Best Value Lodging Options in Big Sur

Best Value Lodging Options in Big Sur

Should a traveler to the Monterey Peninsula of California be so inspired, they could spend upwards of $5,000 on lodging for a given trip, easy. That wouldn’t be to finance a house for a week, but a single room, for one night. This list of the best value hotels in Big Sur is the antidote to that sort of spending — without sacrificing the luxury. And while camping is the way to stretch the greenbacks, it still is wise to book very early. Big Sur is a worldwide beacon.

A helpful reminder therein: Value doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, it demonstrates the most quality for a fair price.

One way each of the following spots delivers on that axiom is by maximizing access, visually and geographically, to the wonders of the Pacific Coast, buttressed by a range of creature comforts and superior service. So without further ado or breathless adjectives, here appear our picks for the best value hotels in Big Sur, as selected by our editors — look for our readers’ choice winner, selected by our audience.

Featured photo: Courtesy of Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins

Big Sur Cabins Campground-Monterey Peninsula-best value hotels in big sur
Photo: Courtesy of Big Sur Campgrounds & Cabins

Big Sur Campgrounds & Cabins

It’s family first here, with a wonderland of endeavors to explore, starting with splashing in the Big Sur River and wandering among the towering redwoods, with all the sensorial joy available inches from where you rest your head. 

Tent and RV camping are high-value plays to embrace life on the forest floor, and there are also a range of cabin possibilities, from rustic cabins for the more wild and free to more extensively equipped — think kitchens and fireplaces — for more those for whose default gear is glamping. 

It’s a great option for group getaways as well. 

HIGHLIGHTS: Pretty much every campsite tucks into a redwood grove, and the basin that hosts the grounds is flat and easily navigable.

Fernwood Campground & Resort

When you’re a legendary venue in a legendary place, that’s saying something. But such is the case with Fernwood, a locals favorite and magnet for touring musicians, who perform in the timeless saloon-restaurant and in the fields below for occasional festivals. 

A number of campsites, “tent cabins” and modular lodging all nestle amid redwoods and adjacent to meadows, many along Big Sur River. Roadside rooms provide another option, and are positioned next to the general store and Fernwood Bar & Grill, where the food is hearty and underrated and the setting proves habit-forming, truly one of the best value hotels in Big Sur. 

Big Sur residents nicknamed Fernwood “The Dog” long ago, and it’s a rare breed indeed.

HIGHLIGHTS: The expanded decks off the restaurant-bar overlook the camping valley below, and come complete with fire pits and a surrounding circle of redwoods.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

The South Coast’s most famous campground is also the toughest place to get a reservation — though winning the concert-ticket-style click-off — is worth it.

Several epic trails shoot off from edges of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, to a waterfall, a locally famous gorge and (for the more ambitious) the Ventana Wilderness.

Meanwhile, the park’s Big Sur Lodge presents a great gift shop and worthy restaurant, picnic areas welcome bigger groups, and rustic rooms provide an alternative to camping.

HIGHLIGHTS: Pretty much every campsite tucks into a redwood grove, and the basin that hosts the grounds is flat and easily navigable.

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