Treebones in Big Sur Celebrates 20 Years Trail Blazing the Glamping and Eco-Tourism Market

Yurt over Ocean

Treebones, a true Eco Resort in south Big Sur, celebrates 20 devoted years of love and care to the natural world, offering guests a unique glamping experience to "perch lightly" in their yurts on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

In the early 1980s, the parcel of land along the 70-mile remote stretch of Scenic Highway #1 "coined" Treebones by locals was rezoned “Visitor Serving Commercial” thanks to a visionary think tank group in Big Sur who worked effectively with Monterey County to develop a Land Use Plan for Big Sur. The owners of the land, John and Corinne Handy, along with their four children set about the process of dreaming, designing, permitting, and building a rustic resort. They opened their doors in November of 2004 to what is now Treebones Resort.

“We wanted to create an experience where guests would enjoy nature, refresh themselves and stay simply but comfortably,” reflects Owner Corinne Handy. The outfitted yurts, with their animal-nest round shapes and clear sky domes, allow guests to leave the entrapments and gear for camping at home, and sleep cozily within tent walls while sounds of the wind, rain, waves and ocean creatures are heard.

“At that time, the word ‘glamping’ did not exist,” reminisces John Handy, co-owner. “In our first brochure, we tried to explain what it might be like to sleep in a tent structure on the edge of the continent.”

Enhanced amenities nowadays include two acclaimed restaurant venues, massage services and daily yoga. “The resort draws guests from all over the world, many of whom have returned five, 10 and more times to visit,” offers John.

Treebones is off-grid entirely and the Handys have built and offer subsidized housing for their 30 employees. “We’ve learned a lot in the process,” says John. “Our family built Treebones guided by our own personal mantra of eco-consciousness, using recycled materials where we could. We have learned and employed many ways to use the least amount of energy as effectively as possible.” Treebones now offers a curated site tour sharing their best "eco practices" in the hope of inspiring others to investigate how they can perch more lightly on the earth in their own lives.

To celebrate their 20-year milestone, Treebones will host a live outdoor music concert on Saturday, October 19, 2024, inviting the public and the Big Sur community to dance and laugh on their remote edge of the continent in the face of what continues to be years of storms, fires, Covid-affected closures and lengthy roadway disruptions.

Today, the Handys and their management team work to address complicated matters that are associated with a portion of Highway 1 being closed. “Big Sur is the epicenter of so much – it has many double-sided coin issues that are always discussed here,” Corinne explains. “For instance, every time a portion of Highway is closed, the entire California economy suffers. Over the past 20 years, we have observed that without having a through Highway as a favored circuit for tourists to drive, tourist dollars are diverted out of the state. It’s hard to get that back.” On the flip side is the desire for this community to host responsible tourists. “We need those who visit this special coastline to tread lightly and care as deeply as those who live here do.” 

“A faraway world nearby - is how someone described us,” says John. “You need to come and experience it for yourself.”

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For media inquiries, please contact Donna Heckert, Guest Relations Manager, at (877) 424-4787 or email


Source: Treebones Resort

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About Treebones Resort

Eco resort featuring glamping-type accommodations and curated dining experiences in remote world renown Big Sur California

Treebones Resort
71895 Highway # 1
Big Sur, CA