Famous for its dramatic cliffs, majestic redwood forests, and stunning vistas of the California coastline, Big Sur is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. Flanked by the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the area stretches for 90 miles – from the Carmel Highlands to San Simeon – along the very windy Highway 1. Hit the road and you’ll find plenty of hiking trails, rugged beaches, and picture-perfect waterfalls along the way. Just make sure you’re not the one driving so you can fully enjoy the view!
This secluded area is home to less than 2,000 residents, which just adds to Big Sur’s laid-back vibe. You won’t find chain stores or restaurants in this neck of the woods. Instead, expect quaint local eateries, gift shops with locally made products, and spiritual retreat centers. Whether you’re looking to hike through the redwoods, have a picnic at the beach, or explore a state park, Big Sur is the ideal place to spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Big Sur is a popular destination for those who want an ultra-relaxing vacation surrounded by nature. If you’re planning a memorable family holiday, a romantic retreat, or a weekend getaway with friends, there’s no doubt that you will find a unique Airbnb in Big Sur that is perfect for you. From secluded redwood cottages to luxurious oceanfront retreats and unique farm stays, the options are plentiful.
Finding the perfect vacation home might seem overwhelming, so we have picked out 11 of the best Airbnbs in Big Sur to make your decision just a little bit easier!
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Top 10 Things To Do in Big Sur
- Drive over the historic Bixby Bridge, one of the most famous and photographed bridges in California.
- Marvel at McWay Falls and watch as the 80-foot waterfall gushes onto a secluded white sand beach. This is definitely the most Instagrammable spot in Big Sur and a must-do in California!
- Enjoy some California cuisine with an ocean view at the iconic Nepenthe Restaurant.
- Take a hike on one of the many scenic trails at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Andrew Molera State Park, and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve – to name a few!
- Peruse works of art and used books at the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
- Watch the sunset at Pfeiffer Beach and check out the shimmering purple sand! There’s a reason this is one of the most photographed spots in the area.
- Pick up a pastry or breakfast pizza at Big Sur Bakery.
- Soak in the healing waters of the Esalen hot springs. They are only open to the public from 1:00 am to 3:00 am!
- Meander along the serpentine Highway 1 and enjoy the unreal ocean views!
- Pack a picnic and spend the day at the picturesque Sand Dollar Beach.
Why Stay in an Airbnb in Big Sur
Staying in an Airbnb in Big Sur comes with lots of perks. First off, you’ll have the chance to stay in a completely unique home, instead of a run-of-the-mill hotel. Residents of Big Sur are notoriously friendly, which means you’ll likely get lots of insider tips from your Airbnb host.
Because Big Sur is so large, the selection of cool Airbnbs in Big Sur varies wildly. You can opt for a cottage in the middle of the redwoods, a luxurious estate on the ocean, or a cute cabin on a goat farm.
By choosing to stay in an Airbnb, you are likely to get more bang for your buck. Most vacation homes in Big Sur are much nicer and more spacious than your average hotel room. Additionally, you’ll likely have a kitchen to prepare home-cooked meals, which is helpful since many hotels and Airbnbs in Big Sur are rather secluded.
If you are traveling as a large group, Airbnbs will likely cost less per person than shelling out money for multiple hotel rooms. This is especially true in the summer months when tourism is at its height.
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The 11 Best Airbnbs in Big Sur
Best Big Sur Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
1. Secluded Redwood Cabin
If you’re making the journey from Carmel to Big Sur this cute little cabin is a great stopover. Located in the middle of a redwood forest – just minutes from Highway 1 – this 1-bedroom vacation home offers the quintessential Big Sur experience.
This wood cabin is surrounded by towering redwoods and is set right next to a babbling creek. You won’t find a TV or Wi-Fi at this secluded Airbnb! This place is all about unplugging and enjoying nature. While it might feel remote, plenty of hiking trails, viewpoints, and national parks are just a short drive away.
This Airbnb is perfect for a romantic getaway, but there is also a murphy bed so it can accommodate up to four people. The bedroom has a queen-size bed with a Tempur-Pedic mattress to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. The living area features comfy sofas and chairs and a fully outfitted kitchen. Because of the location, it’s best if you bring your own food and drinks so you can prepare meals at home.
To truly immerse yourself in your natural surroundings, head out to the private garden where you can grill up a meal and dine under the redwoods!
2. Secluded Chateau-Style Studio with Ocean Views
This secluded studio is perfect for couples or solo travelers who are looking for a relaxing weekend getaway. Just 30 minutes from the heart of Big Sur and 15 minutes from the adorable town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, this Airbnb is prime for exploring this gorgeous part of the world. If hiking is your thing, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Garrapata State Park are just five minutes away.
This rustic guesthouse is adjacent to the main house where the Airbnb hosts live, so you’re sure to get plenty of local travel tips! The French chateau-style house features 20-foot-high vaulted ceilings. The cozy 950-square-meter space has an open floor plan with two beds, an ultra-plush sofa, a flat-screen TV, and a fireplace. The kitchen comes stocked with everything you need to prepare basic meals and has a small breakfast bar.
What makes this Airbnb really stand out is the private balcony, which offers uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy your morning cup of coffee!
3. Luxury Gazebo Glamping with Fire Pit
This luxury gazebo “tent” is a really cool option if you’re looking for a truly unique Airbnb in Big Sur. This glamping experience is perfect for nature-loving couples looking for a romantic getaway and solo travelers who want to be at one with nature. The tent is set in the middle of a scenic forest and is a great jumping-off point for those looking to begin their journey into Big Sur.
The gazebo features all the basics: a soft queen bed, plenty of pillows, and an electric blanket to ensure a warm night’s sleep. There are tons of windows so you can enjoy the forest views from bed. Outside there is a private grilling area with two Adirondack chairs and a propane fire pit. You’ll have access to a basic kitchen so you can prep meals and wash dishes. All you need to do is pack a cooler full of food and drinks!
This eco-friendly resort has a shared bathroom with showers and hot water. Make sure to take advantage of the other communal amenities, including a heated pool, board games, and a private hiking trail.
Best Big Sur Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
4. Contemporary Cabin Nestled in the Redwoods
If you’re looking to do Big Sur in style, this picture-perfect 2-bedroom vacation home is a wonderful choice. This 1930s cabin has been fully remodeled and is adorned with vintage and modern pieces. You can enjoy all the creature comforts of a luxurious home while being in the middle of a redwood forest!
Sit back and relax in the living room, which features an L-shaped couch, large flat-screen, and a wood-burning stove. Look up and you’ll see towering redwoods from the large skylight. With granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a shabby chic dining table, the kitchen has everything you need to enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Both bedrooms are stylishly decorated with colorful rugs, wood platform beds, and framed maps of the area. You’ll find that the bedrooms have cool features like skylights, wood-burning stoves, and beautiful bathrooms with standalone tubs.
Located in Palo Colorado Canyon – just north of central Big Sur – this vacation home is the perfect starting point for your Big Sur adventure!
5. Stylish Redwood Home with Pool and Ocean Views
If you’re looking for the ultimate Big Sur experience, this is the Airbnb for you. This 3-bedroom redwood home is perched on five private acres right on the cliffs. Not only do you have endless views of the ocean but you can go hiking in the private oak forest below the home. It’s located right in the middle of Big Sur – just down the road from the iconic Pfeiffer Beach – so the location can’t be beat!
With vaulted wood ceilings, redwood floors, and wood paneling it’s like living in a luxurious cabin. The living room features a wraparound leather sofa, a stone fireplace, a dining room table, and large windows that offer stunning ocean views.
The charming kitchen is equipped with everything you need to whip up a gourmet meal for the group. There are two bedrooms in the main house, including a lavish master bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The third bedroom is in the guesthouse and has its own kitchenette and dining area.
If the views and location aren’t enough, this vacation rental also has a massive deck, a heated pool and hot tub, and a fire pit.
6. Cute Cabin On Goat Farm
Located on a working farm in the heart of town, this quaint country cabin is by far the most unique Airbnb in Big Sur. You’ll have the chance to mingle with all the goats, horses, cows, sheep, and chickens that roam around the farm. It’s a great experience for families with young children!
Another fun feature is the large wooden deck with ocean and mountain views. Surrounded by the twisting branches of oak trees, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset each evening.
The cabin has two bedrooms, including a master bedroom with ocean views and its very own wood-burning stove. The cozy loft area has extra sleeping space and a large selection of books. With vaulted ceilings and plenty of windows, the sundrenched kitchen comes with all the basics so you can cook at home. But you can always opt to walk to the nearby bakery, deli, or craft brewery. Another perk of the location is that Pfeiffer State Park is a mere 1.5 miles away!
7. Contemporary Cliffside House with Sweeping Ocean Views
This stunning cliffside home is nestled on a cliff above the ocean on the west side of Highway 1 and Big Sur is a stunningly beautiful 15-minute drive away. And if you feel like taking a day trip Carmel is just 25 minutes away.
The Cliff House – as it is appropriately dubbed – has two bedrooms including an opulent master bedroom with unreal ocean views, a king-size bed, and en-suite bathroom. If you’re traveling as a group of four or more, you can opt to rent out the adjacent studio. The studio also has amazing ocean views, a private deck, and a kitchenette.
With stylish sofas, vaulted ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows highlighting the ocean, the living room in the main house is the stuff of dreams. The open-plan area features a chef’s kitchen with granite counters, a kitchen bar, and a dining room with more awesome views. You can also opt to enjoy an alfresco meal on the massive outdoor terrace and watch the sun sink into the Pacific each night.
It is important to note that this vacation rental is not safe for kids due to its cliff-side setting. But it is a great option for a weekend getaway with friends or two nature-loving couples!
8. Stunning Oceanfront Home with Hot Tub
Located in the northern part of Big Sur – just four miles from Bixby Bridge – this spectacular seaside home is set right on the southern tip of Garrapata State Beach. With unobstructed 180-degree views of the ocean, you’ll feel like you’re on the edge of the world!
Because of its rocky cliff-side location, this 2-bedroom home isn’t safe for young children. But it is a wonderful choice for two couples or families with older kids.
Each room in this single-story home is designed with huge windows so you can enjoy the oceanfront setting – even when you’re washing dishes in the kitchen! The living room has panoramic ocean views, plenty of comfy seats, and a large flat-screen TV. A sliding glass door leads out to the oceanfront deck and outdoor hot tub.
Both bedrooms have plush beds and massive windows overlooking the ocean. You will quite literally fall asleep listening to the waves crashing against the rocks!
Best Big Sur Airbnbs for Large Groups and Events
9. Seven Coves of Spindrift: Luxurious 5-Home Retreat
If you’re planning an extra-special celebration – like an intimate wedding or an unforgettable family reunion – renting out this entire rustic retreat offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The Seven Coves of Spindrift is so spectacular it was even featured in an episode of HBO’s Big Little Lies!
This massive oceanfront retreat is located right next to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, just north of Big Sur. The property consists of 5 handcrafted wood and stone houses. With a total of 11 bedrooms, this Big Sur Airbnb can comfortably accommodate up to 16 guests.
Each cottage is completely unique and blends rustic cabin elements with modern decor. Some feature luxurious chef’s kitchens, stunning living rooms with stone fireplaces, luxe outdoor living spaces, and private pools.
Roaming around the 4-acre property you’ll find cool features like a stone hot tub surrounded by cypress trees, a fire pit with rugged ocean views, a fully outfitted gym, a two-story library, and so much more!
We highly doubt you’ll ever want to leave this Airbnb but if you do the heart of Big Sur is a scenic 30-minute drive away.
10. Modern Cliffside Home Right on the Ocean
If you’re looking to do Big Sur in style, this Airbnb has everything you want. Every aspect of this modern cliffside home is over-the-top in the best of ways. There are outdoor Jack and Jill copper soak tubs on the cliff overlooking the ocean, a dry sauna, an amphitheater with a fire pit, and multiple decks and patios with unbeatable ocean views.
The main house has three bedrooms but it’s possible to rent the on-site studio if you’re traveling as a group of eight or more. This is a great option for an unforgettable getaway with family and friends.
The spacious living room is all open plan with pinewood floors, plenty of windows and skylights, and a wood-burning stove in the center of the room. The luxurious kitchen has a long bar that is perfect for socializing.
With nothing but ocean and mountain views, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere but most of Big Sur’s main attractions are a short drive away.
11. Carmel Highland’s Cabin with Hot Tub
This luxurious cabin is set right on the ocean in the Carmel Highlands, just 20 miles from Big Sur’s major attractions. With four bedrooms, this Airbnb can comfortably fit seven people.
Large windows throughout this 2-story vacation home maximize the redwood and ocean views, while vaulted ceilings, exposed wood beams, and wood floors create a cozy cabin-like atmosphere. With comfy green sofas and chairs, a fireplace, and a 55-inch flat-screen, the living room is perfect for a relaxing movie night.
Each bedroom has distinct features from private decks to writer’s desks to fireplaces. The master bedroom has all sorts of cool features like a rustic wood bed, epic ocean views, and a bathroom with a sauna!
The large massive wraparound deck offers more sweeping views of the ocean. Take advantage of the outdoor grill and enjoy a barbeque meal at the outdoor dining table. If you truly want to unwind after a day exploring Big Sur, head out to the gazebo and go for a soak in the hot tub!
That’s it – 11 of the best Airbnbs in Big Sur! Do you have a favorite vacation rental in Big Sur? Let us know in the comments below.
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