San Simeon Things to Do

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    by lisa85202
  • Things to Do
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Most Recent Things to Do in San Simeon

  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Hearst castle - The pools

    by solopes Updated Jan 13, 2014

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    Hearst castle - San Simeon - USA
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    Hearst Palace is very well known from the cinema, and the outdoor pool is its landmark.

    However the inner pool is also a precious construction, though so cold in its old fashion look that the weather should be rather hot to prefer swimming indoor, and heat was something we couln't find in California... in August (yes, I know - we didn't go to San Diego...)

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    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Hearst Castle, of course

    by solopes Updated Oct 16, 2012

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    Hearst castle - San Simeon - USA
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    In my Big Sur page, I included a tip about the interiors of Hearst Castle.

    This is the opportunity to explain that, if the interiors are heavy and following a very arguable taste, the gardens are splendorous and the sights breathtaking.

    And you surely must see the movies at the exit, explaining how the complex was built.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • HarmoniousBotch's Profile Photo

    Elephant Seals - the unofficial view point

    by HarmoniousBotch Updated Sep 9, 2012

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    [ Aug 2012 EDIT: The fence has been repaired, and some have received tickets. ]

    About 4 miles north of the Hearst Castle road is the Piedras Blancas beach which is frequented by elephant seals. It is easy to find; there are signs pointing to a parking lot on the seaward side of the road. When you park, you will find a few signs describing seals and their lifestyle and habits, and a fence separating you from the seals. This is the 'official' place to view elephant seals.

    During the summer, often the seals will sometimes be close to the fence. However, if it is breeding season or pup-raising season they may be way off in the distance. Last time I was there in October, there were a few seals sprawled on the sand way to the south. At least I think that they were seals - at that distance they could have been sandbags.

    If the seals are not being cooperative at the official viewing spot, you can get a much better view just down the road. When you leave the parking lot, go south about 1/4 mile.

    Park on the side of the road and walk up to the fence, or step over it if you can. BUT WATCH YOUR STEP - the sand is piled up in drifts and can be unstable, and you can trip over partially buried fenceposts. You will find yourself just above dozens or even hundreds of seals, some sleeping, some playing in the surf, some sparring for mates or turf.

    PS: The shoulder is larger on the east side of the road. Once you know that you have the right spot, go back to your car and park it on the east side of the highway. Then come back and enjoy the view.
    PPS: Please don't damage the fence if you go over it.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Go To Hearst Castle (Part 3)

    by machomikemd Written Aug 7, 2011
    Casa Grande
    4 more images

    for a more detailed Hearst Castle tips, see my Hearst Castle San Simeon State Park pages.

    part three of my Go to Hearst Castle Tips with more pictures!

    hey, most of the people who stay here in San Simeon has the Hearst Castle in Mind. there is no single grand tour of the complex, what the administrators did is to split the tours of the Hearst Castle into 4 kinds of tours (to be able to make more money?) and you cand do all of them if you have a whole day and part of the night free time ok.

    according to their website:

    All tours view the Castle’s two spectacular swimming pools—the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. All visitors will also receive a ticket for our exclusive 40-minute film Hearst Castle – Building the Dream, shown on a five-story screen at the Visitor Center’s Hearst Castle Theater. This fascinating glimpse behind the scenes is shown all day at forty-five minute intervals. The first screening begins at 8:15 am.

    Grand Rooms Tour
    View the magnificent ground floor rooms of La Casa Grande (big house) where Mr. Hearst's guests met their host and were entertained during their stay at La Cuesta Encantada (the Enchanted Hill). See the Assembly Room, where guests met for cocktails, the Refectory, where meals were served, the Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater. Your knowledgeable Guide will bring this estate to life sharing stories about Mr. Hearst and his many guests who visited for nearly three decades in the early part of the last century. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.

    Upstairs Suites Tour
    View guest quarters and Mr. Hearst's private floor as you climb high up inside the castle. Visit two libraries and learn how Mr. Hearst's art collection was utilized in the castle. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.

    Cottages & Kitchen Tour
    Visit the Wine Cellar, two lavish guest houses (including the one Mr. Hearst used when he first stayed here), and the surprisingly modern kitchen. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour.

    Fondest memory: Ticket Prices:
    Tours Adult Ages(5-12)
    Grand Rooms Tour $25 $12
    Upstairs Suites Tour $25 $12
    Cottages & Kitchen Tour $25 $12
    Evening Tour $36 $18

    Children under 5 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
    Prices are subject to change without notice.

    I did the grand rooms tour 21 years ago and on a revisit, did the Upstairs Suites Tour.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • National/State Park

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Go To Hearst Castle (Part 2)

    by machomikemd Written Aug 7, 2011
    at visitors center
    4 more images

    part two of my Go to Hearst Castle Tips with more pictures!

    hey, most of the people who stay here in San Simeon has the Hearst Castle in Mind. there is no single grand tour of the complex, what the administrators did is to split the tours of the Hearst Castle into 4 kinds of tours (to be able to make more money?) and you cand do all of them if you have a whole day and part of the night free time ok.

    according to their website:

    All tours view the Castle’s two spectacular swimming pools—the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. All visitors will also receive a ticket for our exclusive 40-minute film Hearst Castle – Building the Dream, shown on a five-story screen at the Visitor Center’s Hearst Castle Theater. This fascinating glimpse behind the scenes is shown all day at forty-five minute intervals. The first screening begins at 8:15 am.

    Grand Rooms Tour
    View the magnificent ground floor rooms of La Casa Grande (big house) where Mr. Hearst's guests met their host and were entertained during their stay at La Cuesta Encantada (the Enchanted Hill). See the Assembly Room, where guests met for cocktails, the Refectory, where meals were served, the Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater. Your knowledgeable Guide will bring this estate to life sharing stories about Mr. Hearst and his many guests who visited for nearly three decades in the early part of the last century. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.

    Upstairs Suites Tour
    View guest quarters and Mr. Hearst's private floor as you climb high up inside the castle. Visit two libraries and learn how Mr. Hearst's art collection was utilized in the castle. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.

    Cottages & Kitchen Tour
    Visit the Wine Cellar, two lavish guest houses (including the one Mr. Hearst used when he first stayed here), and the surprisingly modern kitchen. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour.

    Fondest memory: Ticket Prices:
    Tours Adult Ages(5-12)
    Grand Rooms Tour $25 $12
    Upstairs Suites Tour $25 $12
    Cottages & Kitchen Tour $25 $12
    Evening Tour $36 $18

    Children under 5 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
    Prices are subject to change without notice.

    I did the grand rooms tour 21 years ago and on a revisit, did the Upstairs Suites Tour.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park
    • Museum Visits

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Ride Along US Highway 1

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 7, 2011
    bixby bridge
    4 more images

    for some spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. if you are visiting the Hearst Castle Historical State Park coming from the Southern California Area or from the Northern California Area with lost of spare time or having 2 to 3 day extra time, I would suggest a timely stop along Big Sur and the historic Highway 1 that straddles the Santa Lucia Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean for spectacular panoramic vistas for a picture perfect view and if you still have more spare time, then go to Monterey and Carmel and Pebble Beach and don't forget the 17 mile drive too. They are located about 65 and 90 miles respectively north of Hearst Castle If not, then just travel via the US 101 South from North California or Highway 1 North from Cambria or San Luis Obispo.

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    • Mountain Climbing
    • Road Trip
    • Beaches

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Go To San Francisco

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 7, 2011
    turn to US 101
    4 more images

    San Simeon is about roughly at the midpoint between the great cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles and you can take two routes going up north, the shorter but scenic route via Highway 1 that passes to Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel By The Sea, 17 mile drive and pebble beach and the wonderful vistas along the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, then merge to US 101 North up to the City, it will take about 226 miles and 4 1/2 hours. The Longer route is via Highway 46 east at Cambria, to Paso Robles and then cross to US 101 North where you can have some wine tasting if you have time and do some shopping in Gilroy which has the largest factory outlet stores in Northern California then finally to the city. The Distance is 260 miles and about 5 hours of driving time.

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    • Road Trip
    • Architecture
    • Budget Travel

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Go to Los Angeles

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 7, 2011
    to Los Angeles
    4 more images

    but the faster route will be via US 101 South if you are starting at San Simeon, the travel to Los Angeles from San Simeon is about 236 miles via US 101 South and it will take about 5 hours depending on the traffic conditions in Los Angeles and on the US 101 freeway part of Los Angeles where the traffic conditions are sometimes horrendous. If you have lots of free time on your hand, you can also have a slight detour to the quaint danish style town of solvang and Santa Barbara town awnd instead of going via US 101 to Los Angeles, then have a longer drive going to Malibu.

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    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Go to Hearst Castle

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 7, 2011
    entrance
    4 more images

    hey, most of the people who stay here in San Simeon has the Hearst Castle in Mind. there is no single grand tour of the complex, what the administrators did is to split the tours of the Hearst Castle into 4 kinds of tours (to be able to make more money?) and you cand do all of them if you have a whole day and part of the night free time ok.

    according to their website:

    All tours view the Castle’s two spectacular swimming pools—the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. All visitors will also receive a ticket for our exclusive 40-minute film Hearst Castle – Building the Dream, shown on a five-story screen at the Visitor Center’s Hearst Castle Theater. This fascinating glimpse behind the scenes is shown all day at forty-five minute intervals. The first screening begins at 8:15 am.

    Grand Rooms Tour
    View the magnificent ground floor rooms of La Casa Grande (big house) where Mr. Hearst's guests met their host and were entertained during their stay at La Cuesta Encantada (the Enchanted Hill). See the Assembly Room, where guests met for cocktails, the Refectory, where meals were served, the Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater. Your knowledgeable Guide will bring this estate to life sharing stories about Mr. Hearst and his many guests who visited for nearly three decades in the early part of the last century. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.

    Upstairs Suites Tour
    View guest quarters and Mr. Hearst's private floor as you climb high up inside the castle. Visit two libraries and learn how Mr. Hearst's art collection was utilized in the castle. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.

    Cottages & Kitchen Tour
    Visit the Wine Cellar, two lavish guest houses (including the one Mr. Hearst used when he first stayed here), and the surprisingly modern kitchen. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour.

    Fondest memory: Ticket Prices:
    Tours Adult Ages(5-12)
    Grand Rooms Tour $25 $12
    Upstairs Suites Tour $25 $12
    Cottages & Kitchen Tour $25 $12
    Evening Tour $36 $18

    Children under 5 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
    Prices are subject to change without notice.

    I did the grand rooms tour 21 years ago and on a revisit, did the Upstairs Suites Tour.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Go To Paso Robles

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 7, 2011
    wineries
    4 more images

    Paso Robles Wineries are just about a 45 minute drive from San Simeon via Highway 46 east. Visiting the fable Hearst Castle in San Simeon at the Central Coast of California can be breathtaking and more so if you are fond of wines and vinyards, it is just less than an hour drive from the nearby Paso Robles Wine Region of Central California via California Route 46 and Highway 1 South and if you are touring the Hearst Castle on your own and not on any part of a bus tour group, Paso Robles can be an exciting excursion since they have many fine wines here (althoug is is much smaller in acreage than Napa valley and Sonoma in Northern California). You will find 26,000 vineyard acres, producing more than 40 winegrape varieties ranging from Spanish to Italian, Bordeaux to Rhône, including the area's heritage variety Zinfandel. The styles of wine are diverse in this very distinct region. Wine Tasting in a local winery in Paso Robles will cost about $ 5 for regular wines and $ 8 for the vintage and premium wines.

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    • Wine Tasting
    • Food and Dining
    • Road Trip

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  • bevjerry's Profile Photo

    Lighthouse Tours at Piedras Blancas

    by bevjerry Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Postcard picture circa 1961

    You can now take a tour of the Piedras Blancas Light Station during the week, not just on the third Saturday of the month.Tours are currently available every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9:45. The weekday tours are longer (1.5 - 2 hours) and more informal than the third Saturday tours. Knowledgable volunteers lead the tours and you have plenty of opportunities to take pictures and learn and ask questions. Reservations are not needed for groups of less than 10 people. Just meet at the old Piedras Blancas motel one and a half miles north of the light station on Highway 1 at 9:45 AM any Tuesday or Thursday and a Bureau of Land Management volunteer will escort the caravan through the locked gate at the station. No fee is charged, although a donation is requested to assist in the restoration of the property.

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    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • AliasGirl's Profile Photo

    The All Decadant Hearst Castle

    by AliasGirl Updated Apr 4, 2011

    You must stop on your journey through California (Highway 1) and stop at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. It is an amazing piece of Architecture.

    You should take the guided tours through the castle. There are several and you can check them all out in detail via the website below.

    The detail and elaborate decor is unbelieveable throughout the entire house(s) and the garden areas. One of my favorite tour stops includes the Neptune Pool and the Roman Pool. It is just breathtaking! Sigh!!!

    You'll walk away like I did with an obsession of those early days when William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies had their secret rendezvous at the Hearst Castle.

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  • pigletsmom's Profile Photo

    Don't miss the pools

    by pigletsmom Updated Apr 4, 2011
    The magical Roman pool

    The Hearst Castle pools are both exquisite.
    The Neptune pool is an outdoor, decorated with white marbel cherubs and is breathtaking. The Roman pool is an indoor pool designed with blue and gold tile and is very mysterious and romantic. Both are extraordinary and two of the highlights of Hearst Castle.

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    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Arts and Culture

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  • pigletsmom's Profile Photo

    Hearst Castle Historical Exhibit

    by pigletsmom Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    William Randolf Hearst

    When you're waiting for your bus to shuttle you up the hill to the castle, you'll have some time to check out the exhibit. The curators have done a very nice job detailing the history and life of William Randolf Hearst and the story of the castle. On exhibit is memorabilia, photos, and wonderful old films. A really nice walk down memory lane.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    PIEDRAS BLANCAS BEACH HAS ELEPHANT SEALS

    by travelgourmet Written Sep 5, 2009

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    Most people go to San Simeon to visit the Hearst Castle, take a tour, and then motor on back on Hwy 1 south toward San Luis Obispo or north to Monterey. If you take the north route through Big Sur on Hwy 1, more than great ocean vistas and large redwoods are to be seen. About 8 miles north of San Simeon is the colony of elephant seals that make Piedras Blancas beaches come alive with pups every January and February. You can see seals throughout the year, but December through February is the most active time. The male bull has a very large nose that makes the males stand out. Of course being up to sixteen feet in length and weighting more that an automobile is another reason they stand out. The females are much smaller and have the seal look that most people have seen.

    Parking is available to see the bulk of the elephant seals from overhead on a cliff that is about twelve feet above the sand. There are docents around in blue jackets that can answer your questions about the seals, but they are there to also protect them from humans. Please do not bother the seals and if one gets too close, back off and give them plenty of room. Be careful driving this stretch of Hwy 1, as the elephant seals can be seen along many of the beaches for miles and some drivers could be distracted. Don't let it be you. I have a Elephant Seal Travelogue with photos of males and females.

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    • Family Travel
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Road Trip

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San Simeon Things to Do

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