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.