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San SimeonUnited States of America

Visit thousands of elephant seals on the beach and tour the famous Hearst Castle. This little coastal town will keep you busy for days.

San Simeon is most famous for Hearst Castle, the lavish estate built by publishing tycoon, William Randolph Hearst. The castle is known for its ornate façade resembling a Spanish castle and the lavishly decorated 165 rooms within. The sprawling gardens outside are equally impressive. Don't miss the Neptune Pool, an outdoor water complex in the style of ancient Roman baths.

Just a short drive away is San Simeon's other main attraction, the Piedras Blancas rookery. This beach is home to over 17,000 elephant seals. Stop here and marvel at this massive community of creatures, from newborns to adults, frolicking in their natural habitat. Overlooking all of this is the iconic Piedras Blancas Light Station. This gleaming white structure has guarded the coastline since it was first illuminated in 1875.

A trip to San Simeon is not complete without at least dipping your toes in the Pacific Ocean. At William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach you can do everything from surfing to fishing. Discover one of San Simeon’s best-kept secrets at Jade Cove, a secluded beach dotted with deep green pieces of jade.

The stretch of coastline from San Simeon north to San Francisco has been designated the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Gain an appreciation for the diverse sea creatures and plants that live here at the interactive Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay.

When you drive on California's famous Route 1 along the Pacific coast, you can't miss San Simeon. This tiny town is roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Take the 4-hour drive from either city for sensational views of the ocean before arriving at your destination.

California’s Pacific coast is a special place; there is no better place to experience it than in San Simeon. Whether you are touring one of the area’s many attractions or simply enjoying a day at the beach, this charming town is sure to delight.

Top hotels in San Simeon

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Cambria Pines Lodge
Cambria Pines Lodge
3 out of 5
2905 Burton Dr, Cambria, CA
The price is NZ$239 per night from 27 Sep. to 28 Sep.

Situated in a rural location, this spa hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Moonstone Beach Park. Cambria’s Historical ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,108 reviews)

"Beautiful property. Friendly staff. I will stay at this location again ."…"

Reviewed on 21 Sep. 2020

Cambria Pines Lodge
Ragged Point Inn and Resort
Ragged Point Inn and Resort
3 out of 5
19019 Highway 1, Ragged Point, San Simeon, CA
The price is NZ$342 per night from 1 Oct. to 2 Oct.

Situated in San Simeon, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Silver Peak Wilderness and Ragged Point. San Simeon State Park and Salmon Creek Falls Trail are also ...

4.4/5Excellent! (457 reviews)

"Beautiful property. We enjoyed our stayed even though it was super foggy. The food at the Ragged point restaurant was Amazing."…"

Reviewed on 13 Sep. 2020

Ragged Point Inn and Resort
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
3.5 out of 5
9415 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA
The price is NZ$273 per night from 4 Oct. to 5 Oct.

Nestled on the beach, this San Simeon hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cambria State Marine Park and San Simeon State Park. William Randolph Hearst State ...

4.1/5Very Good! (952 reviews)

"There wasn’t a thing about this resort that we didn’t like. We came for the ocean view, our room perfectly provided that, with a nice balcony and chairs for a sunset watch. Nice vanity and bathroom. Robes were available for our use as well. Pellet stove sat in the corner, but we slept with the balcony ..."…"

Reviewed on 6 Sep. 2020

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort

Holiday Rentals in San Simeon

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Beautiful Cambria Cottage Just Above Moonstone Beach in the Pines,
Beautiful Cambria Cottage Just Above Moonstone Beach in the Pines,
6755 Cambria Pines Rd, Unit B, Cambria, CA

Situated by the ocean, this historic cottage is within 1 mile (2 km) of Santa Rosa Creek Nature Preserve and Moonstone Beach Park. San Simeon Nature Preserve ...

5/5Exceptional! (10 reviews)
Quiet Getaway near Moonstone Beach

"We enjoyed watching nature (deer, turkeys, birds) from the Cottage in Cambria. It was nice to be just a few minutes away from the beach and attractions, yet able to come back to the Cottage and settle in to enjoy our meals on the patio. We also loved the little hose outdoors to wash sand off our ..."…"

Reviewed on 7 Sep. 2020

Beautiful Cambria Cottage Just Above Moonstone Beach in the Pines,
Cambria - Affordable Mansion Perfect for a Friends / Family Gathering of 15-20+!
Cambria - Affordable Mansion Perfect for a Friends / Family Gathering of 15-20+!
2555 Macleod Way, Cambria, CA

Situated by the ocean, this historic holiday home is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from Moonstone Beach Park. Cambria’s Historical ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (49 reviews)
Good time had by all

"We were really pleased by our stay The rooms were great and there was lots of space for everyone The smoke and the virus did keep us a little more inside but it gave us family together time"…"

Reviewed on 5 Sep. 2020

Cambria - Affordable Mansion Perfect for a Friends / Family Gathering of 15-20+!
Charming Remodeled Single Level. Hottub. Gorgeous Fenced Backyard. Porch View!
Charming Remodeled Single Level. Hottub. Gorgeous Fenced Backyard. Porch View!
2280 Trenton Ave, Cambria, CA

Located in Marine Terrace, this romantic holiday home is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Fiscalini Ranch Preserve and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Moonstone Beach Park. Cambria ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (67 reviews)
Wish we could have stayed longer

"Katy’s home was so clean, comfy and adorable. My family and I enjoyed our stay while being evacuated from our home. It was a wonderful place to land during a stressful time. Katy is very responsive if you have any questions, and is very kind when those questions are silly. Thank you for sharing your ..."…"

Reviewed on 31 Aug. 2020

Charming Remodeled Single Level. Hottub. Gorgeous Fenced Backyard. Porch View!

Popular places to visit in San Simeon

Ragged Point
Image for Ragged Point

Ragged Point

4.5/5(8 reviews)

Take in one of the Big Sur coast’s finest views from high above the water or hike down a cliff-side trail to see the impressive Black Swift Falls.

Moonstone Beach Park
Image for Moonstone Beach Park

Moonstone Beach Park

5/5(3 reviews)

Spend a leisurely day on this rugged and wild stretch of beach, where the sand glitters with shiny round moonstones and the boardwalk promises staggering views.

San Simeon Pier
Image for San Simeon Pier

San Simeon Pier

4/5(5 reviews)

Drop a fishing line to hook walleye perch and rubberlip or spend some time enjoying the views from this long timber pier that juts out from a protected cove.

Top activities in San Simeon

Mystery Thrill Seekers - Cambria
Image for Mystery Thrill Seekers - Cambria

Mystery Thrill Seekers - Cambria

NZ$52
Per adult
Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)
Image for Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

NZ$59
Per adult
1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour
Image for 1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour

1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour

NZ$132
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Full Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour with Vineyard Lunch
Image for Full Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour with Vineyard Lunch

Full Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour with Vineyard Lunch

NZ$188
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Smartphone-Guided Paso Robles Wine Walk with Tastings
Image for Smartphone-Guided Paso Robles Wine Walk with Tastings

Smartphone-Guided Paso Robles Wine Walk with Tastings

NZ$74
Per adult
Urban Adventure Quest - Paso Robles
Image for Urban Adventure Quest - Paso Robles

Urban Adventure Quest - Paso Robles

NZ$28
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend

Reviews of San Simeon

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
1
5 - Excellent 7.6923076923076925%
4 - Good
9
4 - Good 69.23076923076923%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 23.076923076923077%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

9 Jan. 2020

It was a great place to stay to be close to Hearst Castle. Not much more to the town but a very convenient stop off point.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

13 Oct. 2019

Loved seeing the Elephant Seals.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

5 Sep. 2019

Didn’t have enough time to explore it all but nice spot to stop between SF and LA. Almost exactly half way

4/5 - Good

Brenda

10 May 2019

It’s a sleepy town but other than right in front on the sea, it feels a little depressed.

Cities near San Simeon

Cambria

Cambria

Central Coast California which includes heritage architecture and a statue or sculpture

Paso Robles

Big Sur showing rocky coastline, general coastal views and mountains

Big Sur

Monterey which includes general coastal views, landscape views and a sandy beach

Monterey