Deciding between Carmel and Big Sur

Old Oct 7th, 2002, 08:03 AM
  #1  
Jeff
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Deciding between Carmel and Big Sur

Hey! Would appreciate any feeback from fodorites!! Driving down the coast from Napa to Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur. I know its far, but really don't want to leave area without seeing it! Trying to decide if we should stay in Big Sur, which looks beautiful or stay in Carmel. We aren't the shopping gallery kinda people, just want to enjoy the scenery, have a great meal and relax! Any opinions?? Would really appreciate it! Thanks,
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 08:56 AM
  #2  
Susan
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Jeff, budget may make the decision for you. The few accomodations in the Big Sur area are pricey, $350 and up per night. Unless you want to camp or stay in a rustic cabin. If that fits within your budget and you want nature versus shopping, I'd have a look at the Post Ranch Inn or Ventana Inn. If these are out of your price range, you'll have more options in Carmel. Carmel is a beautiful area and also worthy of a visit.
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 09:04 AM
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x
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if budget is a consideration, monterrey is usually cheaper and still close enough to drive to big sur, carmel.
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 10:40 PM
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Diana
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Check out the Big Sur Lodge in the state campgrounds. It's between $100 and $200--the rooms (kind of cabin-like separate structures) may have kitchens or fireplaces. If you have the Entertainment Book, you can get half price 30 days before you arrive if there are vacancies. The Lodge is in teh state park with great hiking (or strolling). Big Sur is really special and not to be missed. There may be even less expensive places--check Big Sur Campground and Riverside Campground--I believe each of them have a few cabins for rent. If you just want to 'enjoy the scenery, have a great meal and relax" you can't beat Big Sur.
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 11:55 PM
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Michelle
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JUST GOT BACK from my first trip to Carmel, Big Sur, & Monterey. Went from Frisco. Sorry, but Monterey rates just OK til I got to Carmel & Big Sur. Take the (is it 14 or 17?) mile drive between Monterey & Carmel. Pebble Beach golf course along the way. MUST! it's a toll, but absolutely beautiful. Many many photo opportunities. We stayed in Carmel at the Pine Inn (inexpensive, quaint and old-world charm and luxury, request a jacuzzi) would keep to Carmel for accom. Big Sur was pretty, but drive there is best part. did I say skip Monterey?
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 03:34 AM
  #6  
cedar
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Best rates would be in Monterey...you should take a couple of days and explore from there.
Or if you don't mind paying more...my very favorite place is the Tickle Pink in the Carmel Highlands...overlooking the Pacific...also a good location to explore from.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2002, 07:02 AM
  #7  
J Correa
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I'd choose Big Sur over Carmel since I'm not a shopping and gallery person either. If I wanted to stay in town, I would choose Monterey.
 
Old Oct 15th, 2002, 11:29 AM
  #8  
fred
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I'd spend as little time in Monterey as possible to say I've been there and then head to Big Sur. We stayed at the Ripplewood Resort - it's cabins actually and loved it - you can find their website by typing the name in Google. If you can swing it, get a cabin by the river - no TV but who needs it there. There are some great restaurants in Big Sur but we made do with easy meals, though breakfast at Ripplewood is as good as anywhere. If you went to both Monterey and Big Sur you'd be wishing you spent more time in Big Sur and less in Monterey. The scenery is great, and the rangers at the Park headquarters can give you plenty of ideas of what to see easily if you want to do more than just drive along US 1.
 
Old Oct 15th, 2002, 12:42 PM
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J Correa
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Fred - It's good to hear from someone who has stayed at Ripplewood and enjoyed it. I've seen their web site and been interested to hear from someone who has stayed there.

 
Old Oct 15th, 2002, 06:57 PM
  #10  
Carol
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Although I haven't been there in about 4 years, one of my favorite places to eat is at the funky but wonderous Dietzgens (spelling?)
cabin place. The food was excellent (rare for Big Sur short of the very upscale resorts) and best of all the room was low ceilinged, wood, dark, and comfy; it felt as if we were dining in an 18 century inn.
Even if you go to Big Sur, three places that are special in Carmel are the beach itself, and the handbuilt stone house of poet Robinson Jeffers, open to tours by appointment, but nice just to see from the outside despite its location in a residential neighborhood. Also not ever ever to be missed is the Carmel mission, from the early days of the Spanish conquest of California; it is huge, interesting archetecture and cloister and artifacts and mood and...
 
Old Oct 16th, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #11  
Vanessa
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Hi Jeff,

Big Sur is soooo beautiful! If you decide not to stay at the Ventana Inn, at least consider stopping there for lunch. The outside deck of the restaurant overlooks the redwoods and it is a beautiful spot. It's a magnificent place to stop along your trip to the Ventana coast.
 
Old Oct 17th, 2002, 12:50 AM
  #12  
Dave
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I USED to think Big Sur was really beautiful until I saw all of the Hawaiian islands. Now it is just one big Y A W N ! ! BUT -- if I had to choose between the two, it definitely would be Big Sur!
 
Old Oct 20th, 2002, 04:47 PM
  #13  
Rita
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We're going in a month. I'm wondering about the drive between Carmel and Big Sur...how long...how intimidating...very windy???etc. precipitous?
Also, has anyone been to Point Lobos Park in Carmel. It "reads" great for tidal pools etc
What about Pacific Grove and its Monarch butterflies?...and, lastly, what about the Highlands Inn in Carmel?
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 06:51 AM
  #14  
J Correa
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I don't think the drive from Carmel down to Big Sur is intimidating. The really windy part is below the "town" of Big Sur. I like the road, but if you are afraid of heights or aren't used to driving on curvy roads, it might make you nervous.

Point Lobos is a great state park, I would definitely recommend stopping there.

I've never seen the Monarchs in PG, but I have seen them in Santa Cruz at Natural Bridges and it is really beautiful.
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 08:42 PM
  #15  
Diana
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It's about a 45 minute drive from Carmel to Big Sur.
 
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