by Gabrielle Antonette and Carrie Nusbaum
Do we go to Big Sur all the time? Not really, but sometimes it seems like it. Every time we go we find some new spots, so we aren't bored yet. This time we went up for a few days to check out the Woodsist Festival, hosted at the Henry Miller Library. We're sort of averse to music festivals, but it seems like the Woodsist people have really figured out how to do it well. It's an intimate two-day festival, cool and mellow, which is appropriate considering the generally very peaceful vibes of Big Sur. The crowd is small, but stylish and fun to watch and chat with while lounging on the lawn between sets. They let you bring food/snacks, and had some craft beer and wine for purchase.
We camped at the Plaskett Creek campground, which is towards the southern end of the Big Sur area, a 40 minute drive from the Henry Miller Library. Although the campground got great reviews online, we were surprised that the camp sites were actually pretty close together, and with little privacy in between. Not a big deal, but good to know for future reference. Also there were pretty limited tree options for the hammock campers among us (we had to rig up to a BBQ, haha). One definite perk is that the campground is across the street from Sand Dollar Beach, which is probably our second favorite beach in the area, and a great place to hang for an afternoon.
We kind of stumbled upon the Big Sur Bakery on this trip. It's a little bit hidden behind the tiny Shell station, and it turned out to be such gem. It's a great alternative to Nepenthe, if you can't find a spot in their lot at lunch time. The view isn't epic, but they do have a nice big patio in back, and the food is so good. We had the best strudel...possibly ever. They also have big sandwiches, with the most delicious homemade bread, and a full coffee bar. And cell service! Perfect.
We also stopped at one of our favorite places, Deetjen's Restaurant, for an early dinner one night. We stopped in a little bit too early (we weren't sure when they opened; dinner is 6-9p), but the very sweet hostess let us in so we could make a reservation. We had to wait a half hour or so, but she gave us a map of the property and suggested a little walk. It turns out that if you follow the service road to the back of the inn, it winds up around the hill, and yields those classic Big Sur ocean views. If you walk up maybe a quarter mile, there's a very sweet bench that overlooks the water, and at dusk, it's magic. Like potential-engagement-locale kind of magic, for those of you who are making plans like that. Overall it was a sweet, short trip! And we'll probably be back again soon.