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Click to enlarge this picture zebras on the Hearst Ranch San Simeon California
Information: The zebras featured on this page are leftovers from William Randolph Hearst’s private zoo that like several other exotic species they now thrive on the Hearst San Simeon ranch and are a common site for visitors traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Near Points of Interest: William Randolph Hearst State Beach, the old Village of San Simeon, and Hearst Castle, Hearst Castle California State Historical Monument.
Beach Access and Day Use Parks & Picnic Areas: William Randolph Hearst State Beach offers the perfect picnic spots tables, barbecue grills and everything, white sandy beach pier and more...One could spend days and days in this small area having fun, I have. If you haven’t you should take the time to stroll around what remains of the old village of San Simeon; Hearst has some architecturally beautiful buildings in the old Spanish style, a couple of still in use cowboy adobe residences and warehouses, just nice to look at don’t bother the people that live there. There is also a restored old one-room school house (photo available as widescreen wallpaper on this page). Have lunch and do some Hearst Ranch Wine tasting at historic Sebastian’s General Store and Café. William Randolph Hearst State Beach offers a large menu of recreational opportunities; there is fishing off the pier and rocks or in the surf; picnic, hike the “point” or just stroll on the beautiful beach. There is sometimes kayak rentals, or just relax…
Near places to Eat: Sebastian's General Store and Cafe in old San Simeon is the closest, they feature Hearst Ranch free range grass fed beef and have a Hearst Ranch Wine tasting room too, taste the local flavors! also Hearst Castle California State Historical Monument has concessions which offer fast food, hamburgers deli sandwiches, espresso and more... if you don't mind a beautiful scenic drive up PCH One 15 miles north is the wonderful ocean view Ragged Point Inn Restaurant the Ragged Point Inn also has the areas most Big Sur flavored lodging. If you want to drive south about 8 miles to Cambria the Main Street Grill is my favorite it is kind of fast food only bigger and better.
Near Hotel Lodgings & Resorts: there is a plethora of motels, hotels about 6 miles south in a motel-row called San Simeon Acres, of these the very best option is the Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort if you want to drive a little further to Cambria, the Cambria Pines Lodge is my favorite it is about 9 or 10 miles south on the Pacific Coast Highway on Lodge Hill in Cambria. Going the short distance to Cambria opens a whole new world of vacation options.
Near Campgrounds: just past motel row (San Simeon Acres) just before you get to Cambria is the only camping in the area (and it is very nice) is at San Simeon State Beach.
History & Museums: Up on the Enchanted Hill Hearst Castle is like a giant art museum and down in the old village of San Simeon every building is of a historic nature, the old revival style Spanish/Mediterranean Hearst warehouses and cowboy houses are picturesque as is the restored one-room Pacific schoolhouse built in 1881. Sebastian’s General Store and Cafe is a historic landmark and has some cool related antiquities displayed.
Gasoline, Public Restrooms, Supplies: The closest gasoline available is 8.5 miles south on PCH 1 in Cambria; going north the next gas is at Ragged Point both gas stations have mini marts for supplies. There are many public restrooms available in San Simeon, at the Hearst Castle Visitors Center, at W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach, and Sebastian’s General Store also has restrooms.
Other Facilities, Services or Activities:
Just 5 scenic miles north is the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery and just past that the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse and just 15 beautiful miles north is the Ragged Point Inn and Resort. If you want to head south there are several beaches to stop at along the way beautiful scenery and San Simeon Beach State Park has a nice self guided nature hike. Then just 8 or 9 miles south is the little town of Cambria which opens a whole new world of vacation oportunities including the chance to leave the coast turn inland and head for wine country!
The Big Sur area is one of my favorites but this virtual road trip is just to give you some ideas for planning a road trip of your own; you are in a large area that is build on tourism; no matter which way you go there are tourist attractions, travelers facilities and services, and activities geared for vacation fun. If you head west you will find the small but wonderful old San Simeon village and enchanting William Randolph Hearst California State Beach. If you go south down the Pacific Coast Highway you find nearby San Simeon Acres with a nice little beach, hiking, surfing and kite surfing, great motels and places to eat, picnic and camp. If you continue south about 6 miles you come to the lovely town of Cambria with multitudes of choices for sightseeing, shopping, dining, lodging. Cambria is followed by the equally as hospitable and enjoyable Cayucos, Morro Bay, and San Luis Obispo not to mention of the road places like Los Osos and Montano de Oro. If it is cool on the coast you may want to consider the alternative beautiful scenery that lies inland and the fun associated with Central California’s Wine Country...Enjoy Life!
In the rocky crags and canyons of the 77,000 San Simeon acres still owned by the Hearst family can be found two of the world's fine big-game species: the Barbary sheep, known also as the aoudad (widescreen computer desktop wallpaper above), and the Himalayan tahr, a wild mountain goat. Transplanted to the ranch more than half a century ago, these natives of North Africa and Nepal respectively have adapted remarkably, and have become almost as much a part of San Simeon as the man who put them there. Besides zebras, Barbaries and tahr, the ranch also has thriving populations of sambar, (widescreen wallpaper also on this page) fallow deer, and elk.
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Activities Points of Interest
Coastal Aerial Photos of this Location