Located at the intersection of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur is one of the most iconic destinations in the world. As you drive along the California coast, following the curves that hug the edge of the continent, you will quickly come to understand what all the fuss is about.
Big Sur has a history that’s as remarkable as its setting, a rich and storied heritage of diverse civilizations, cultural influencers, forward thinkers and artists of every kind. This is where people come to find what they’ve been looking for — even if they don’t quite know what it is yet. It’s the kind of place that can change you, if for no other reason than the fact you’ll never forget it.
To help you make the most of your time here, see our Big Sur Destination Guide, a comprehensive resource with details about the history, wildlife, landmarks, destinations and recreation opportunities you’ll find along this epic 90-mile stretch of coastline, from Carmel Highlands in the north all the way down to San Simeon.
We’d like to introduce you to our favorite feeling: Awe. Awe is the emotion you feel when you’re in the presence of something vast or not immediately understood. In Big Sur, we are humbled each day by the majestic and otherworldly beauty around us. It’s a place where awe is found at every turn.
Why do we love the idea of awe? In the podcast, How to Be a Better Human, host Chris Duffy explores the ‘science of happiness’ and learns of a study done by Dr. Virginia Sturm, professor of neurology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California at San Francisco. The study had participants go on an ‘awe walk’ in nature for 15 minutes each day. And what made this different from your average stroll through the trees? They were instructed to walk with the intention of tapping into awe, looking at the world around them with a childlike sense of wonder.
The results: Those who tapped into the feeling of awe for just 15 minutes a day had increased levels in compassion, gratitude, and joy that stayed with them long after their walk ended.
This is why we fully embrace awe at Alila Ventana Big Sur. We encourage every guest to arrive with an open heart and the intention of looking at the world around them in a new way. We want you to experience wonder, create deeper connections, and leave with the elevated sense of compassion, gratitude and joy.
As you prepare for your Alila Ventana retreat, here is our list of favorite awe-provoking moments on your journey to the immaculate central coast of Big Sur:
Embracing the curves of Big Sur’s staggering coastline
Andrew Molera State Park: Headlands Trail
Allowing yourself to feel small under the towering redwood trees
Marvel at the perfect intersection of architecture and nature
Peer into the secret lives of the local sea otters & harbor seals. What are they talking about on those rocks?
Take a moment to truly tap into the gratitude you feel during your stayGo To Magazine