Places To Stay Along The Northern California Coast

March 29, 2011

Where are some nice places to stay along the Northern California coast? Ideally within a few hours of San Francisco!

March 29, 2011

Rimi's answer about accommodation in Carmel and Big Sur

The Pacific Highway Coast along the states of California, Oregon and Washington provides rugged coastline, breathtaking views and one of the best scenic drives. Staying near the coast for some days cane be wonderfully relaxing. I have suggested three destinations near to San Francisco. I found some very pretty places to stay as well. Hope you like them!

Splash down! Waves roll in to the Pacific Coast, Gray Whale Cove, California, USA (Source: Wonderlane Wonderlane) 

Point Reyes Station

View Larger Map

 (Source: San Francisco, CA to Point Reyes Station, CA - Google Maps) 

The drive from San Francisco to Point Reyes is amazing. You will have to stop a number of times. So be prepared to be late. smiley The beach here can get pretty crowded. We had to wait a long time to get there. But I think since you are going on weekdays it won't be that crowded.  If there is not much traffic it will take you around one and half an hour to reach this place.

Check out this link for Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes Lighthouse (Source: Anita Ritenour) 


Stay in one of these places and enjoy amazing views of the sea shore.

1. Point Reyes Station Inn (Recommended)

Point Reyes Station Inn:
P.O. Box 824
11591 Highway One
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Telephone: 415-663-9372
Email: ptreyesinn@gmail.com


A hidden gem along the Pacific Coast, this inn is a great place to escape from boring, mundane life. Just 15 minutes from the beaches, this place is a great find. Here is a what a traveler says:

nice garden and landscaping, convenient location, relatively quiet given its proximity to the highway, friendly inn keeper (yes, that was out experience), hot tub, pet friendly, animal friends on premises, farm fresh hard boiled eggs for breakfast, nice great room for eating breakfast, fireplace in room, mineral water in room was a nice touch.

(Source: Point Reyes Station Inn (Point Reyes Station, CA) - Inn Reviews - TripAdvisor) 

Nightly Rates $125 onwards (you will be eligible for mid-week discount)

2. Point Reyes Vineyard Inn

12700 Highway #1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Call Steve and Sharon Doughty for Reservations
(415) 663-1011
(800) 516-1011


This Inn boasts f a romantic setting, with lots of birds around and a Koi pond. Sounds really good. The Winery here has wine tasting opportunities for the guests. A fresh breakfast is served everyday for the guests that includes fresh fruit, eggs, hot cereal, pastries and yogurt. Here is a review:


We stayed with our 9 and 13 year old kids for 2 nights, and had the whole place to ourselves the first night. It was great! The vineyard is adjacent to the property, and Steve and Sharon live in the house next door. They have lots of great recommendations on what to see in do in the Point Reyes area, and they are wonderfuls hosts. We hiked around their property, which encompasses the vineyard and about 3 miles beyond it. They also used to own the dairy farm next door, now owned by their daughter and son-in-law. The kids played with their friendly dogs, and we sampled the wines at the tasting room next door (tasting is included with your stay).

 (Source: Point Reyes Vineyard Inn (Point Reyes Station)TripAdvisor) 

Nightly Rates $150 onwards


View Larger Map

 (Source: San Francisco, CA to Rio Rd, Carmel, CA - Google Maps) 

This lovely town by the sea is only around 2 hours drive from San Francisco. Plenty of nice B & B's to relax. I found these two among a few that were available on the dates you mentioned. Lots of things to see and do nearby. If you have not been here before Carmel will charm you!

Shade at Carmel River Beach (Source: Brian McIntyre) 


Chose the one you like among my suggestions and enjoy a relaxing vacation!

1. Carmel Mission Inn (Recommended)

3665 Rio Road
Carmel CA 93923
Telephone 831 624 1841
Fax 831 624 8684


This inn has an amazing location. Its near to both Monterey and Big Sur. So if you want you can cover a lot of nearby attractions. The breakfast is a great  way to start your day. Here is a review:

I was impressed when I saw the room but was really impressed when I saw the price! It was the best value of our entire trip. The king room was roomy and clean and more upscale than I thought. We upgraded for about $10 for the breakfast and believe me....we were not disappointed! It was wonderful. The breakfast was huge and beautiful. This is a very nice place to stay with a great location and in close proximity to the entire area. I will definitely stay here again. (Source: Carmel Mission Inn (Carmel, CA) - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisor) 

Nightly Rates $114 onwards

2. Pine Inn

Ocean Avenue between Lincoln St. and Monte Verde St., Carmel, CA 93921 800-228-3851

Pine Inn was the first hotel built in Carmel by the sea. Parking, breakfast and WIFI is complimentary. Take a look at this review:

Overall, the hotel is very nice and peaceful - they have successfully retained the character of the building but in my opinion could invest a little more in updating the feel. The room was big enough, quite and we had a good night's sleep.

The staff were couteous, helpful and friendly - the lady on the desk Carla - was quirky and funny (in a good way) and really really really friendly. I met a guy in the morning who I assumed to be the manager - he was also friendly and helpful and gave me some ideas for my onward journey.

 (Source: Pine Inn (Carmel, CA) - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisor) 

Nightly rates $179 onwards

Big Sur

View Larger Map

 (Source: San Francisco, CA to Big Sur, CA - Google Maps) 

Big Sur is almost in Central California. Around 3 hours drive from San Francisco. Since you wanted options in Northern part, I thought a lot before recommending it. But trust me it is such a  beautiful place, that I could not resist myself from mentioning it. Since I have been there, I recommend it to every one I know. However while doing the research I found, there are some problems in Highway 1 right now. So to reach Big Sur you will have to take a detour. Here are the details:

Access to all the businesses in Big Sur is still open via Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. At this point, all visitors must use Nacimiento-Ferguson road, which is a very beautiful, 2-lane country road. Please take your time and enjoy this road as it can be more dangerous with a lot of traffic on it. The map below was built when we were just directing travelers from the north to N-F road but you can still use this to chart your course from the South.

Visitors wanting to use Highway 1 to drive clear through this section of coastline will not be able to do this until further notice. We are expecting this closure to last one month but are hopeful that we will have a solution to open one lane soon.

 (Source: Highway 1 Conditions in Big Sur, California) 

Check this page here for a map of the detour.

Mcway Waterfall (Source: Friends, Fun, and Finally...a Waterfall) 


A few days in Big Sur is definitely going to rejuvenate you! If this is the first time you are visiting here, Big Sur will cast a spell on you and you are bound to return for more later. Here are some places where you can spend the night amidst nature and comfort.

1. Glen Oaks Big Sur (Recommended)

Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
+1 831.667.2105

A top rated property from Tripadvisor, Glen Oaks has different kind of rooms, standard, cabins, cottages. The pictures look awesome. Stay close to the nature and enjoy its sights and sounds. The travelers have given raving reviews, here is one:

The rooms are reasonably priced and nicely renovated. My fav touch was the warmed floors. The bathroom was really modern and the location is right off the 1 so no scary drive through dirt paths in the middle of the night. Good place for couples and people who want to experience nature but at the comforts of a nice modern style home. There is also a restaurant across the street that gives you a free drink if you give them a coupon provided by the hotel.

 (Source: Glen Oaks Big Sur (Big Sur, CA) - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisor) 

Nightly rates $155 onwards

2. Big Sur Lodge (Recommended)

47225 Highway One, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Big Sur, CA 93920

I am recommending this one, since it is on Highway 1. So if Highway 1 is closed further south you can easily stay here and cover the attractions nearby. This lodge is inside Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. I would highly recommend you visit the nearby Pfeiffer Beach. Ask for directions at your hotel front desk. I found this beach beautiful.

Big Sur Lodge

Pfeifferl Beach at Big Sur California (Source: Chris Willis) 

Here is a review for the lodge:

In an age when when are permanently connected, it was a refreshing change to not have a TV, phone & internet connection. Gave the brain a chance to completely switch off, breathe some fresh air and properly relax. The on-site restaurant was lovely, we had a great meal there.

Big Sur Lodge (Big Sur, CA) - Lodge Reviews - TripAdvisor (Source: Big Sur Lodge (Big Sur, CA) - Lodge Reviews - TripAdvisor) 

Nightly rates $169 onwards

I hope you like my recommendations. If you chose any one of them do come back for suggestions on things to do in those places. We will be more than happy to help!

Have a fabulous vacation!


 (Source: Steve Jurvetson) 

Answered by I am a dreamer. Passionate about books, traveling, food, music...basically all the good things of life. I love writing too. Rimi Mukherjee

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