Ragged Point Inn – A beautiful and hospitable stop along Highway 1 in Big Sur

Ragged Point Inn

Ragged Point Inn

The Ragged Point Inn is located in San Luis Obispo County at the southern end of the 90 mile Big Sur coast. Everything a traveler needs can be found here: lodging, dining, fuel, snacks and the biggie – gorgeous scenery and views of the Pacific Coast from angles that are hard to find anywhere else.

The Big Sur Coastline through a wooden sculpture

Undoubtedly, Highway 1 through the Big Sur region is one of the best and most scenic drives in the world. Between Carmel and Hearst Castle, these 90 miles offer astounding views of the Pacific Ocean and the boundary between it and the rugged hills.

The Ragged Point Inn is an haven for the traveler on the Pacific Coast Highway – either at the end or the beginning of their journey through Big Sur.

Services here include lodging, fine dining, fuel, ice cream shop, mini mart and fast food.

What might not be obvious at first glance is the opportunity to wander the grounds and view the Big Sur coastline from an unusual perspective.

Looking north up the Big Sur coastlineViewing Big Sur from “out at sea” at the Ragged Point Inn

Well, not really out at sea, but nearly so. The Inn and its grounds sit on a point that extends approximately 500 feet out and is 250 feet high. Technically, this isn’t Ragged Point. That feature lies 1.5 miles to the south. However, the grounds of the Ragged Point Inn offers one of the best places for viewing the point.

Given the height above the water, this is also a great place for watching migrating gray whales.

Comparison of Ragged Point over 65 years

The two stacked photos above show Ragged Point from nearly the same perspective. My photo was taken on the Inn’s grounds and the 1949 shot was from the turnout just south of the Inn. Comparing the “ragged rocks” shows little change in 65 years.

The beach shown here is San Carpoforo Beach and it is open to the public. I will write a page later with photos showing how to access this most southerly Big Sur beach.

Ragged Point Inn Quick Facts:

Location: Northern San Luis Obispo County on California Highway 1 (aka PCH; Pacific Coast Highway or Cabrillo Highway)

Address: 19019 Highway 1, Ragged Point, CA 93452

GPS Coordinates: 35.7809, -121.3296

Phone: Restaurant – 805/927-5708; Hotel – 805/927-4502

Services available: Lodging; fine dining; fast food; mini-mart; gas station and ice cream shop.

Amenities and attractions: Views north and south of the Big Sur coastline; whale watching in season; a hiking trail down to a private beach; Black Swift falls (in season).A mileage sign near Hearst Castle. Most of the land between San Simeon and Ragged Point is the Hearst Corporation’s Piedra Blanca Ranch where the cattle have better ocean views than most of us could ever hope for.

An important note: The “Big Sur” referred to here on the sign is the little burg at the northern end. It doesn’t mean the entire Big Sur coastline, so don’t panic!

Along this section near San Simeon are also found the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse and the elephant seal rookery.

Scenes around the Ragged Point Inn

Main sign at the Ragged Point Inn

There is nice landscaping throughout the property. It makes for nice strolling.

Flower lined paths around the Ragged Point InnThe property at Ragged Point is dog-friendly. Some of the rooms allow a dog; the patio of the restaurant allows dogs and, as you can see, dogs are allowed through the grounds.

A most romantic viewBesides this gazebo’s day to day use, it is also used for the logical conclusion of the scene above – weddings. Not a bad venue.

The beach below the Ragged Point InnThis tiny beach is accessible to users of the Inn. There is a very steep trail which winds its way down. The beach here is about 200 feet wide and I preferred to take it in from above. Others may be more adventurous.

The hills behind the Ragged Point InnLushly landscaped, the dining deck of the restaurant is a most pleasant spot for a meal. The hills in the background climb steeply and there are numerous trails through the Santa Lucia Range for hiking – both day hikes and overnights.

The lodging viewed from the dining deck.

Ragged Point mini martIf you just stop here for gas and a quick trip to the mini mart, you’re missing the best that Ragged Point Inn has to offer. Slow down and stroll the grounds. You won’t be disappointed.

Ragged Point sign

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