San SimeonUnited States of America

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Visit San Simeon

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.

Where to stay in San Simeon

Marine Terrace, Cambria, California, United States of America

Marine Terrace

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

If you're looking for some top things to see and do in Marine Terrace and surrounding area, you can visit Moonstone Beach Park and Cambria Center for the Arts.

Marine Terrace

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
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
£83
per night
Jan 30 - Jan 31

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 ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,997 reviews)

"everything was perfect the staff meals rooms garden and lounge"…"

Reviewed on 20 Jan 2020

Cambria Pines Lodge
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
3.5 out of 5
9415 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA
£99
per night
Jan 26 - Jan 27

Nestled on the beach, this San Simeon hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of San Simeon State Park, William Randolph Hearst State Park and Leffingwell Landing. Moonstone ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,211 reviews)

"The property had alot of entertaining items such as cornhole, life size chess and checker boards , tic tac toe, 3 outdoor firepits and 2 outdoor heated pools, as well as a fitness center. There was even a trail that led to the beach which was convenient. Even though we stayed only one night my family ..."…"

Reviewed on 10 Jan 2020

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Silver Surf Motel
Silver Surf Motel
2 out of 5
9390 Castillo Dr, San Simeon, CA
£43
per night
Jan 28 - Jan 29

Situated near the beach, this motel is within 3 miles (5 km) of San Simeon State Park, William Randolph Hearst State Park and Leffingwell Landing. Moonstone ...

3.7/5Good! (1,856 reviews)

"The hotel was quite and definitely a good stay for a good price. The fridge in the room may or may not work ours was ok but a lot of water inside of it. The bed is stiff and good for those who like stiff beds. I prefer squishy beds. The coffee pot was dirty so I didn't use it. The staff was nice. ..."…"

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2020

Silver Surf Motel

Popular things to do in San Simeon

Hearst Castle
Image for Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

5/5(21 reviews)

You can learn more about the history of San Simeon when you visit a well-known site such as Hearst Castle. Wander the seaside and beautiful beaches in the area.

Moonstone Beach Park
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Moonstone Beach Park

4.5/5(19 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.

Ragged Point
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Ragged Point

4.5/5(13 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.

Elephant Seal Rookery
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Elephant Seal Rookery

4.5/5(23 reviews)

Enjoy the beautiful sunsets and explore Elephant Seal Rookery, a favourite green space in San Simeon. Stroll along the beautiful beaches in this relaxing area or visit its top-notch restaurants.

San Simeon Pier
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San Simeon Pier

4/5(7 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.

Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
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Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

5/5(1 review)

Go on a tour of this 19th-century lighthouse and explore an interpretive trail showcasing the surrounding scenery, historic buildings and wildlife.

Top activities in San Simeon

Coast Tour to Santa Barbara, Solvang & Hearst Castle
Image for Coast Tour to Santa Barbara, Solvang & Hearst Castle

Coast Tour to Santa Barbara, Solvang & Hearst Castle

£128

Spend a day exploring the cities and landmarks of the California coast on this guided excursion to sunny Santa Barbara, charming Solvang, and the opulent estate of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst.

Mystery Thrill Seekers - Cambria
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Mystery Thrill Seekers - Cambria

£27

Fun, Interactive game played on location with your smart phone. Your mission is to work together to solve puzzles, unlock clues and solve who dunnit. As you explore, you’ll learn fun facts & local history. Challenge yourself or others to get high score on the leader board.

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)

£31

We are a winetasting pass that is partnered with 400 wineries on the West Coast and is good for 365 days from date of purchase THE WINERIES we work with: 400+ winery partners in California, Washington, & Oregon. Regions include Napa Valley, Sonoma &

1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour
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1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour

£52

This is a social tour, so you can expect to meet other wine enthusiasts and get to know them over the course of the afternoon. Usually, we will not have more than 8 - 10 guests on board.

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

£49

Experience Paso Robles' rich wine culture and friendly community during your all-inclusive self-guided wine adventure. The Paso Robles Wine Walk includes a variety of popular tasting rooms in the heart of Paso Robles' historic downtown neighborhood.

Paso Robles Wine Adventure from Cambria
Image for Paso Robles Wine Adventure from Cambria

Paso Robles Wine Adventure from Cambria

£110

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Paso Robles Wine Region, Paso Robles Wine Region, San Luis Obispo County, California All tours are crafted with you, our guests, in mind. Our passion is creating an unparalleled tour experience.

Reviews of San Simeon

3.3

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
0
5 - Excellent 0%
4 - Good
12
4 - Good 52.17391304347826%
3 - Okay
7
3 - Okay 30.434782608695652%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 17.391304347826086%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Sep 22, 2019

One horse town with limited facilities

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Sep 20, 2019

It is ideally placed for visiting Hearst Castle

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Sep 4, 2019

Good value place to stop en route to Big Sur

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 23, 2019

Only stopped at Courtesy Inn on our road trip down Highway 1, didn’t hang around here as other places to get to.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Jul 7, 2019

No need to stay in San Simeon overnight but definitely worth visiting the pier, seeing the elephant seals and if you are interested in Hearst castle. It’s all doable in a day and easy to go to cambia (we went there for dinner and breakfast).

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jul 4, 2019

Great visit to Hearst Castle which is well worth the entry fee

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