It is possible to get totally unplugged within three hours’ drive of the thriving hub that is San Francisco. Forget Silicon Valley and head out to one of the United States’ most beautiful natural spots: Big Sur. Less than 170 miles (270 km) due south, following the coastline along Route 1, awaits an area of unparalleled wilderness and beauty, with more wildlife than humans per square mile. This is a tough but stunning natural environment that has not yet been tamed by man. Steep cliffs and rugged terrain follow the crashing Pacific Ocean in this raw locale that seems to have been forgotten by mankind.
This is no place for motels or city hotels, but rather cozy accommodation in tiny roadside hamlets such as Lucia. Where once there stood a gas station and a post office, now only the remote Lucia Lodge remains, built in the 1930s on the cliff’s facade. Ten tiny blue-and-white beach-style cabins sit alone, looking lost in this unspoiled corner of California. It feels as if nothing has changed since this piece of land was found and settled by the Harlan family back in 1865.
The restaurant, with ocean views and award-winning fish-and-chips, is also steeped in history. The sepia faded prints on the walls are a reminder of generations gone by. In the bedrooms, whitewashed wooden walls, pine furniture, and a glowing fireplace set the scene. The grand bed, with its white linen overhang entwined with white cotton roses, is incredibly romantic. This lovely lodge, which is still run by the family’s fifth generation, is all about rustic comfort the old-fashioned way.
With no televisions or phones, if ever there was a place to get cut off from the rest of the world on the California coast, this is it.