Fernwood Campground and Resort in Big Sur, CA, is a great camping option for any outdoorsy family. Established in 1932, the property has a lot of really fun on-site activities at a better price than it’s similar nearby competitors.
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Fernwood Campground and Resort Visiting Information
- 47200 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920
- Be sure to download the map to use offline before heading out just in case there isn’t any cell phone reception in the area.
- Dates & Hours:
- Office hours: 8am-10pm.
- Dates and hours of operations may change. We recommend calling them or checking their website beforehand to confirm their business hours.
- Day Use/Visitors: $10/person (For people who aren’t camping/booked at the resort)
- Campsites: $50-125/night (Max 6 people)
- RV camping: $85-105/night (Max 6 people)
- Tent cabins: $130-210/night (Max 4 people)
- Adventure Tent “Glamping: $175-230/night (Max 2 people)
- Motel $180-260/night
- Forest Cabins: $290-400/night
- They sometimes offer discounts on their Instagram. You can find them @fernwoodbigsur
- How much we spent during our visit:
- Total: $154.50
- $135 for a one night for campsite with electric and $3.50 online reservation fee
- $16 for candy and ice cream
- Total: $154.50
- Two vehicles are included for campsites and RV camping. Additional vehicles are $10/night. Call to verify before booking.
- Swimming or inner tubing in the Big Sur River
- Catch crawfish
- See a rare albino Redwood tree
- Time spent:
- Stayed for one night.
- Check-in and Check-out times:
- Check-in is at 12 pm for camping and 3 pm for cabins, tent cabins and motel.
- Check-out is at 11 am.
- You can book reservations up to one year in advance to the day.
- Places to eat:
- Fernwood Resort Bar & Grill – onsite
- Big Sur River Inn (46800 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920) – 1.2 miles away – Order take out and get your feet wet while you enjoy your meal on their wooden chairs right in the river.
- Nepenthe Restaurant (48510 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920) – 3.7 miles away – It has gorgeous ocean views.
- Pet allowed:
- Yes, but only in the campground, RV camping, and tent cabins. There is a $5-10 fee per pet.
- Stroller friendly:
- Yes, but best to have an all-terrain stroller/wagon to walk around the campgrounds. You will need a child carrier to get to the Big Sur river.
- Yes, flushable toilets.
- Yes, the showers near the laundry mat are free but the showers near the check-in kiosk are coin operated.
- Laundry facility:
- What we observed:
- Fernwood Campground & Resort is a more affordable option to have access to the Big Sur River.
- If you’re planning to go with a group of friends/family, we recommend booking early so you can get sites close to each other.
- The resort provides no inner tubes. Make sure to bring your own.
- There is a General Store & Espresso Cafe, Fernwood Resort Bar & Grill restaurant located onsite.
- The General store is a mini grocery store with camping supplies. Be sure to grab a scoop of Lappert’s ice cream! We really enjoyed it.
- Wifi is spotty at the campground but you can get great wifi in The General Store and Bar & Grill area. Be sure to ask for the password when you check-in.
- Quiet hours are from 10pm-8am.
- They have a dump station onsite ($20 fee).
- Fernwood hosts live entertainment. You can find scheduled events here:
- For the latest Hwy 1 information, you can find it here:
- Check the weather before you go. The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.
- What we packed:
- Sunscreen, lip sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, bug bite suction, big bite relief ointment, Suds2go cap, @intexrecreationcorp inflatable boat (we recommend something with a bottom so the kids don’t get scraped from the rocks), air pump large fish net to catch crawfish and swimwear.
- You can get the links to all our travel essentials here: Travel Essentials | Califoreigners
- Where we stayed:
- We stayed on site 66. It was a bit loud that night because the power went out and the generator was located right next to our campsite. We don’t think this would normally be an issue.
- Ways to save money:
- Pack all your meals, snacks and water.
things to do
- Other places to visit in the county:
- Our itinerary up the coast:
- Camped at Plaskett Creek Campground.
- Sand Dollar Beach – best to go during low tide.
- Camped at Kirk Creek Campground.
- Gamboa Point – quick stop for a gorgeous view point.
- McWay Falls Trail – Short and easy hike to the falls.
- Partington Cove Trail – Another great hike for the kids.
- Nepenthe Restaurant – Stop for coffee or dine with a beautiful view.
- Ventana campground – Wasn’t able to stay here because they do not accommodate camper vans.
- Pfeiffer Beach – you can find small pockets of purple sand. We were too nervous to take our camper van in so we had to skip this stop.
- Pfeiffer Falls Trail – 1.8 mile hike through redwoods trees to the falls.
- Camped at Fernwood Campground – You can also purchase a day use pass to access the river if you aren’t staying at their campground.
- Fernwood General Store – make a quick stop for Lappert’s ice cream.
- Camped at Big Sur Campground and Cabins – swim and tube in the river.
- Big Sur River Inn – Order take out, eat, and get your feet wet on their wooden chairs right in the river.
- Bixby Creek Bridge – The parking lot was full so we had to skip this stop.
- Garrapata Bluff Trail – A nice short hike with the kids.
- Camped at Carmel by the River RV Park.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium.
- Pls pack in, pack out and leave no trace.
- Follow us on Instagram @thecaliforeigners, Youtube @Califoreigners, TikTok @Califoreigners
What We Said In Our Fernwood Campground and Resort Video
Their campground offers a range of staying options that include tents, RV pads, cabins, and adventure tents. They even have motel rooms for rent up next to the highway. We opted for an electric campsite with power hookups right along the Big Sur river, which is definitely the biggest draw for staying at Fernwood Campground. It’s great for tubing, crawdad hunting, and play water. Our favorite thing about Fernwood’s stretch of river was its nice long stretches of tube able river we could float down even with the river running quite low.
In addition, The grounds also have a few nonwater activities like their sandpit volleyball court, large open lawn, and hiking trails.
Access to Fernwoods General store and restaurant along the hwy is also extremely helpful. The place is a lifesaver when it comes to staying connected to the outside world. With complimentary internet access, it helps a ton since cell service around Big Sur is pretty rough. The general store also serves Lamppert’s ice cream, which you got to try. Its rich, creamy texture is so good we walked back up for another round of ice cream a few hours later.
All in all, Fernwood Campgrounds is an affordable family option for camping around Big Sur and it’s alot of fun.
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