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See The Sights In San Simeon And The Central Coast

May 21, 2012 12:14 PM

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www.hearstcastle.org
Head south a few hundred miles to explore some gems along California’s central coast. Explore the Hearst Family Cattle Ranch in San Simeon, and the tiny towns of Harmony, Cayucos and Cambria, along with plenty of great tips for lodging and activities.

Piedras Blancas Light Station
(operated by the Bureau of Land Management)
www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/pbls.html

Piedras Blancas is located on California’s central coast, just north of San Simeon. In the 1866, this location was chosen to fill the gap between the lighthouses at Point Conception and Point Sur. Built in 1875, tours of the area last 2 hours and feature the historic lighthouse, support buildings,
wildlife, plants and spectacular coastal scenery along an easy 1/2 mile interpretive trail. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress warmly. Pets are not allowed on tours. Check the website for seasonal tour information.

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery
www.beachcalifornia.com/piedras.html

This location, close to Hearst Castle, is ideal for elephant seals. Protected by the Piedras Blancas point from storms from the northwest, it has wide, sandy beaches offering pups protection from high water, and it is protected from predators by a kelp forest. Animal lovers of all ages will get a kick out of watching these massive creatures as they sleep, eat, and play along the protected beach area.

Hearst Ranch/Hearst Beef
www.hearstranch.com

While famous for being running a newspaper empire, the Hearst Family still consider themselves ranchers. Cattle on the ranch live a completely natural existence as foragers and grazers, the way they have lived for thousands of years. As a result, We are the nation’s largest single-source supplier of free-range, all-natural, grass-fed and grass-finished beef.

Hearst Ranch Winery and Tasting Room
(Sebastians General Store)
442 SLO San Simeon Road
San Simeon, CA 93452
805-927-4100
www.hearstranchwinery.com

While it still serves as a general store, post office, and café to tourists, campers and sport fishing enthusiasts, historic Sebastian’s is also the gathering place to sample the wines of Hearst Ranch Winery and enjoy café style meals featuring Hearst Ranch Beef.

Hearst Castle
(managed by the California State Parks)
www.hearstcastle.org

World-famous, Hearst Castle is legendary for its elaborate design and sheer size. Over 165 rooms make up this hilltop palace. Don’t miss both of the spectacular swimming pools, which are still used by members of the Hearst Family after hours. A tour of the castle is a tour of California history, and one of the most popular reasons to visit the Central Coast. Most tours cost $25 for adults, $12 for children.

Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
9415 Hearst Drive
San Simeon, CA 93452
(805) 927-4688
www.cavalierresort.com

The Cavalier is a Best Western hotel, so you know you can find a room at an affordable price. But few expect such views and charm in a chain hotel. A few rooms at the Cavalier even have cozy fireplaces, to ease the Pacific Coast chill.

The Tea Cozy English Tea Room
4286 Bridge Street
Cambria, CA 93428
(805) 927-4688
www.teacozy.com

Once used as the answer to a question on Jeopardy, this charming, English-style spot for tea is popular with everyone from little old ladies to leather-clad bikers. That’s right. Don’t be surprised if you see a few Harleys parked in front of the Tea Cozy. Swing by for a spot of tea, and did into scones, tea sandwiches and pastries as you mingle with an eclectic group of locals.
Brian’s Pick: Pets are welcome on the patio.

Harmony Glassworks
(805) 927-4248
www.harmonyglassworks.com

Harmoney, California, population 18, is home to one of the state’s most extraordinary glass art workshops and galleries. You’ll find everything from hand-blown bowls and plates, to holiday ornaments and objects d’arte. Stick around and watch the artisans in action. The workspace and gallery are combined, so patrons can see the sweltering work behind these gorgeous glass products.

The Cass House Luxury Inn
222 N. Ocean Avenue
Cayucos, CA 93439
(800) 995-3669
www.casshouseinn.com

Originally the home of Captain Cass, founder of the town of Cayucos, the property is now home to the Cass Inn, a 5 room bed and breakfast run by a young married couple. All of the rooms are en suite, and beautifully appointed. And you’ll want to stay for dinner. The full-service restaurant on-site uses ingredients grown on the Inn’s grounds.


Estero Waterfront Inn Hotel

501 Embarcadero
Morro Bay, CA 93442
(805) 772-1500
www.esteroinn.com

Located on the edge of the Morro Bay Marina, The Estero Waterfront Inn is the perfect spot to rest your head in town. With eight cozy rooms, you’ll be well taken care of by the friendly staff. And you won’t break the bank either. The Estero Inn offers reasonable prices year round, as well as birthday and anniversary special packages.

Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe
801 Market Street
Morro Bay, CA 93442
(805) 772-4415
www.dornscafe.com

Celebrity photos line the wall at this popular Morro Bay eatery. Since 1942, Hollywood A-listers have headed to Dorn’s for a fresh taste of local seafood. Located right on the beach, this casual spot is a must-visit.

Ready for your next adventure? Head over to Eye on the Bay’s Travel & Outdoors section and discover the best of the Bay.

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