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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Banish the Big City in Big Sur

With its rugged beauty and bohemian vibe, the coastline south of Monterey, California, represents the antithesis to urban living. Think tree-house hotels, kelp forests, and coed, naked hot springs.

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1. Where to Stay


A tree-house room at the Post Ranch Inn.  

The Post Ranch Inn’s (from $550) 30 polished rooms, perched 1,200 feet above the Pacific, have wood-burning fireplaces, marble tubs, and a marked absence of televisions and clocks. Relive a childhood fantasy by booking one of the seven Tree House Rooms, built on stilts in the branches of century-old oaks.

The Ventana Inn and Spa (from $430), located directly across Highway 1, is similarly posh, if less quirky. Stroll the 243-acre grounds in a plush bathrobe and slippers, or throw on hiking boots to explore the surrounding redwood groves and wildflower meadows. Wash away your cares in cedar-lined, Japanese-style tubs—or, more daringly, the swimsuit-optional pool.

Thirty-five miles south of Ventana, the rustic Treebones Resort (from $145) lines up sixteen Mongolian-style yurts on a hillside connecting the Pacific coast to Los Padres National Forest. Though amenities are basic (yurts have sinks, but bathrooms and showers are communal), the huts have been outfitted with French doors and domed skylights, and there’s a hot tub and heated pool outside the main lodge.


May 16, 2007 issue of New York Magazine

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