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San Simeon California
Visitor Activities and
Points of Interest.
This San Simeon area travel guide page reads like a trip leaving Ragged Point Inn southbound on Pacific Coast Highway 1 and describes each tourist attraction, activity, visitor point of interest or thing to do as the trip progresses south on PCH 1...
...below the trip description is a
collection of VISITOR INFORMATION LINKS for San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California Pacific Coast Highway 1 South to Los Angeles
...but you can come and go from the Ragged Point Inn and Ocean View Resort from three directions; from north on Pacific Coast Highway 1,
from the south Hearst Castle way on PCH 1 , and from the air. Helicopters occasionally land on the Ragged Point Resort property if you want to fly right in or Hearst has a small private landing strip on the Hearst Ranch near the Old Village of San Simeon but the closest commercial airport to the north of Hearst Castle is 80 miles,
the Monterey Peninsula Airport; the closest commercial airport is the
San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport it is the closest to the south, about 40 miles from Hearst Castle.
Leaving Ragged Point Inn Resort Hotel to the south through Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, San Simeon Acres, Cambria, Harmony, Cayucos, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo and points south to L.A.:
The San Carpoforo Creek Beach is the closest tourist attraction south near Ragged Point Inn Ocean View Resort and it offers the closest
public beach access near the Ragged Point Inn Resort. The many activities and things to do at this recently acquired and yet undeveloped public beach include excellent hiking, fishing, beachcombing and surfing; park off the highway there are pull offs across from the old Tony Williams Ranch House adjacent to San Carpoforo Creek or just down the highway to the real Ragged Point.
You sometimes have to cross fences and climb gates to get to the beaches in this area but please be respectful of both property and nature when accessing and enjoying Central California beaches. Almost all beach property from San Carpoforo Creek south for many many miles is accessible to the public because either it is Hearst Ranch Property or Government property, both which allow public access by regulation.
The next point of interest and public beach access is 8 miles south of RPI, the
Piedras Blancas Motel; drive time: 15 minutes. This is Ragged Point Inn's closest neighboring motel to the south; the motel, store and gas station are closed and no overnight RV parking anymore but the parking lot is posted open for day use and the chemical toilet currently at the Piedras Blancas Motel is the only restroom for miles.
Ragged Point is 10 miles north of
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse (805-927-2968) ; approximate drive time: 20 minutes. The beautiful Piedras Blancas Light Station just north of Hearst Castle's San Simeon was built in 1875; limited public tours are allowed; reservations are required and all tours leave from the Hearst Castle
Visitor Center in San Simeon; reservations can be made by contacting the National Geographic Theater (805-927-6811).
South on PCH 9 miles is the
Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery. Associated with the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery there are two parking lots, developed pathways leading to vista point decks with seal educational and interpretive signs. Docents in blue windbreakers often there to provide information and answer questions. There are NO public restrooms at the elephant seal rookery development; there is one chemical toilet at the Piedras Blancas Motel a little north or it is only a short drive (6 miles) from the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery to Hearst Castle's San Simeon where you can find restrooms at the Hearst Castle Visitors Center or at William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach.
RPI is 15 miles north of
Hearst Castle (Toll Free Reservations 1-800-444-4445) and San Simeon
; approximate drive time: 30 minutes. If you have been to Hearst Castle then you will want to tour again if you plan to visit Hearst Castle you should visit
Hearst Castle, San Simeon tour guide and visitor information basics
to get some inside Hearst Castle visitor tips! Your visit to the area should include a visit to the the Old San Simeon Village, there is a newly restored Sebastian's General Store and Café (805-927-3307) now featuring Hearst Ranch free range natural grass-fed beef, beer and Hearst Ranch Wine and other local wines too; the newest amenity of San Simeon’s Sebastian’s General Store and Café is the addition of a wine tasting room for Hearst Ranch Wines (805-927-4100); also the small famous charming village of San Simeon has a pier, historic safe harbor, a day use beach area William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach (805-927-2020) and numerous buildings of significant historic importance. Most of the north central California coast beaches are gravel the one at San Simeon is nice soft sand.
The Ragged Point Inn and Resort Hotel is 18 miles north of
San Simeon Acres hotels, motels and resorts
; approximate drive time: 30 minutes. A row of hotels. motels, San Simeon restaurants and gift shops, there is good beach access and the
San Simeon Chamber of Commerce (805-927-3500) is also there at 250 San Simeon Drive, Suite 3B.
The closest campground south is
San Simeon Creek Campground at Hearst San Simeon State Park
(805-927-2020), this is also the closest camping to Hearst Castle. The State Park has two campgrounds; San Simeon Creek Campgrounds offers 115 campsites for tent camping or recreational vehicles; RV maximum length 35 feet; there are no hook ups but there is a dump station and water fill-up for RV's. Water spigots are available throughout the campground and there are restrooms and coin operated showers. There is also a primitive campground,
Washburn Campground, located 1 mile inland at the back of San Simeon Creek State Campground, The State Park also offers day use picnic areas, beach access is near, and there is a developed 3 mile interpretive nature trail. Visitor recreational activities include camping, hiking, picnicking, beach access, fishing, surfing is near, beachcombing, bird and whale watching; many things to do at San Simeon State Park.
Regretfully there are no more campgrounds for the next 30 or so miles south but in San Luis Obispo County along the Pacific Coast Highway 1 if a pullout area is not clearly marked no overnight parking or camping, RV's parked there are generally left alone. Hearst Castle Country loves its vacationing visitors! (Don't roadside camp in Monterey County you will get hasseled by the law and or get a ticket.)
Ragged Point Inn is 23 miles north of
Cambria (805-927-3624); approximate drive time: 40 minutes. Cambria is a quaint village with many hotels, motels, gift shops, and other tourist friendly stuff. In the Cambria area there are miles of accessible beaches, camping, and a
California State Park with a beach and campground, San Simeon State Park
just north of town as well as the beautiful Leffingwell Landing day use beach at the north end of Moonstone Beach. Although there are many hotels, motels, lodges, Bed and Breakfasts scattered around Cambria the nicest ones are in a row of hotels and motels on Moonstone Beach. Cambria is about a half hour drive from Hearst Castle at San Simeon.
RPI is 27 miles north of Highway 46 East; approximate drive time: 45 minutes. This is the crossover to Highway 101,
Paso Robles (805-238-0506), Central California wine country and destinations and attractions east.
This turnoff is just south of Cambria a little over a half hours drive from Hearst Castle San Simeon.
After the village of Cambria the Pacific Coast Highway juts inland and the next tourist attraction 30 miles south of RPI is
(historic town with population 18) approximate drive time: 50 minutes. One of the smallest towns in
California; there is now only the post office and an old creamery converted to a pottery barn and art galleries featuring unique ceramics, porcelain jewelry, windchimes, hand-dipped candles, Harmony Pottery (805-927-4293). A small winery, Harmony Cellars (805-927-1625 - 800-432-9239)
overlooks the town.
The next time the Pacific Ocean comes into view you have arrived at a recently acquired California State Beach property, Estero Bluffs
or Estero Bay State Property
, a beautiful three mile long 355 acre undeveloped costal terrace and beach property a couple miles north of Cayucos available for your hiking, fishing, and beachcombing enjoyment. For beach access parking you will find several large unmarked dirt pullouts to park your vehicle; it is a little hike to the beach; the buildings on the costal slope north of Villa Creek are not part of the state property this is a private commercial abalone aquaculture facility the
Cayucos abalone farm. (
Areial photos of Estero Bay State Property )
Ragged Point Inn Ocean View Resort is 35 miles north of the beach town of
Cayucos(1-800-563-1878 or 805-995-1200); approximate drive time: 1 hour. A true California Beach Town with all the amenities including
Cayucos State Beach (805) 781-5930 (option 4). It is about a 50 minute drive from Cayucos to Hearst Castle at San Simeon. (
Aerial Photographs of Cayucos State Beach )
If you think camping on the beach is the thing to do the next closest camping to Hearst Castle at about 30 miles south is
Morro Strand State Beach
(805-772-2560); features ocean front camping and picnicking on miles and acres of beautiful white sand beach;135 campsites, restrooms, hot showers, laundry tubs, dump station, two group camping areas (30 & 50). Reservations are a must year-round; popular activities and things to do at Morro Strand Beach are photography, beachcombing, swimming, sunbathing, sandcastle building, fishing, surfing, kite surfing, windsurfing, jogging, and kite flying. The park is miles long with one entrance for picnicking and public restrooms etc. at the south end of Cayucos and the campgrounds as well as picnic areas and restrooms at the north end of Morro Bay ( Aerial Photographs of Morro Strand State Beach
NORTH END -
It is 45 miles south to
Morro Bay; approximate drive time: 1 ½ hours. Morro Bay is a tourist friendly harbor and fishing village with many places for visitors to stay, activities and fun stuff for tourists to do and see; featuring the #1 "must play"
golf course on the Central California Coast (805-782-8060), nature study, a harbor, marina, classic car show, events and camping at a newly refurbished
Morro Bay State Park (805-772-7434).
A crossover highway, Highway 41, also cuts over here for Highway 101 and destinations east like
. It is about an hours drive from Morro Bay to Hearst Castle at San Simeon.
At Morro Bay the Pacific Coast Highway 1 turns inland through the surreal land of the
Nine Sisters also known as the Seven Sisters or Morros
which is a beautiful scenic drive but the best thing to do is take a side trip to
7 miles south of which you will find
Montano de Oro State Park (805-528-0513 or 805-772-7434); explore 8000 acres, including 7 miles of shoreline; activities and things to do at Montana de Oro State Park include picnicking, camping, hiking, jogging, mountain bicycling, horseback riding, surfing, hang-gliding, and fishing.
RPI is 55 miles north of
San Luis Obispo; about a 1½ hour drive. The San Luis Obispo County Seat and a college town, California State Polytechnic University, with perfect weather. The closest airport to RPI and Hearst Castle is also in SLO, the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. It is over an hours drive from San Luis Obispo to Hearst Castle at San Simeon.
At San Luis Obispo Pacific Coast Highway 1 joins El Camino Real U.S.101; to see the brilliant newly refurbished exciting beach town
Avila Beach , the closest beach to San Luis Obispo, you will have to take a side trip, turn off U.S. 101 and navigate See Canyon. The whole town is new and sparkling and so many things to do, golf, picnic, barbecue and RV camp; popular activities are fishing, boating, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, biking, hiking, wine tasting, sunbathing. Avila Beach has wonderful restaurants, shops, a pier, and world class resorts, spas and campgrounds. Between San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria is a grouping of delightful California beach towns, Shell Beach,
Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande, and Oceano are among them. Located just south of San Luis Obispo off Highway 101, a person could explore the attractions in this area for a month and still have missed some things to do and hidden jewels. This is a classic California beach area that should at least be sampled; it is most famous for Pismo Clams and their monumental sand dune environments. It offers one of the few places in the U.S. where you can actually camp and ride your A.T.V right on the beach
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area .
Ragged Point Inn is 85 miles north of
Santa Maria; approximate drive time: 2 hours. An exploding inland agricultural and retail shopping center. Santa Maria is about an hour 30+ minutes from Hearst Castle at San Simeon.
Ragged Point Inn and Resort Hotel is 155 miles north of
Santa Barbara; approximate drive time: 3 hours. An old California Mission City, tourist friendly with a nice harbor and sandy beaches. The University of California Santa Barbara and the
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport are here.
The Ragged Point Inn and Resort Hotel is 265 miles north of
Los Angeles; approximate drive time: 5.25 hours. This is a big area you probably heard of. The drive from Los Angeles to Hearst Castle at San Simeon takes about 5 hours.
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