Big Sur is reopening for business, sort of. The luxe Post Ranch Inn and landmark Nepenthe Restaurant plan to reopen to travelers Thursday, even though they are stranded on a roughly 23-mile-long island of Highway 1. Both have been cut off by road closures to the north and south since February's winter storms.
So how can travelers get there?
The Post Ranch Inn, known for its rustic setting with ocean and mountain views, plans to fly guests in by helicopter from Monterey.
Travelers who pony up $500 for two on top of their room cost (which starts at $1,225 a night at this time of year) are treated to a 20-minute ride that takes in aerial views of the coast before landing on the hotel's grounds.
The $500 cost (or $250 each) covers round-trip helicopter service as well as breakfast, lunch and a four-course dinner for two people. A two-night minimum stay is required.
The hotel and other businesses are in the part of Big Sur that's south of the failed Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and north of an area called Paul's Slide, which is closed to all traffic until Caltrans can repair damage caused by winter storms.
For those set on driving Highway 1, you can get your coastal fix with a shorter road trip that travels south from Monterey.
Garrapata State Park to the west of Highway 1 is open too, and has erupted in blooms of calla lilies. Other state parks in the area are closed because of last summer's Soberanes fire and subsequent winter storm damage.