California's Central Coast

San Simeon and Hearst Castle (La Cuesta Encantada)

hearst pool view
William Randolph Hearst literally put this part of the California Central Coast on the map. He had treasures from all over the world shipped to warehouses, here at San Simeon, to be used to furnish La Cuesta Encantada - the Enchanted Hill. This beautiful castle is known today as Hearst Castle and belongs to the State of California and you are welcome to visit. During his 'hey day', Hearst held court at his castle entertaining the rich and famous. You can visit the indoor and outdoor pools and see the remains of his private zoo as well as guest houses that would be a welcome step up for most of us as our primary residence. JJ and James loved the dining room and secret passage ways that lend a haunted feeling to the fabulous castle. Go to the Hearst Castle website and book reservations. They are almost always sold out in advance so 'walk in' reservations are not normally available. We booked Tour 1 for this trip and although Joe and I have taken it a dozen times - we enjoyed it as much as we did the first time! The kids enjoyed it too but I would not recommend taking small children. If you do book a tour and get there earlier than you planned check in and they will move you to the next tour if they can!

hearst castle visitors center pacific ocean from hearst castle hearst castle tour number 1 dawsons at hearst castle hearst castle outdoor pool james at marble fountain
guest house hearst castle hearst castle tourists hearst castle gardens hearst castle main building hearst castle main building entrance hearst vista
hearst castle breaktime main hall hearst castle flags hearst castle indoor pool indoor pool hearst castle hearst castle privacy screen guest house entrance hearst castle
statues hearst castle dining hall hearst castle ceiling restoration hearst castle

San Simeon today consists of a row of motels and restaurants a couple of miles south of the Visitor Center. There is also the old town with the post office, general store and a campground for day use across the highway. The pier is a great place to take a walk and view playful seals and take some really fabulous pictures. The row of eucalyptus trees along the lane behind the store are often filled with monarch butterflies as they migrate here from Mexico each year in huge numbers.
sebastians store san simeon pier at san simeon san simeon homes one room school house san simeon monarch butterfly roost san simeon Hearst Castle storehouse san simeon warehouses

The area is about an hours drive from Morro Bay and maybe half an hour from Cambria. You don't need to stay right at San Simeon if you have trouble getting reservations.
coastal view leaving cambria

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