This was our second year back at the Treebones Resort in Big Sur. The resort is famous for its yurts and breathtaking panoramic views of the Big Sur coastline. It’s a quiet retreat, and only allows children aged 6 and older.
Treebones is about 5 hours north of Los Angeles and 4 hours south of San Francisco. It’s at the southern end of Big Sur, on California’s famous Highway 1. Highway 1 through Big Sur is a designated American National Scenic Byway and a California Scenic Highway, so the drive itself is a destination.
The yurts are very popular and book up quickly. I never get my act together soon enough to book our stay, but thankfully they keep up the availability page on their website up-to-date. There are usually a few cancellations every week, so if you are flexible you may get lucky.
This year we stayed in a Mountain View yurt (last year we had a full Ocean View). The “view” is from your deck (there aren’t really wondows in your yurt) and though I had hoped to get an ocean view, it really didn’t matter, as there are fantastic views from all over the property.
Our yurt had a queen bed, plus a futon. There’s a heater, vanity sink with hot and cold running water, a bar of hand-made lemon verbena soap (you can also use as shampoo) and just-laundered towels. There are also lots of blankets! The polished wooden floor are gorgeous and the yurts are kept in pristine condition. Our sun deck overlooked the golden mountains with a wild brush and flowers.
There is, however, no ensuite bathroom! They’re a short walk away near the lodge. The bathrooms have toilets and showers, and are clean. There’s even a blow dryer in case you forgot yours (I did).
We usually stay one night, and my parents babysit the girls while we are away. Check in is 3 pm, and they are fairly strict about it. We check in, bring a glass of wine to the swimming pool (plastic, of course) and then hangout out until dinner. This year a family of whales entertained us while we soaked in the Jacquzi.
There are a couple options for dinner. You can eat onsite at the Wildcoast Restaurant or in the Sushi Bar. Both have great views. There really aren’t very many dining options that are close by, so we always stay in the resort. Plus the food is locally sourced, often picked just hours earlier from their organic vegetable garden. Both have fabulous food (though pricey).
Night time is the best. You can hear the wind wrapping itself around the yurt (while you are toasty warm inside). Waves crash and sea lion bark outside. We’ve never made a nighttime trip to the bathroom without seeing a raccoon or family of deer.
The next day we order a picnic lunch (again, this is the best dining option for being out and about) and explore local beaches and hiking areas. Treebones give you a printout of suggested hikes, and it’s a very useful guide.
Here’s a pic at Julia Pfiefer State Park.
This year we took our sandwiches to Sand Dollar Beach and then collected Jade in the rocks.
Of course you don’t have to stay in a yurt. There are a few campgrounds with fantastic ocean views, including the Nest, which I can only explain as a human bird’s nest you can sleep in!
Kids 6 and over are allowed. There are a couple larger yurts that accomdate families, and there is always a few well-behaved kids there. We’ve thought about bringing the girls – and we might one one. Right now we enjoy it as our secret retreat.
All accommodation includes use of the facilities (swimming pool, Jacuzzi, lodge with wifi and breakfast).
If you go:
Treebones Resort 71895 California 1 Big Sur, CA 93920 +1 (805) 927-2390 http://www.treebonesresort.com/
Wildcoast Restaurant 71895 California 1 Big Sur, CA 93920 +1 (805) 927-2390 www.treebonesresort.com/wild-coast-restaurant Coastal cuisine often made with ingredients from their organic vegetable garden.
Sand Dollar Beach A long stretch of beach in Big Sur. Very popular for its jade and breathtaking views. 99 steeps staircase down to the beach. Sand Dollar Beach is 25 miles south of Big Sur on Highway One. (Planning on collecting jade? Read this first).
Jade Cove Two miles south of Sand Dollar Beach off Highway 1. Rocky beach with jade. Popular with divers.
Julia Pfiefer Burns State Park Big Sur, CA 93920 +1 (831) 667-2315 http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=578 Walk out to the waterfall, perhaps the most photographed in Big Sur.
Point Lobos State Reserve 62 California 1 Carmel, CA 93923 +1 (831) 624-4909 www.pointlobos.org
A personal favourite. Check out tide pools, hike through coastal brush (but be careful to avoid poison oak!) It’s not unusual to see migrating whales and their dolphin groupies.