Nestled on the banks of a meandering river, the historic Big Sur River Inn has welcomed visitors since 1934. The 20-room inn has long been famous as “the place with the chairs in the river.” These iconic Adirondack chairs are emblematic of the laid-back and rustic charms of this picturesque hotel.
Stay in one of the two-room suites, where a deck offers river views, or choose one of the motel-style rooms for a heightened feeling of privacy. No matter which you choose, there’s an inviting sense of folksiness and fun about the place that’s irresistible.
Rooms: Natural materials, hardwood paneling and stunning ocean and forest photography reflect the eco-friendly ambience of Big Sur. Soft, organic bedding in fresh white cotton and cozy teal throws complete the rustic atmosphere of the bedrooms, which are spacious enough for a family.
Splashes: Old-fashioned charm reigns in the bathrooms with wrought-iron fixtures and lots of light. There’s a very kid-friendly heated pool, but most folks can’t resist a chance to splash in the waters of the Big Sur River, which snakes through the property. Tubing is a must, as is sipping cocktails while listening to the rushing water or the live bands that play on weekends.
Extras: The on-site restaurant specializes in hearty and kid-friendly fare, including ginormous burgers and fondue-style s’mores. Stock up on essentials, like river tubes, water shoes and sunscreen, at the quaint general store, which also offers local wine and savory burritos. There’s also a super- funky ice cream truck and convenient gas station.
Details: Rooms are $150-$395. 46800 Highway 1, Big Sur; bigsurriverinn.com