Living in a connected world is a beautiful thing…until it becomes a disruption to peace and relaxation. Like many of you, we at Boingo find that the Internet, the gadgets and the constant connectivity sometimes impede our ability to kick back and live in the present. So while we’re in the business of keeping you online in as many places as possible, we also think it’s healthy to unplug now and then.
Recently, we unplugged with a getaway to Big Sur, a coastal mountainous region in the Central Coast of California about 120 miles south of San Francisco and 245 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Big Sur offers stunning views of the ocean and foothills, lush hiking trails and a down-to-earth vibe. But the big thing missing in Big Sur? Cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity. And that’s not so bad when you need to completely unwind.
We stayed two nights in the lovely Little Gem cabin at the Heart Circle Mountain Ranch, a 36-acre private expanse located on a secluded hilltop about two miles off Highway 1. Little Gem features a stocked kitchenette, dinette with skylight, queen-sized memory foam mattress, wood-burning stove, claw-foot tub, wraparound deck and BBQ grill. Every item in the cabin — from the furnishings to the utensils — had clearly been selected by someone with taste and a preference for quality. That someone is Brianne, the gracious owner of Heart Circle Mountain Ranch. Brianne checked us in and offered a wealth of information about the property (which includes two other very unique retreats), as well as activities in Big Sur.
Heart Circle Mountain is only several miles away from several Big Sur must-sees, including nine state parks and scenic beaches. Our favorite was Pfeiffer Beach (pictured above), where we explored secret coves, played smashball and dozed on the sand. Before getting started on a hike we devoured the delectable breakfast pastries at the Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant. Established by three ex-Los Angelenos who chucked the Big City for life in Big Sur (we can relate), the bakery offers up not just delicious pastries, but amazing pizzas from its wood-burning ovens, and a menu that marries local ingredients with serious technique. For lunch, we dined on the outdoor terrace at Nepenthe Restaurant, which was originally owned by Rita Hayworth and Orson Wells. Nepenthe features one of the greatest views in the world, and you haven’t lived until you’ve sat around their firepit, drink in hand, watching the sun set. Trust us when we say you definitely won’t miss being “connected” to the web with that view.
We intended to splurge for dinner at one of the renowned restaurants in Big Sur, but ultimately opted to cook and eat in our cottage, surrounded by serene mountains and trees. Next time, however, we are definitely checking out Sierra Mar at The Post Ranch Inn – voted by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as the #1 hotel in California.
Does the idea of disconnecting scare the heck out of you? Watch our video above and let the picturesque scenes ease your fear. If Wi-Fi addicts like us could do it, then so can you. Trust us, you’ll return to your connected world with a refreshed mind.
What are your favorite destinations to disconnect?