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Centrally located between San Jose and Los Angeles, California, you’ll find the sprawling Hearst San Simeon State Park. Just under two and a half hours west of Bakersfield, this park is over 3,000 acres of country land that holds over twenty miles of Pacific Coastline and the famous historical monument, Hearst Castle.
In the 1860s, George Hearst, thriving from his gold mining enterprise across the Californian coast, purchased land and eventually built Hearst Ranch. In the 1920s and '30s, the park grew substantially with the addition of over 500 acres of beach and then another 1,131 acres in 2005.
If you enjoy horseback riding, hiking, or wildlife viewing, this park is a must-visit for your next RV camping adventure. Check out national monuments, museums, and the breathtaking landscape of Hearst San Simeon State Park. Book an RV in San Luis Obispo County and start camping today!
Hearst San Simeon State Park campers have the luxury of camping in one of the oldest state parks in the country. It encompasses the Santa Rosa Creek Preserve, the San Simeon Natural Preserve, and the Pa-nu Cultural Preserve. The rich history of the area is only surpassed by its natural beauty. Strap on your hiking boots and traverse the three-mile hiking trail, stroll down the Elephant Seal Boardwalk or the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, which is a one-mile, wheelchair-accessible trek down the coastal bluffs.
If sightseeing is on your itinerary, the historic Hearst Castle and Museum houses a fascinating collection of art from all over the world. Bask in the marvel of ancient Spanish and Egyptian sculptures, Roman pottery, and French paintings. Daily tours are available for visitors. See the luxurious architecture and the beautiful Roman Pool. In addition to the castle, the rocky coastline and San Lucia Mountains form a striking backdrop.
RV campers at Hearst San Simeon State Park will be surrounded by a curious selection of natural and exotic wildlife. This is due to the dismantling of the Hearst Castle Zoo in the 1950s. Alongside the bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes, you’ll find llamas, Rocky Mountain elk, and zebras. Aquatic wildlife here is also extraordinary; you might see a blue whale or bottlenose dolphin on your travels. The Elephant Seal Boardwalk gets its name from the rookery it follows, at which seals will basically use as their vacation home for birthing, molting, and resting.
If you’re looking to camp in an RV in San Luis Obispo County, the San Simeon Creek Campground is the place to park your motorhome rental. This campground has 115 sites to choose from that come with a fire ring, water spigot, and a picnic table. Amenities include dump stations, public restrooms, and hot showers. Firewood is available for purchase at the park; RV campers are asked not to collect their own firewood or bring it from outside the park.
There are no electrical or water hookups, but there is a visitors' center. Most cell phone providers offer decent service in the park. Dogs are welcome on the premises as long as they are on-leash and well behaved. There are paved paths that are perfect for guests on bikes and in wheelchairs to explore the park at their convenience.
The park and its surrounding area have enough activities to keep your family busy for your entire Hearst San Simeon State Park camping trip. Although the nearby Hearst Ranch is privately owned, you can usually spot zebras wandering in the fields from the park. The on-site winery is well worth a visit if you're a wine drinker. Sample some of your favorites, buy a bottle to take home, host an event or attend one.
Also near to the park, along Highway 1, you’ll find the William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. With yet another fantastic view, this beach was built to commemorate the man who began this area’s enterprise so many years ago. It has 24 picnic sites and beach access. Bring your family for a barbecue, soak up the sun, or take a dip in the Pacific Ocean. And if you're an angler, bring your fishing gear and cast your line off the shore to see what you can get.
When this leg of your camping trip is completed, you'll find gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores in Cambria, which is a short two-mile drive down the road. From there, Highway 1 is the nearest major road, which will take you up one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the country.