big sur babymoon.

48 hours in Big Sur, California!

Though it feels like yesterday, {cv} and I have been back from our Big Sur babymoon for over a month! I finally had the chance to sit down and go through some photos to capture the highlights of our trip. {cv} planned the whole thing as a surprise, so I knew nothing about the destination other than the predicted weather. When we boarded our flight to the west coast in Boston, I was still in the dark about our final destination. {I knew we were flying to San Francisco, but that was it!}

When we landed in San Francisco, we made our way to the rental car facility and scored a convertible. {cv} hopped in the driver's seat and pointed the GPS southbound. This wasn't our first rodeo on US Highway 1: we took a quick trek down the California coast in 2011. While I was still in the dark about where we would eventually land, I had a hunch it might be Big Sur. {We spent a fantastic afternoon there in 2011; it had also come up numerous times as a place we would like to return one day.} After a quick spin down 17-Mile Drive, {cv} kept heading southbound. When he pulled in Ventana Inn in Big Sur, I was positively giddy. I had dreamed of staying there for ages! From start to finish, {cv} continuously knocked it out of the park with this surprise babymoon. This photo-heavy post will illustrate his handiwork...

the drive down to Big Sur, California!

the drive down to Big Sur, California!

48 hours in Big Sur, California!

When we finally got settled in our room, it was much past this pregnant lady's bedtime. {The time difference was no joke!} We ended up making the short walk to the restaurant on property for a taste of Californian cuisine, which was both tasty and beautifully plated. Though the picture below was taken during one of our breakfasts, you can see that the view from Ventana was one for the record books. The entire resort exceeded our expectations by ten thousand percent. Though it was certainly a splurge for us, we soaked up every minute -- be it in the hammock off our room or watching the stars on a crystal clear night. 

48 hours in Big Sur, California!

a Big Sur babymoon.
{TOP VIA TJMAXX | NECKLACE | SUNGLASSESMATERNITY JEANS}

During our days in Big Sur, we spent a good deal of our time driving up and down the coast. Whether grabbing dinner or hiking the coast, {cv} and I had the chance to see the beauty of Big Sur up close and personal. A few of our favorite stops included:
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: {cv} arranged a photo safari through our hotel, which was essentially a three-hour session with a talented local photographer. {We were not the subjects -- the coastline was!} This was, hands down, one of the highlights of our trip. We caught golden hour at McWay Falls, which was truly a sight to behold. During this little excursion, we learned about the fantastic hiking trails around the park. {cv} and I came back bright and early the next day and took a nearly two-hour hike. The cell phone photos from the vista don't do it justice, but the views will be forever emblazoned in my memory. One point of note: the trail wasn't particularly well marked, so take a bit more precaution than we did before we started our trek ;)
  • Pfeiffer Beach: Though the name may be the same, this is not to be confused with the previously mentioned state park. We caught another sunset here and would highly recommend you do the same. The rock formations and the gorgeous sandy beaches made for a stunning sunset from nearly every angle. {Scroll down just a bit to see those photos -- I'm sporting a sweater and jeans in the middle of our Pfeiffer photos.} Though we didn't picnic here, we did bring a pair of ice cream bars for dessert. {cv} knows the way to my heart.
48 hours in Big Sur, California!

48 hours in Big Sur, California!

a Big Sur babymoon.

48 hours in Big Sur, California!

Beyond our favorite sunset spots and hiking trails, {cv} and I scored some tasty meals along the coast. asdfas
  • Nepenthe: As repeat visitors, {cv} and I knew to hit Nepenthe off "peak" dining hours. We made our way for an early dinner the night of our photo safari and were immediately seated with an incredible view of the coastline. {Reservations not accepted}
  • Big Sur Taphouse: Far from fancy, this roadside find was the perfect choice for a relaxed dinner in Big Sur. The portions were hearty and {cv} enjoyed a few brews. The patio out back was ideal for a short, quick meal or a long, lingering feast. We opted for a short meal before catching the sunset at Pfeiffer Beach, but we almost returned after the sun went down. {Reservations not necessary}
  • Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant: Though we only grabbed pastries from the bakery, we would certainly consider a sit-down meal on a future visit to Big Sur. With killer ambiance, it is worth the hype. Their homemade graham crackers took our in-room s'mores at Ventana to an entirely new level. Our room had a cozy fireplace for the colder coastal nights. {Reservations highly recommended for the restaurant; not necessary for the bakery}
  • We did not make it to Deetjen's, so I can't speak with authority on their food...but their parking lot told the story. It was always packed! From our frequent drive-bys, the entire property looked fantastic. Beyond the restaurant, they also have an inn, which looked equally as charming. {Reservations highly recommended}
48 hours in Big Sur, California!

Doing a solid visit of Big Sur in 48 hours is absolutely doable. With two nights to catch beautiful sunsets, the days are ideal for hiking and exploring the beauty of this slice of America. You'll also be able to get your fill of fabulous food. Big Sur has it all. Here are a few other pointers before you go:
  • Prepare for terrible cell service. Regardless of your carrier, reception is not ideal. While wonderful for a social media hiatus, you'll actually need to look at a map and plan ahead. The flashing blue dot on Google Maps will not be there to guide you ;)
  • Pack an extra sweater. On both of our visits {in May 2011 and again in July 2014}, the temperatures were lovely in the daytime. The evenings definitely cooled down. Even with my internal heater {aka baby bump}, I was chilly at night. 
  • If you are renting a car and can swing a convertible, it is worth every single penny. You can truly immerse yourself in the beauty {and smells} of the California coast. 
  • Regardless of where you stay, Big Sur is an incredible landing point for spots all along the coast. Be aware though: their days do not start as early as you might expect. We couldn't find any coffee shops before 8:00am on the day of our longer hike.
  • Should you choose to do Big Sur for your babymoon, you will love it. I would recommend going when you're still comfortable and mobile. We chatted a few other couples who went later in pregnancy and were more hotel-bound. I was 20 weeks at the time of our trip and it was truly the sweet spot. I was finally showing, but I was still able to squeeze in tougher hike. 

If you're debating a trip to Big Sur, I hope this post tipped you over the edge. I'll be forever grateful for the days we shared here before baby {v}'s arrival. Hats off to my amazing and thoughtful husband for making it all possible! If you're a veteran of Big Sur and have other spots to add to this list, please share them! It may be a few years before {cv} and I return, but we are already plotting our trip. xoxo {av}

12 comments:

  1. SO beautiful! I'm so glad you two had the most beautiful time :)

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  2. Beautiful pictures! It looks like a wonderful trip!

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  3. Gorgeous pictures, glad you had a wonderful time.

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  4. Chris is a KEEPER! what an amazing trip, your photos are gorgeous! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  5. GORGEOUS! big sur but mostly you (:

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  6. So pretty, now I"m going to have to plan a trip to big sur!

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  7. What a pretty place! Glad you had a great time :)

    Alyssa
    www.feathersandstripes.com

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  8. Definitely just sent this to the boyfriend to get him interested for our next vacation!

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  9. Your photos are amazing. I still need to post mine! I want to seriously move out there. I am so glad you had an amazing time... Now, we need to go back!
    -Becky
    The Pumpkin Spot

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