Top 10 reasons to visit San Simeon this fall and winter
As the crowds of summer on California’s Central Coast subside, fall colors surge, surfing conditions begin to peak, and San Simeon’s seductive charm kicks into high gear. Here’s why you need to plan your next getaway to San Simeon.
1. The Ideal Time To Visit
Not only are the crowds smaller, San Simeon’s Highway 1 properties – from quaint seaside inns to full-service resorts – offer the same warm hospitality, but often with rates significantly lower than during high season. From rustic campgrounds and full-service hotels with ocean views to quaint roadside inns, visitors can click here to find and book the right property for you.
2. Holidays at Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle attracts visitors from around the world looking to experience the newspaper magnate’s enviable lifestyle and wonder at his impressive collection of 14th to 17th century fine and decorative European art. Although colorful at any time of year, each fall and winter the staff decks the halls with glittering holiday lights and décor, from late November through December. It also marks the return of the castle’s popular evening tours, which includes the staff dressed in period costume.
3. Going Local
San Simeon’s proximity to other charming seaside towns means there are plenty of other events to enjoy, such as the Central Coast State Parks Association’s Adventures with Nature series, offering docent-led hikes, classes and workshops open to all ages. Other standouts include everything from classic car shows, theater and holiday events, to art and wine festivals. Learn more about events here.
4. Wine and Dine
If the way to your loved one’s heart is via the stomach, the local and regional restaurants will not disappoint. With many offering seaside views, and the freshest local seafood, grass fed beef and local wines from award-winning wineries from down the road in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo. Bonus: If visiting in January, you can save significantly during the ever-popular San Luis Obispo County Restaurant Month.
5. Elephant Seals Galore
Catch a glimpse of the northern elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Rookery, one of only three accessible mainland rookeries in California. Although you can see a few of these fascinating creatures – whose males grow up to 5,000 pounds – throughout the year, in the fall, the local population swells, peaking at up to 17,000 in January and February.
6. Breathtaking Trails and Parks
San Simeon’s outdoor recreation opportunities abound, from boating, birdwatching and fishing to wine tasting and kayaking. Hiking is a favorite pastime, especially the beautiful San Simeon Creek Trail, a famous 3.3-mile trek through Hearst San Simeon State Park and its nearby campgrounds. Here, you can enjoy views of rich Monterey pines, riparian valleys, scenic bluffs and pastoral grassy areas, as well as glimpses of wildlife, Hearst Castle, the Santa Lucia Mountains and tide pools.
7. Award-Winning Wines
When planning a trip, many have to choose between visiting the beach or wine country. San Simeon boasts both. San Simeon and the surrounding area are home to several award-winning wineries and the renowned regions of Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.
8. Beautiful Beaches and Parks
Wild and rugged, the unspoiled beaches of San Simeon are among the most beautiful in the state. The town also boasts several unique California State Parks, from Hearst Castle to scenic campgrounds. With mild, sunny fall and winter weather, these beaches and parks can inspire romantic walks and opportunities to unplug with loved ones. And don’t miss the historic Piedras Blancas Light Station, which currently boasts a modern marine aero beacon sitting atop the lighthouse.
9. Coastal Discovery Center
Boost your family’s ocean IQ at the free Coastal Discovery Center, while enjoying fun activities, such as spying marine life from the San Simeon Pier. You can also check out engaging exhibits and educational programs which highlight the cultural and natural history of San Simeon, California State Parks and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
10. Ride the Waves Less Traveled
San Simeon is the ultimate spot for those who love to play in the water without a lot of traffic and crowds, from surfing and kayaking to fishing and boating.
For more tips and to plan your trip be sure to head over to VisitSanSimeonCa.org.
About Visit Sam Simeon
Visit San Simeon promotes the San Simeon region as a premier California Central Coast destination. Situated along either side of one of the most beautiful stretches of Highway 1, San Simeon is a secluded retreat filled with natural splendor, endless outdoor adventure, scenic wonders and treasured historic landmarks. From watching the elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas rookery to touring the world-famous Hearst Castle, sleeping under the stars in San Simeon State Park to hiking along beaches and pristine stretches of Pacific coastline that have been naturally carved by the sea, San Simeon is a rare, secluded California gem.