Big Sur vacation rentals

Book unique homes, vacation rentals, and more on Airbnb

When results are available, navigate with up and down arrow keys or explore by touch or swipe gestures.
1 of 3 pages
1 of 3 pages

Popular amenities for Big Sur vacation rentals

Your guide to Big Sur


Big Sur is both a tiny town and a vast region located about two and a half hours south of San Francisco, stretching for 90 miles along California’s Central Coast. Here, you can treat yourself to a rejuvenating weekend getaway full of towering redwood trees, breathtaking 360-degree vistas, stunning cliffs at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and trails for all levels of hikers and cyclists. Take a dip in the Big Sur River at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park before a late lunch in town, or peer through the fog line to catch a glimpse of California condors, a critically endangered species of bird whose wingspan measures up to nine feet. Whether you’re looking for an active retreat or serenity in nature, Big Sur welcomes you.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Big Sur

Fans of dramatic fog and moody beaches will appreciate staying in one of Big Sur’s cabins from late fall through the end of winter, when the region is darker and cooler than the rest of the year. Drive with caution in January, when peak rainfall can result in slippery roads and even mudslides. Sun worshipers, fear not—you can experience Big Sur in golden light and comfort during the late spring and summer, when highs are in the upper 70s Fahrenheit. The signature fog will still make an appearance, but the rain and chilly temperatures, not so much.

Top things to do in Big Sur

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

One visit isn’t enough to fully appreciate the diverse landscapes and activities afforded at this intersection of mountains, forests, river, and ocean. Channel your inner adventurer on the eight-mile Mount Manuel Trail to be rewarded with views of the Santa Lucia Mountains, or enjoy shorter trails that lead to and along the Big Sur River.

McWay Falls

An easy half-mile hike through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park will lead you to McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that flows year-round. Time your trek right to witness the waterfall splashing directly into the Pacific Ocean at high tide.

Bixby Bridge

Built in 1932, this feat of engineering creates a path between staggering cliffs and allows cars to pass 230 feet above Bixby Creek. There are multiple opportunities to pull over for a clear view of the iconic structure that is often featured in car commercials.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is the weather in Big Sur?

    Big Sur's coastal location lends it a moderate climate year-round. Summers are warm, with average highs of around 75°F (24°C), while winters are cooler, with highs typically reaching 59°F (15°C). The area is known for its frequent coastal fog, especially during May and June, which can add a mystical ambiance to your exploration.

  • What are some of the best things to do in Big Sur?

    Big Sur invites you to explore its diverse ecosystem. You can hike through redwood forests, discover hidden beaches, or admire the wildlife at Point Lobos State Reserve. Many travelers also find it rewarding to photograph the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge or to explore the historic Hearst Castle nearby.

  • What is the best time of year to visit Big Sur?

    Spring and fall are often the most popular times to visit Big Sur, thanks to comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds. Local events such as the Big Sur International Marathon in April and the Big Sur Jade Festival in October draw many visitors. Winter offers quieter exploration opportunities, with the annual Gray Whale migration making it a prime time for wildlife watching.

  • What are the best places to stay in Big Sur?

    For those who enjoy being close to nature, accommodations near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are often recommended. The areas around Carmel-By-The-Sea and Monterey are also popular due to their proximity to shopping, dining, and tourist attractions. For a more secluded stay, Ventana Big Sur provides houses nestled in the serene wilderness.

  • What are the best places to visit in Big Sur?

    There are many natural wonders to explore in Big Sur. The frequently recommended spots include McWay Falls, a waterfall that plunges directly into the ocean, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park with its diverse wildlife and landscapes. For a dose of history, visit the Point Sur Lighthouse or Hearst Castle, located just outside of Big Sur.

  • What are some hiking trails in Big Sur?

    Big Sur has numerous hiking trails for all skill levels. The Pfeiffer Falls Trail is a frequently suggested, easy path through a redwood forest leading to a waterfall. For more experienced hikers, the Ewoldsen Trail circles through diverse landscapes with incredible coastal views. Don't miss the Point Lobos trails, where you can spot seals, sea otters, and birdlife.

  • What are some family activities to do in Big Sur?

    Big Sur provides a host of family-friendly activities. You can explore the tide pools at Point Lobos State Reserve, take a nature walk in Andrew Molera State Park, or visit the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Whale watching tours are also popular, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the marine life.

  • What are some of the best day trip ideas in Big Sur?

    Big Sur's prime location allows for a variety of day trips. You can explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium, take a scenic drive along the 17-Mile Drive, or visit the charming town of Carmel-By-The-Sea. For those interested in history, the Hearst Castle is a fascinating site just a short drive away.

Destinations to explore

  1. Airbnb
  2. United States
  3. California
  4. Monterey County
  5. Big Sur