If you followed our last post you’ll know that we started this honeymoon adventure up in San Francisco and had just made it to the gorgeous surfer town of Santa Cruz. Come with us now for epic nature, an insanely luxe hotel and a super tacky one rounded off by a gig in a bowl. Yep, a bowl.
Leaving Santa Cruz, it’s just a few towns down the highway until you get to that bit. You know, that bit from the movies, the postcards and that song by The Thrills: Big Sur.
No matter how many times you’ve seen the scenes on the screen or read all the guide books, each twist of the road made us gasp with wonder and every mountain side tunnel think of chase scenes from Fast and Furious. Considering it’s literally just a two lane road, finding our next stop proves harder than we thought, a couple of three points later we drive into the property of a ridiculously luxe hotel which starts to rationalise why we booked so many cheap motels for this trip.
Post Ranch Inn is an astonishing ranch turned eco luxury hotel right on the coast. As you google prices and realise that we were really fucking mad to stay here - book yourself in for lunch at Sierra Mar instead where you can grab delicious food, with a California wine flight (if you aren’t driving that is) in a floor to ceiling glass restaurant looking out on the ocean.
Yep, you did just die and go to heaven.
If you can, though, definitely stay in the area, the night sky is clear and it smells incredible of moss and wood. We hear there’s hippy hot springs (Esalen Hot Springs) you can bathe in in the middle of the night, I guess we’ll just have to go back for those.
Before leaving, miss the car entrance to Pfeiffer Beach multiple times before you make your descent to the purple sanded beach.
Yep, you died again.
From the effortless beauty of Big Sur leave the echoes of Kerouac and that celeb who stayed there last week behind and head to the opposite; the infamous Madonna Inn. Think tacky Madonna c. late 80s - this is where she would hang out. It's the most hideously amazing theme park 80s horror you have ever seen; from the pink and gold steak restaurant, the frog noises from the pink lit fountains to the 'german style' coffeehouse with its epic carrot cake... your eyes won’t know where to look.
And boy, if you choose to stay here; you are in for a treat. Sadly the Love Nest room was booked out on our visit (as someone was getting married on the property - squeee) so we were across the way in our cherub’ed, turreted room, Just Like Heaven.
This is tacky instagram heaven, definitely get a souvenir goblet or wine cooler.
Leaving Madonna Inn must be akin to being kicked out of the spaceship when the aliens are bored of you. But never fear, only a couple hours of drive to get to the too-cute-to-be-true all-american university town of Santa Barbara. This is really like being in a movie with hacienda style bungalow houses, a strip of high end shops, tacos, pizza, ice-cream and a pier. We rated Patxi’s Pizza and McConnells Icecream. If you are passing this way, check out who is playing at the Bowl ; an outdoor music venue above the town, with a view of the ocean. We joined all the local jocks and party girls for Chromeo, their metallic later guitars playing perfectly into our 80s americana fantasies.
Now, don't do what we did and drive to LA late at night. That shit’s cray. More on that later.