Where you stay while at the Wild Watersheds Forum & Fair

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Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
around the bend from the Miller Library
Deetjen's is decidedly Big Sur. Unusual, and alluring.

So inviting, yet dreamlike. When you come here innocently and walk into another time.

Deetjen's Big Sur Inn is an ensemble of barns and cottages along Castro Canyon in the heart of the Wild Coast. A babbling brook, deep redwood forests, and the ocean's sigh. Memorable meals in candlelit rooms beside a wood burning fireplace, with classical music resonating and walls lined with vintage books and photographs. It's not funky, and it's not Ventana Inn. It's a real time fairy tale.

In the early 1930's, when Helmuth Deetjen began building the old coast road stopover, he meant it to be like his native Norway. Now it is very Big Sur. No phones. No TV. Just a brook murmuring, birds calling for a mate, ocean mist wafting through redwoods, sage aromas seeping down from the mountain, just essence of Big Sur.

At the big table in the library, or around the fireplace for dinner, and everywhere there's a taste of timelessness.

Tucked in a rustic cabin in the redwoods, and tuned into the canyon murmurs, babbles of the brook, a soft roar from the ocean below, one is consumed by a sense of being somewhere distinct and rare. People are around, but they look like they're fellow travellers in an epic romance novel. Could be a movie set, or just the good side of your imagination acting up. Candles, classical music, good wine. If it is another world, it is a civilized one.

A few places, each quite different, are the essence of Big Sur. Deetjen's is one of those Big Sur places of essence.

Built along Castro Creek in the 1930s, it was the homestead of Helmuth, a hospitable fellow. It soon became a stagecoach stop, then a dinner house and overnight guest house. He kept working on the inn and created a community of cabins and barn buildings in the redwood canyon above the creek. Today, Deetjen's is on the Register of National Historic Places and is operated by the Big Sur Inn Preservation Society.



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