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Tor House

Be inspired by this fairytale stone cottage on the dramatic Carmel Big Sur coastline, built by one of America’s legendary poets.

Tor House was the home of American poet Robinson Jeffers and his family. Jeffers wrote his most famous works here, including an adaptation of Medea, which became a major Broadway play. Today, this tranquil oceanfront property is preserved in its original state. Take a tour, enjoy the ocean views and breathe in the atmosphere that inspired one of America’s greatest poets. 

Jeffers worked on Tor House for many years after he and his wife found their ideal site in the early 1900s. He was interested in stonemasonry and did much of the work himself. When not building, Jefferson wrote epic, philosophical poems. He became a major literary figure in the first half of the 20th century. Work was completed on the home in 1919, and shortly after, inspired by the stone towers he saw in Ireland, Jeffers built Hawk Tower as a magical retreat for his twin sons. 

The only way to access the property is by guided tour. Knowledgeable docents provide fascinating insight into Jeffers, his family and his work.

The experience is not just for fans of Jeffers’ poetry. Admire the colorful garden with its array of native plants and flowers. Take a seat in the courtyard and enjoy the serenity. Jeffers used varied stones for this fantasy property, some of which come from Carmel Beach. Other stones were brought from as far afield as Hawaii, the Temple of Peking and the Great Wall of China. Charles Lindbergh, George Gershwin and Charlie Chaplin were some of the many influential guests of the Jeffers family. 

Tours of the house, tower and gardens run hourly every Friday and Saturday. Advance booking is necessary via the foundation website, as tours are restricted to six guests at a time. Note that children under 12 are not allowed to go through the house for safety reasons. 

Tor House is located on Carmel Point, south of central Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is a 15-minute drive from Monterey. You can also catch a bus from downtown Monterey to central Carmel.


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Lodging Near Tor House

See all 304 Properties near Tor House
Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea
Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

Colonial Terrace Inn by the Sea

13th and San Antonio, Carmel
     
    4.3
    of 5, from 457 reviews
    3.5 out of 5.0

    Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Golden Bough Playhouse and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.8 mi (4.6 km) away.

    Edgemere Cottages
    Edgemere Cottages

    Edgemere Cottages

    San Antonio Btw 13th and Santa Lucia, Carmel
       
      4.7
      of 5, from 72 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated by the ocean, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Carmel River State Beach and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.

      La Playa Carmel $350
      La Playa Carmel

      La Playa Carmel

      Camino Real at Eighth Ave., Carmel
         
        4.4
        of 5, from 627 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Golden Bough Playhouse, Sunset Center, and Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room. Galante Vineyards and Blair Estate Tasting Room are also within 10 minutes.

        Charming Carmel House - Short Walk To 2 Beaches
        Charming Carmel House - Short Walk To 2 Beaches

        Charming Carmel House - Short Walk To 2 Beaches

        , Carmel-By-The-Sea
           
          5.0
          of 5, from 2 reviews
          0.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Carmel, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Carmel Mission Basilica and Carmel Beach. Carmel River State Beach and Tor House are also within 15 minutes.

          Wayside Inn
          Wayside Inn

          Wayside Inn

          7th Avenue & Mission Street, Carmel
             
            4.5
            of 5, from 521 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Located in the heart of Carmel, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.8 mi (4.4 km) away.

            Hotel Carmel
            Hotel Carmel

            Hotel Carmel

            Corner Of 4th And San Carlos, Carmel
               
              4.6
              of 5, from 189 reviews
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Situated in a shopping district, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Carmel Chamber of Commerce and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4.1 km) away.

              Monte Verde Inn
              Monte Verde Inn

              Monte Verde Inn

              Monte Verde Street, Carmel
                 
                4.3
                of 5, from 132 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Situated near the beach, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Galante Vineyards and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.

                Pine Inn
                Pine Inn

                Pine Inn

                Ocean Ave At Monte Verde, Carmel
                   
                  3.9
                  of 5, from 179 reviews
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Galante Vineyards and Carmel Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links is 2.5 mi (4 km) away.