Courtesy of Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Hiking amidst waterfalls on California’s coast.

Travel + Leisure

“Roughing it” is relative on this gorgeous albeit pricey clifftop real estate. Stretching from Carmel to San Simeon, the area affords two state parks—Pfeiffer and Julia Pfeiffer—with stunning scenery.

Related: World’s Best Trip: Big Sur, California

 

Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant

The bacon-and-egg topped “breakfast pizza,” available on weekends, is worth the drive from anywhere.

Treebones Resort

Nearly every Mongolian-esque yurt at this eco-resort has ocean views from the redwood decks and Adirondack chairs, but without the thread count or plumbing—the bathroom is a short walk away—a small price to pay for a spectacular location. The two-person Guest Hours, which has a kitchen and en suite bathroom, is still an affordable option.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Deep within Los Padres National Forest, Pfeiffer Beach is a surreal mix of purple sand, giant redwoods, sycamores, and oaks. Offshore, a smattering of sea stacks are scattered like biscuit crumbs across the ocean. A hole through the center of one-known locally as "the door"-provides a frame for the setting sun; as it dips, the rock glows like a set of otherworldly gates in the last rays of daylight.

Deetjen's Big Sur Inn

Order dinner of rack of lamb or duck breast with a cherry-port reduction at the restaurant in the classic 1930 Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn.

Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park

Deep within Los Padres National Forest, Pfeiffer Beach is a surreal mix of purple sand, giant redwoods, sycamores, and oaks. Offshore, a smattering of sea stacks are scattered like biscuit crumbs across the ocean. A hole through the center of one—known locally as “the door”—provides a frame for the setting sun; as it dips, the rock glows like a set of otherworldly gates in the last rays of daylight.

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