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I'm Shay Gibson: a full-time nurse, traveler and photographer living in California. Modern Gibson Girl is a travel and lifestyle journal for modern women that want to experience the joyful things in life, and are always on the hunt for that sweet spot between quality and style.

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Where to Stay in Big Sur

Big Sur is GORGEOUS, but accommodations are scarce. If you have researched the area, it might feel like camping or unattainable luxury are your only options. But I am neither a camper nor an extravagant traveler. So we combed the coast for the best places to stay in Big Sur without or pitching a tent or breaking the bank. From budget to (realistic) splurge, check out our list of the best hotels in Big Sur.


Lucia Lodge

Best All Around


This place is an absolute GEM. I found it last minute two days before our trip, and it could not have been more perfect. Located right off the Highway 1, this family run lodge has 10 cabins situated on a dramatic cliff above the coast. The rooms are basic, but the views are spectacular. Rooms 1-3 have a partial ocean view, and rooms 7-10 (pictured above) directly face the water for the best ocean view of your life. Room 10, last cabin, is actually called the "Honeymoon Cottage" and definitely has the best view in town. However, my recommendation is to book cottage 4-6. Located just to the side of the cottages pictured, they do not have ocean views, but all you have to do is walk outside for this magnificent view, and you'll save about $150 a night.

The lodge also has a small restaurant on site that serves a continental breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner to order (seasonal). While the food was nothing to write home about, the views are wonderful, and after a long day of hiking we appreciated not having to drive in search of a meal. And the complimentary breakfast, coffee, and tea were a welcoming and homey touch.

Lucia Lodge is my pick for best all around place to stay in Big Sur, because you can wake up to this view for as low as $200 a night. That might seem high, but trust me, for Big Sur, that is low. For comparison, Post Ranch Inn, which is commonly considered the best luxury hotel in Big Sur, charges over $1000 for a mountain view room. For $200, this place can't be beat.


Deetjen's Big Sur Inn

Best Ambiance


Deetjen's is one of the oldest hotels in Big Sur. Family owned for over 80 years, the inn is made up of cozy, rustic cottages that haven't changed much since 1930. It was even placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. Many of the rooms have old, wood burning fireplaces and antique light fixtures. Simply put, this is a place for romance and relaxation, not luxury or high speed internet. The larger rooms run around $300 a night, but you can book the "Little Room" for around $125. If you are traveling with a friend, the "Van Gough" room offers two twin beds, also for $125. And if you are traveling alone and get really lucky, you could snag the "Petite Cuisine" room for under $100. That is a total steal for Big Sur. Just make sure to read the room description before you book, as many of the more affordable rooms have shared bathrooms.


Pacific Grove Inn

Best Budget Option


Ok, it's not in Big Sur. Unfortunately, Big Sur does not provide a lot of budget options, short of camping. The good new is, Monterey is only an hour drive away, and it may just be the most beautiful drive of your life. If you need a real budget option but aren't willing to rough it (like me), spend the day exploring Big Sur and then take the short drive to stay at Pacific Grove Inn in Monterey.

This low key inn packs a huge bang for your buck. While the service and amenities are minimal, the vintage style more than makes up for it. And I am always a sucker for an in-room fireplace. The room pictures above is the King Suite, and we booked it for only $85 a night (the third picture on the right is the lobby).


Big Sur River Inn

For the Family


Big Sur River Inn
Photo courtesy of Big Sur River Inn

If you are traveling as a family, head straight to Big Sur River Inn. Located adjacent to the Big Sur River and just 10 minutes from Pfeiffer Beach, this rustic lodge features an on-site swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and family suites as low as $200. Take the stress out of road tripping with this perfect old-school family destination.


Have a favorite place to stay in Big Sur that we missed? Tell us! We are always searching for the best each area has to offer. Log in to leave a comment below, or contact Modern Gibson Girl via email at or Instagram.

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