I Stayed At Ventana Campground In Big Sur & Left With More Than Just Memories

Ventana Campsite

Jenn from sickgirltravels.com shared her story about her stay at Ventana Campground.

Ventana Campground is part of the stunning Ventana Big Sur Hotel and campgrounds.

One of two 5-star resorts in Big Sur, Ventana offers a wide variety of accommodations from camping and glamping, to posh hotel rooms.

Ventana is one of the few accessible accommodations in Big Sur for disabled travelers. Guests at the campground also have access to the incredible Sur House restaurant.

The campground at Ventana is a tent-only campground located in a sprawling 40-acre redwood canyon. Ventana campground features two modern bathhouses. Campsites measure an average of 25′ x 15′ and provide a picnic table and fire ring. Water faucets are a short walk from each campsite. 

Ventana Campground

I camped at Ventana during the popular Big Sur Food and Wine Festival, so the campground and Big Sur, in general, were packed with people and a buzz with a variety of wine tastings, parties, and other festivities. I’m not an experienced adventure camper, so Ventana’s various amenities and close proximity to civilization appealed to me.

The setting is also surprisingly romantic, so much so that my now fiancé seized the moment to propose to me under those giant redwoods.

Now Ventana will always have a special place in my heart.


One of the best parts of camping at Ventana is its proximity to hiking trails and Big Sur attractions like Andrew Molera State Park, Limekiln State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Other pros include LTE cell service, a rarity elsewhere in Big Sur, access to an onsite coffee shop and bar, and well-maintained bathrooms. If camping isn’t your thing, Ventana also offers a more lux glamping option a great option for people who don’t want to lug in their own tent and prefer a more comfortable experience. 

Check out Ventana Resort here


There are a few cons to camping at Ventana. Firstly, not all campsites are located within close proximity of one of the two bathrooms. I learned this the hard way making the long, uphill sojourn to the restroom in the pitch-black darkness of night. 

Guests may also be surprised to learn it costs an extra $2 per 5 minutes to use the showers. A fact that’s more than a little annoying considering how much more it costs to camp at Ventana than other properties in the area. Things like showers should really be included. 

Speaking of price, you can expect to pay more for a campsite at Ventana. Sites go for around $85/ night. Something that may be a big con for those looking for a budget-friendly campsite

Even with these cons, you won’t find a better location for camping in Big Sur. I highly recommend the experience. Especially for novice campers, and those who are looking for great amenities, an ideal location, and an easy setup. 

If you’re wondering what to pack, you will need all the basic campsite essentials: 

  • Tent (and footprint, stakes)
  • Sleeping pads
  • Sleeping bags
  • Headlamps or flashlights (with extra batteries)
  • Camp chairs
  • Lantern (again with extra batteries)
  • Firewood (you can buy firewood there, but it will be more costly)
  • Matches/ fire starter

Where To Eat

There are plenty of places to eat in the area, but if you plan on cooking at your campsite you’ll also need all your camping cookware, plates, bowls, utensils, grill, knives, cooler, ice, etc. It just depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. Though be forewarned, Big Sur can be pricey, and eating out adds up quickly. 

If you’re looking for great places to eat nearby, check out Big Sur Bakery which offers an amazing array of baked goods and breakfast items for brunch and breakfast and at night turns into a cozy restaurant serving the best food and wine in the area. Reservations are necessary for dinner. 

Another great spot for dining is Nepenthe. With the best views of any of Big Sur’s dining establishments, Nepenthe also offers several vegetarian-friendly options. 

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly dining options, check out Big Sur River Inn, Big Sur Roadhouse, or Ripplewood Cafe. 

How To Get There

To get to Ventana Campgrounds in Big Sur campers may choose to fly into the nearest major airport, San Francisco International Airport, and drive south on US 101 before transitioning to Highway 1 to Big Sur.

The drive takes about two and a half hours. Ventana is located 65 miles north of San Simeon and 30 miles south of Carmel along Highway 1. You can also reach Ventana by driving north from Los Angeles, though that drive takes approximately 6 hours. 


Are Dogs allowed at Ventana Campground?

Yes. A maximum of two dogs per campsite are permitted. There is no fee. However, a noise fee will be charged for pets who bark excessively during quiet hours. 

What is the maximum number of people and tents per site?

A maximum number of 5 people and 2 tents are allowed per site. 

Is there a minimum length of stay?

During the busy summer months, there is a minimum 3-night stay required. For the rest of the year, there is no minimum requirement. 

To book your stay at Ventana Campgrounds you can call them at 855-391-8683 or book through the World of Hyatt website.

Jenn Lloyd

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