places to choose from! These range from small places you may need to book months in advance, to more casual places which accept cyclists who turn up on the day.
Some recommended campgrounds include:
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
The Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground is a large camping ground with different areas that accommodate hikers, bikers, car campers and RVers. Many of the campsites are located along the Big Sur River.
Find out more here: Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a state park on California’s Pacific coast, 12 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. There are two Environmental Campsites that are located on the west side of Highway 1 south of McWay Cove. Both sites can be accessed only by hiking and there is no vehicle access to both areas.
Find out more here: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Limekiln State Park
The state park is located on the southern coast of Monterey County in Big Sur, California which is 56 miles south of Carmel. Limekiln park offers breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the rugged Big Sur coastline,
Find out more here: Limekiln State Park
Kirk Creek Campground
Located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, people who stay here love the site, and it offers hiker/biker places. One commenter said that there was no running water.
Find out more here: Kirk Creek Campground
San Simeon Campground
There are a total of 115 campsites for tent camping (including 2 hike and bike sites), and recreational vehicles within Sa Simeon's large park with sanitary stations.
Find out more here: San Simeon Campground
Thinking of camping out in the summer? Read my tips here: How to stay cool camping in a tent in the summer
AirBnB Big Sur
It should come as no surprise, that there are quite a few AirBnB places in Big Sur to choose from. The majority of these AirBnb Big Sur are located toward the northern part of the coastal route in Carmel-by-the-Sea or Monterey.
Some of these such as quaint cabins can be found in the campgrounds already mentioned – it's just that they advertise themselves in more than one place.
If you're not a fan of pitching a tent, a Sur BnB could be the way to go. Check out their site for more details.
Hotels in Big Sur
If you're looking for a bit of a splurge on your Big Sur road trip, perhaps these hotels might appeal:
Carmel River Inn
The Carmel River Inn provide two forms of lodging – The Inn Rooms, and Cottages. The Inn Rooms are located on the property, and can be rented per night or week. The Cottages have their own homes set in shaded acres of Carmel Valley's most beautiful countryside – they also offer a variety for you to choose from with prices ranging between $250-$1000/night.
More details here: Carmel River Inn
Tickle Pink Inn
This hotel is 20 miles away from Big Sur and an easy find thanks to its location near California State Route 1.
Featuring elegant, breezy rooms, this has all the amenities and facilities to relax and unwind after a day on the road. With high-end beds, flat screen TVs with DVD libraries and balcony views of the ocean; some properties have fireplaces, and suites have whirlpool tubs and/or living rooms.
More details here: Tickle Pink Inn
Post Ranch Inn
The upscale, ranch-style boutique hotel Post Ranch Inn is located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, about 1.6 miles away from the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
The rustic-chic rooms with private decks and wood-burning fireplaces make the perfect option for a nature-loving getaway! They have free mini bars, Wi-Fi, iPod docks and indoor/outdoor spa pools.
More details here: Post Ranch Inn
Big Sur Travel Tips
Best time to visit Big Sur – For fewer people but good weather, try to experience Big Sur in September or October
ATM – There are no ATM machines, so make sure you have some cash with you, especially if you are camping.
Cell Service – I think we can describe this as unreliable at best on some sections of the Big Sur coast! You might want some paper maps as backup just in case.
Cycling Big Sur – I found the Pacific Coast Highway cycling guides extremely useful when cycling this section of coast!
One Day Drive Time – The drive from LA to Big Sur takes about six hours. It is well worth it though, so be patient! There are plenty of places for you stop off if needed on your journey there too: coffee shops and petrol stations in San Luis Obispo or Cambria; amazing restaurants like Nepenthe near Monterey Bay State.
– Dave Briggs
Dave has cycled around most of the world on different bicycle touring trips, including the Big Sur coastal route.
In addition to this blog post on Sur BnB and other accommodation, he's written many other guides about bike touring.
Follow Dave on social media for travel, adventure and bike touring inspiration: