Glen Oaks Big Sur: Redwoods, S'mores, Peace

Retreat to the woods -- near the ocean -- for a night of quiet and nature-communing.

BOTH, PRETTY PLEASE: It's a common party question, when travelers and travelers-at-heart gather, and one just about everyone has an answer to: Do you prefer the ocean or the mountains? "Both" is a common answer, with a laugh, but then the question-asker prods further, saying that a choice must be made. But many a traveler, and traveler-at-heart, knows that the spirit of the mountains -- streams and huge redwoods and snug woodsy cabins -- and the spirit of the ocean -- condors and crashing surf and briny breezes -- exist in concert in Big Sur. It's one of the area's bliss-centered, view-bedecked, whale-wonderful strong points, of many, and it just goes to show that you can have your ocean and mountains on the same day, no difficult decisions necessary. Look to Glen Oaks Big Sur, the stay-over that features both a stylish built-in-1957 motel on its Highway 1-close grounds and a deeper-in clutch of cabins. And when we say "deeper-in" we mean further into the property's impressive grove of stately redwoods, the kind of old trees that seem to keep company with the sky (and, depending upon your from-the-ground perspective, also seem to whisper secrets to each other via their upper branches). To get your cabin-cute, redwood-adjacent mountain night in during your Big Sur jaunt, after a day of watching for whales and condors along the nearby cliffs, book a...

LITTLE SUR CABIN... with Glen Oaks, or one of the larger cabins that dot the spacious, path-wending grounds (Big Sur Cabin, Sycamore Cabin, Redwood Cabin). Fire pits and Adirondack chairs are at the ready outside, and there's a burbler of a stream to wander down to (and the occasional wild turkey sighting; perhaps they're bird-buddies with Big Sur's famous condors?). A s'mores kit, inside the cabin, for an additional fee, is guaranteed to make fingers stickier near the fire pit, and possibly a few strands of hair, too, depending on which way the breeze blows or how messy you are regarding marshmallow consumption. The interior touches of the snug cabins, like their mid-century motel counterparts, are modern, well-appointed, eco-conscious, and unfussy as all get-out.

POST-S'MORES DINNER: Adding to the outdoors-nice, s'mores-eating scene? The cabins are TV-free. But if you need some hubbub, saunter up the path -- the front desk'll give you a map -- to the Big Sur Roadhouse, the property's adventurous-of-plate eatery (call it Big Sur Chic, which means casual and classy and craft-beer-y). It's another element of your mountain getaway, with the ocean just over that ridge over there. So, yes, "both" is an acceptable answer when it comes to longing for both mountains and ocean over the course of one weekend. Glen Oaks has you covered on the mountain end of that delightful duo and the Pacific? Drive about five minutes and you'll see it (but wash the s'mores from your fingertips first or else you'll make your steering wheel pretty goopy).

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