Points of Interest near Ragged Point - MOBILE

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Activities, Attractions, Visitor Points of Interests: HEARST CASTLEBEACHES COASTAL ACCESSWALKING, HIKING TRAILSELEPHANT SEALSPIEDRAS BLANCAS LIGHTHOUSEWHALE WATCHINGBIRD WATCHINGDRINKING, DANCING, LIVE ENTERTAINMENTMONARCH BUTTERFLIESWINE TASTINGGIFT, SOUVENIR & ART SHOPPINGPICNIC SPOTSEATING OUT -- NITWIT RIDGE & THE CAMBRIA HISTORIC MUSEUM

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Hearst Castle photograph highlighting the section for the tourist attraction Hearst Castle with a photo of the iconic outdoor Roman swimming pool. Hearst Castle #1 Tourist Attraction:

The most impressive manmade tourist attraction near the Ragged Point Inn (805-927-4502) is of course Hearst Castle, A.K.A. Hearst Castle State Historical Monument (805-927-2138) .This is the lavish palatial playground live-in international art museum of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951, then in 1957, the Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California; once mostly only available to the rich and famous now you can visit too and if you have never been there it should be #1 on your sightseeing list.
All Hearst Castle tours (reservations 1-800-444-4445 ) are good but the best tour is the fun seasonal Evening Tour which is offered in the spring and fall of each year, the Evening Tour of Hearst Castle is a lengthy fully guided 1930’s themed tour that even includes period reenacting castle guests and domestic staff.

Beach photograph highlighting the section for the popular beaches as tourist attractions section with a photo of the a white sand beach, the sea, and beach umbrellas. Beaches near Ragged Point:

The best beach near Ragged Point is the W.R.H. Memorial State Beach (805-927-2020) about 15 miles south on the PCH 1; it consists of a long beach of soft white sand of the sheltered San Simeon Harbor. There is no day use fee and many facilities and amenities are available; like a pier and kayak/boogie board rental concession. The beach closest to Ragged Point Inn is right off the cliff; there is a skilled hiking trail that starts at the wedding gazebo and drops swiftly to a small tidal beach of gravel at the cliff-foot. It is an enjoyable hike if you are a skilled hiker in good athletic shape. If you go just 2 miles south on PCH from Ragged Point your will find a much easier hike to a much nicer beach San Carpoforo Creek Beach. It is also worth mentioning a world renown wind surfing beach, Arroyo Laguna Beach is about 13 miles south and there are numerous places to access rock and gravel beaches to the north along the Big Sur Coast.

Area Beaches Information Links:

BEACHES
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BEACHES NORTH BEACHES SOUTH 20+ MILES SOUTH

Hiking trail sign to mark the hiking walking trail section of the tourist points of interest and visitor activities things to do and see near Ragged Point California page. Hiking/Walking Central Coast:

Enjoy the many options for outdoor exercise on the trails and nature boardwalks of the California Central Coast...

Photo shows the extreme skill hike of the Ragged Point Nature Trail as it zigzags down the steep side of the cliff at Ragged Point Inn.
Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy and explore the nature of the Central Coast. No matter what kind of hike or walk you are interesting there are many options available of all lengths and for all skill levels.
On the very skilled level there is the Ragged Point Inn nature trail which will lead you steeply down the cliff to a small tidal beach. Ragged Point Inn's nature trail to the beach begins at the Ragged Point Inn Gazebo and drops more than 300 feet in less than 1/8th mile zigzagging back and forth across the cliff-face. The trail starts out steep then gets steeper and has many switch-backs. The rough and rugged trail to Ragged Point's tiny beach is only for the fit and adventurous but the reward is worth the short hike if you are up to it. The beach is fun and wonderful and often a great place to get some solitude. A few miles north is Salmon Creek Falls which only nice waterfall in the area and during the wet season it is impressive. The falls is right next but there are some semiskilled hiking trails there, the Salmon Creek trail which goes up the creek and just about a mile further north on PCH 1 you will find the trailhead for the Soda Springs trail which edges the coast in and out of the forest revealing breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Big Sur California coast.
If you want a long hike easy skilled hike just across the Pacific Coast Highway from the Ragged Point Inn is a fire-road that leads back into the Silver Peak Wilderness, you can hook up with other fire-roads and trails to go as far and stay as long as you like.
One of my favorite area hikes starts at William Randolph Hearst State Memorial Beach goes out the point to Arroyo Laguna Beach then back again.

Photo shows the easy skill hike of the boardwalk of the Self Interpretive Nature trail at San Simeon State Park.
On the easy end of the hiking skills scale are the numerous boardwalk nature trails that have been build in and near Cambria. The most popular is probably the Moonstone Beach boardwalk trail which goes along the seaside the length from the wonderful Leffingwell Landing past all the motels on Moonstone Drive to Santa Rosa Creek and continues up the creek. The boardwalks make for a wonderful stroll while protecting the environment; they are even wheelchair friendly although they won’t work with walkers, just too rough and bumpy. There are several other popular boardwalks the one on the seaside bluffs of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve ocean bluff trail is quite nice and the Self Interpretive Nature trail at San Simeon State Park just north of Cambria even included signage along the way to explain what the natural wonders that you are viewing.

Male elephant seal photograph highlighting the section for Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery as a popular tourist activity in the area. The Elephant Seals:

The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery (805-924-1628) is located 7.7 miles north of San Simeon along scenic Coast Highway One. Everyone loves visiting the elephant seals; my favorite time is winter when all the little ones are there. You can see what activities are going on using this handy elephant seal habits calendar or view the seals right now on the elephant seal rookery live web-cam. There is ample parking provided in two parking lots and long boardwalks with interpretive signs that explain the seals habits and there are often volunteers in blue blazers to answer questions. The area by the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery has been well developed to the point of making it a real pleasure to visit. Only one thing is missing, restrooms, the closest restrooms are two miles north and are chemical toilets currently at the defunct Piedras Blancas Motel; there are real public restrooms available 10 miles north at the Ragged Point Inn or is the only other restroom for miles are 6 miles south in Hearst Castle's San Simeon where you can find restrooms at the Hearst Castle Visitors Center or at William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach.

Piedras Blancas lighthouse photograph highlighting the section for tours of the lighthouse as sightseeing and an activity vacationing visitors. Piedras Blancas Lighthouse:

The Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area: The Piedras Blancas lighthouse (805-927-7361) is just north of the elephant seal colony and was finished then first lit in 1875. The Bureau of Land Management manages and the Piedras Blancas Light Station and grounds; it has been designated an Outstanding Natural Area within the National Landscape Conservation System. It is a wonderful historical attraction that is fenced off and has a locked gate but tours are available.
TOUR INFORMATION: Tours of the light station are offered Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, except Federal Holidays. Tours meet at 9:45 at the former Piedras Blancas motel, located 1 miles north of the light station. Don't miss the bus it departs promptly at 10:00, please do not wait at the gate to the light station. Tours last about two hours and include both the human history of the site and the natural history. Dress warmly and wear comfortable walking shoes. No pets!, (805) 927-2968
Friends of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

Picific Ocean whale tail photograph highlighting the section for the Central California Coast tourist attraction whale watching with a photo of the iconic whale tail last seen of a whale diving into the sea. Whale Watching:

Watching the Grey Whale Migrate from the California Central Coast

The California Grey Whale migration is generally highest on the central Coast from December through April but they are best viewed in late February through April when they are heading back north to Alaska. When they are migrating north they stay closer to shore and the new mothers will be moving slower because they are accompanied by their calves. The Ragged Point Inn which is on top of 350 foot cliff offers some viewing advantage; binoculars also help but the very, very best way to enjoy and appreciate these amazing giants is up close and for that you need to take a boat excursion. The closest whale watching excursions are offered by Virg's Landing in Morro Bay 805-775-1222.
There is more information about the California Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) on the www.big-sur-lodging.com website.

Hummingbird picture highlighting the section for the tourist attraction of bird watching on the California Central Coast. Bird Watching:

Watching the Birds of Ragged Point Area

The Ragged Point Inn and surrounding area are a birdwatchers paradise. Many people’s favorites are the humming birds; because of the ornamental flower gardens there are many near Ragged Point Inn. The European tourists call them helicopter birds because like no other bird they can hover in the same spot and even fly backward. There are two species in the area, the Anna's Hummingbird, a bird that is a local non-migratory resident of our coast and in the spring another species, Allen's Hummingbird migrates from its' winter home in Northern Mexico to the California Coast to breed. These tiny guys are amazing fun to watch.
Also at Ragged Point Inn are many blackbirds, many tourists think it’s fun to feed them French fries, please don’t; they have become so aggressive that if you leave your picnic table back to the snack bar to get some catsup they will steal thin right off your table; it is also kind of funny in the spring when have little ones in their nests they will thump you in the head if you come too near.
If you go to the beach you will find a plethora of shore birds including cranes and herons and common to the Santa Lucia Mountains you have the California quails, meadowlarks, jays, and raptors including peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawkes and scores of high-gliding turkey vultures. If you take a scenic drive 40 miles or more north on the Pacific Coast Highway you may sight the breathtaking giant California condor because that is their lair.

Cute animated audience smilies clapping and waving a BRAVO! sign to highlight the drinking at lounges, bars, and saloons live music entertainment and live stage section. Drinking, Live Music, and Live Theater:

Lounges, Bars, Saloons, Pubs and other live Entertainment Venues near Ragged Point:

Ragged Point has a limited but comfortable little bar which serves up wine and draft of bottled beer by the glass and is a nice place to hang and have a drink with a friend but the only live music there is happens outside on their Picnic Table Plaza which is often offered there for a few hours Sunday afternoons during the tourist season. Most often the music is provided by a single musician or a small 3 or 4 member local band; truly this area is far from any real live music or evening entertainment scene.
Historically, Treebones Resort (toll free1-877-424-4787) which is on the Pacific Coast Highway about 13 miles north of Ragged Point offers similar live music on Monday evenings. On weekends the San Simeon Beach Bar and Grill in San Simeon Acres offers karaoke w/Jim "Elvis" & Velle Owen.
Mozzi's Saloon on Main Street, East Village (805-927-4767) is Cambria’s historic old western local watering hole; a full service bar with pool tables, a jukebox and sometimes live music. Mozzi’s Saloon is over 23 miles south but is the most “happening” place in the area. Sometimes, especially during tourist season there is live music at several other Cambria venues like, the bar at the Cambria Pines Lodge, the Fireside Lounge has nightly entertainment year around (805- 927-4200 or toll free 1-800-966-6490), a popular Mexican restaurant with full bar and sometimes live weekend entertainment Las Cambritas (805-927-0175), and in the summer the popular Robin’s Restaurant (805-927-5007) has been doing tapas and live evening music in their gardens.
The closest thing to a sports-bar in the area is the Main Street Grill (805-927-3194) only serves beer and wine and the hours are limited but the food is great and they have multiple big TVs.
If you like live theater, Cambria has a long established little theater that is quite good, The Pewter Plough Playhouse (805-927-3877).

Photo of monarch butterfly to highlight the tourist activity sightseer thing to see section. Monarch Butterflies:

Migration of the Monarch Butterflies to California Central Coast

As it has for years Ragged Point Inn continues to coax scores of Monarch Butterflies to their property annually by maintaining ornamental flower gardens that include some of the butterfly’s favorite foods; they habitually mass nearby on certain trees almost covering their foliage. The butterflies first appear in late October and will be seen in huge numbers through January/February. The butterflies come to the coast to overwinter and breed before they move on to lay their eggs on milkweed plants.
If you are looking of a central coast gathering place of these amazing insects which included information and viewing support, Pismo Beach has a dedicated park, the Monarch Butterfly Grove (Pismo Chamber Toll Free 1-800-443-7778), which includes telescopes, interpretative signs, and docents to answer questions. To the north there is also a park where they gather and a permanent exhibit at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (831-648-5716) - (PG even has a parade and festival to celebrate the butterflies annual return) and the marvelous creatures also amass in Morro Bay State Park (around campsite #116 tele 805-772-2560) and Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur (831-667-2315).

Cute little animated wine tasting smiley to highlight the wine tasting as a tourist activity section. Wine Tasting:

Tasting and shopping for local area wines

It’s not “wine tasting” per say but there but you can find most all of the regions finest wines available by the glass at the Ragged Point Inn Espresso/Desert/Wine & Beer Bar; they have tasted it for you and stock a wine cellar full of fine local wines, you can relax and enjoy the Ragged Point ambiance which pairs perfectly with any fine wine. If you want to make an adventure out of it and soak up some of the local flavor, Hearst Ranch Wines (805-927-4100) maintains a really cool old west style tasting room at Sebastian’s 15 miles south at San Simeon.
There is a boutique winery and a couple stores in Cambria which specialize in tasting local wines, like Fermentations (805-927-7141) but the next closest winery wine tasting rooms is at Harmony Cellars (805-927-1625) just south of Cambria; Cayucos Cellars (805-995-3036) has a wine tasting room in the heart of Cayucos, California a classic California beach town and you can also try the new kid on the block, Stolo Family Winery (805-924-3131) which has a tasting room a short ways east of Cambria on Santa Rosa Creek Road.
Other options would be to take a road trip inland to Paso Wine Country, or further south along the coast and to south SLO County Wine Country or you can also hire a limo service to take you.
If you should decide to take a wine tasting road trip inland to Paso Wine Country you may just want to kick it up a notch and spend the night on an Estate Winery…Seven Quails Vineyards and Bed and Breakfast (805-712-8574 or 805-712-8764) has just been named one of 25 best B&Bs in U.S. by TripAdvisor.

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cute little wrapped gift present to highlight the shopping for souvenirs, gifts, art, antiques and collectibles. Shopping for Gifts etc...

Souvenirs, Gifts, Art, Antiques & Collectibles:

If your wanting to find a souvenir, gift, artwork or antiques and collectibles then the nearby town of Cambria has you covered, not only is the little village peppered with gift shops and galleries but many area business sell gifts and souvenirs as a sideline. Like the Ragged Point Inn has large selection of souvenirs, gifts and even some artwork for sale in their lobby; and if you are looking for novelties and souvenirs the mini-mart at the Shell Station (805-927-8877) in Cambria has the largest selection and some stuff that will crack you up; called the Old Cambria Marketplace whoda thunk? One of my favorites, great place to browse even if you don’t want anything is Heart’s Ease (805-927-5224); here’s a list of some other gift sources in the area:

…and a quick rundown of some other Cambria Art Gallaries: Melanee Sylvester Art Gallery, (805-927-5450); Artifacts Gallery, (805-927-4465 or toll free 1-800-927-7335); Howard Kline Gallery, (805-395-4512); Teresabelle Gallery , (805-927-4556) .

A picnic table icon to identify the picnicking section of the tourist points of interest and visitor activities things to do and see near Ragged Point California page. Picnicking at and Near Ragged Point...

Closest & Best Picnic Spots Near Ragged:

The closest place to picnic is of course Ragged Point itself, and it is a great picnic spot too! There is “Picnic Table Plaza” which is surrounded by small businesses which can support the pleasure of your picnic by bolstering your brought-from-home picnic fare. There is a Joe’s Mini-mart, a hot dog/hamburger stand, a espresso/desert/wine/beer bar and there are public restrooms too. There are other picnic location options besides Picnic Table Plaza, a nice green lawn you could throw a blanket out on and ocean view benches on which you could sit and enjoy your picnic.
The best picnic spot is 15 miles to the south, W.R. Hearst Memorial Beach, the day use area has ocean view picnic sites with standing barbecue grills, there is a pier, public restrooms, sheltered white sand beach and more… There are also several other California State and a SLO County park which also have great picnic facilities. Washburn Day Use Area at San Simeon State Beach which is just north of Cambria, Leffingwell Landing a state park day-use picnic area which is at the north end of Moonstone Beach in Cambria, and Shamel Community Park 5455 Windsor Blvd on Cambria’s Park Hill all wonderful places to have a small picnic or large party.

Knife and fork on a sign to mark the alternative dinning restaurant section of the tourist points of interest and visitor activities things to do and see near Ragged Point California page. Alternative Dining...driving to other restaurants from Ragged Point...

No restaurants close but many are worth the drive...

There are many options for eating while you are at Ragged Point but maybe you would like something different or maybe you want to combine dining out with a scenic drive. There is nowhere close to Ragged Point to eat but there are many great places to eat for instance taking a scenic drive up the Big Sur Coast Pacific Coast Highway One to lunch on the deck at to the famous Nepenthe Restaurant (831-667-2394 or 831-667-2345 ) is a wonderful rewarding adventure but 45 twisty curvy miles.
Much closer and still a scenic adventure is Sebastian’s Hearst Wine Tasting and Tasty Burgers (805-927-3307) which now features Hearst Ranch Wine tasting and local Hearst pasture feed beef burgers; the 15 mile south cafe is a local and tourist favorite. For a delicious lunch 22 miles south you can enjoy the Main Street Grill (805-927-3194) at 603 Main St, Cambria. Cambria also has many other great selections for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner; one of the most popular for lunch or dinner is Robins (805-927-5007) in Cambria’s East Village.

Funny photo of a trashed toilet on Art Beals historic Nitwit Ridge to highlight the sectoion about other historic tourist attractions visitor points of interest in the area. Another Castle and Museum...

W.R. Hearst wasn’t the only eccentric castle builder in the area, there was Dr. Tinkerpaw and Hearst Castle, isn’t the only historic house/museum either, there is the Guthrie-Bianchini House as Cambria's other museum of history:

Photo shows the extreme skill hike of the Ragged Point Nature Trail as it zigzags down the steep side of the cliff at Ragged Point Inn.
Photo Credit SLO Tribune

The colorful Art Beal AKA Captain Nitwit began assembling a home from items that others had discarded in 1928 and continued until sometime in the 1980s. The eccentric ramshackle of a Cambria hillside trash castle became a California State Historical Landmark in 1986 which had become known as Nitwit Ridge. It is currently in a state of sad disrepair but still unique and interesting and locally historic; Michael and Stacey O'Malley are the current owners of Nitt Witt Ridge at 881 Hillcrest Dr. Cambria, and if you make a reservation (805-927-2690) they will give a guided tour of the 2.5 acre Nitwit Ridge property. Tours are available by reservation only and include a four-minute video.

The Cambria Historical Museum:

The 1870 vintage Guthrie-Bianchini House was completely restored in 2008 and is now a museum run by volunteers of the Cambria Historical Society at 2251 Center Street, Cambria (805) 927-2891, open 1 - 4 p.m., Monday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. These museum project is an ongoing labor of love with a recently renovated bookstore and expect interesting new exhibits too.

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