About San Simeon California
Coastal Adventure Recreation
Coastal kayakers enjoy "The Cove" and beyond, windsurfers favor Arroyo Laguna, as do kite surfers and board surfers. Historians enjoy Indian artifact hunting. Add ocean fishing, & Big Sur! This stretch of coastline if world renowned for some of the best beaches, best waves, best coastal hiking... The list goes on. Consider San Simeon Kayak Outfitters. San Simeon is more than Hearst Castle; a perfect location to watch boats come and go. Locals and visitors can avail themselves of kayak and equipment rentals and lessons. Acknowledged as the best way to get up close to marine wildlife; sea otters, seals, whales et. al. Bring your camera and expect to sometimes get wet 🙂
San Simeon California
It isn’t accurate to say that San Simeon would not exist if it were not for William Randolph Hearst. It is close however. Perhaps the most famous piece of Hearst real estate is La Cuesta Encantada; Spanish for The Enchanted Hill.. After the death of William Randolph Hearst in 1951, it was deeded to the State of California and is now a tourist attraction. Mr. Hearst’s fortune came from the publishing industry and with it he embarked upon a mission to create a US castle that would rival those found in Europe. Hearst Castle, officially known by the State of California as the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument.
Photo: San Simeon Cove by Flash Alexander - HQ Secure Global Internet
Castle Party Time
Hearst Castle was the scene of many extravagant gatherings that included many of the rich and famous from Hollywood to national governments. Hundreds of legendary figures joined Mr. Hearst on La Cuesta Encantada. Most of the castle’s and grounds and architecture was designed by San Francisco architect Julia Morgan.
Hotels & Motels
Lodging dominates this strip town. Known as a bedroom community serving Hearst Caste; most guests land here when the rooms in nearby Cambria become full. Note however there are several world class establishments located on this section of the central coast. San Simeon is more than hotels and motels, one can find many fine restaurants, gift shops, and miles of raw unspoiled beaches, though access can be limited, more by geography than property rights.
The accommodations available in San Simeon, as well as elsewhere on the central coast, are in short supply when contrasted to the demand of the area’s burgeoning tourist trade. It pays to book ahead as late planners will find ‘No Vacancies’.
Prehistorically the local area was inhabited by the Chumash people, who settled the coastal San Luis Obispo area approximately 10,000 to 11,000 BC, including a large village south of San Simeon at Morro Creek. San Simeon is located on the Rancho Piedra Blanca Mexican land grant given in 1840 to José de Jesús Pico. In 1865, Pico sold part of the rancho to George Hearst, the father of William Randolph Hearst.
The first persons to settle in the immediate area near the bay of San Simeon were Portuguese shore whalers under the command of Captain Joseph Clark. They had previously been whaling at Portuguese Bend, but came to San Simeon Point in 1864 to homestead land that had been declared to be public. Captain Clark built a small wharf after arriving to tie up his dead whales, but the date of its construction remains unknown.
In 1869, Captain Clark partnered with George Hearst to build a wharf out on the end of the point so sailing ships could tie up and load and unload goods. A small community was growing on the small peninsula near the 1869 wharf. But the wave action near the wharf was too severe for ships to tie up there and the wharf was abandoned. In 1878, Hearst built another wharf far inside the bay and the small community that had been developing near the old wharf now moved to be nearer the new wharf. A general store, Sebastian’s Store, originally located near the old wharf, was put on skids and dragged by oxen to its present location near the new wharf. Shore whaling continued on the point until the mid-1890s. It ceased for a short time, started up again in 1897, and continued to about 1908 when it ceased for good.
Central Coast Transportation
County bus service to San Luis Obispo. Monday through Saturday. No service to Hearst Castle. Amtrak, Airlines, Greyhound terminals and rental cars available in San Luis Obispo. Local Morro Bay Trolley to take you all over town including the water front.
Distance to major cities:
40 Miles to San Luis Obispo
165 miles to Santa Barbara
242 miles to San Francisco
258 miles to Los Angeles
271 Disneyland, Knox Berry Farm.
RTA Route 15 Central Coast Transit Information
Route 15 runs from San Luis Obispo to San Simeon 7 days a week. It also runs up to the Hearst Castle visitors center on Saturdays and Sundays. View »
Hearst Wine Tasting
Sebastian's is also the gathering place to sample the wines of Hearst Ranch Winery. Local residents and visitors from all over the world savor the amazing Chardonnay, Rosé, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Late Harvest Zinfandel and our Red Cuvée, White Cuvée and Barrel Select Cuvée Blends in our quaint and inviting tasting room.
Historic remnants of the past alongside the inlaid copper bar top and rustic barn wood siding take you back to the turn-of-the-century when Old San Simeon Village was the center of rural commerce.
San Simeon Weather
Mild 50 to 70 average
No Smog - Seasonal fog
Rainfall normally 20"-25"
Some pollen Fall and Spring
Average Daily Temperature
» Winter :: Sunny days, clear nights
High 61, low 40
» Spring :: Breezy days, cool nights
High 63, low 48
» Summer :: Foggy mornings, sunny afternoons and nights
High 67, low 54
» Fall :: Warm, sunny days, cool nights
High 71, low 49
On the Piedra Blanca Rancho, William Randolph Hearst created La Cuesta Encantada™ (The Enchanted Hill) on the historic Piedras Blancas Ranch. The castle includes La Casa Grande (the large house) and adjacent buildings containing art treasures from around the world, beautiful architecture and gardens.
The Hearst Corporation presented the castle to the State of California in 1958 as a memorial to William Randolph Hearst. The Hearst Corporation later donated the castle in the name of his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst.
Rumor has it that after having the castle up on the auction block with no takers the corporation finally gave it to the state and simply took the write-off.