Driving California’s Big Sur coast from Cambria to Carmel, baby boomer road trippers won’t find accommodations with a finer view than at Ragged Point Inn. Although the rooms are not the most luxurious in this isolated portion of central California, the cliff-side location more than makes up for the nondescript decor. And the restaurant serves excellent food focused on local products.
Alan and I spent a night at Ragged Point Inn during last year’s coastal California sports car road trip. A boomer friend had advised us to stop there, at least to take in the view and enjoy a meal. Driving into the parking lot, we discovered more than a grand view. The complex included a 30-room hotel, restaurant, gift shop, art gallery, mini-mart and gas station. And, although we knew about the inn’s dramatic perch over the Pacific Ocean, the prolific gardens that surrounded Ragged Point Inn were a delightful surprise.
Alan and I stayed in a room that Ragged Point Inn designates as one of the newer luxury rooms, with a south-facing clifftop view. Although we didn’t use it, the fireplace would have been a romantic touch on a cold evening. The deck included two adirondack style chairs, convenient for watching the day begin while sipping a cup of coffee provided by the in-room coffee maker.
The glass-walled restaurant overlooked that garden that I’ve already raved about. The fresh salmon dinner accompanied by local wine from San Luis Obsipo came with surprisingly good service considering our isolated location. The only mistake we made was going on up the road the next morning for breakfast rather than taking the time to enjoy eggs benedict with that view.
Ragged Point Inn also has a trail that leads down the cliff to a secluded beach. During our visit the trail was closed. To be honest, I’m not sure that this baby boomer would have braved it due to its steepness.
Another heads up. We had been advised that Ragged Point Inn is popular with bus tours. Our boomer luck held out— no buses crowded the parking lot or the facility. The peaceful beauty that we experienced would have been far different with several bus loads of tourists to share it with.
If you’re planning to stay several days, Ragged Point Inn makes a convenient headquarters for visiting Hearst Castle in San Simeon. And, of course, baby boomer animal enthusiasts will want to spend time walking the boardwalks at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery for an up close encounter with a seal colony. Boomer photographers could spend days checking out the wildlife and scenic photo opportunities along this portion of the California coast.