San Simeon, California: Watch the Elephant Seals

This may be the easiest-access elephant seal rookery anywhere. Park your car and take a quick walk to the beach -- but stay far away from the huge bulls in heat.

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

Hwy 1, San Simeon, CA
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. On Hwy 1/Cabrillo Hwy, 4.5 miles north of the turnoff for the Hearst Castle. Often windy; bring a jacket.
Busy months are Jan.-Feb.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Watch the Elephant Seals

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Elephant seals.

Gawk at Elephant Seals

Easily marked by road signage. We came early January and were treated to hordes of snoozing, scratching, fighting, and newborn seals! Ample parking too.

[Ariana, 01/05/2016]


Gawk at Elephant Seals

My wife and I go there several times a year. Very pretty scenery. Have also spotted zebras near the seal rookery, looking east across highway 1.

[Rocky, 12/06/2014]

Elephant Seal beach.

Gawk at Elephant Seals

They have added more parking and a second walkway along the bluff to accommodate the visitors. Come see thousands of elephant seals just a few feet away. It's very, very cool.

[Crash1965, 01/29/2014]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Hearst's XanaduHearst's Xanadu, San Simeon, CA - 4 mi.
Nitt Witt RidgeNitt Witt Ridge, Cambria, CA - 11 mi.
Scarecrows and Harvest FestivalScarecrows and Harvest Festival, Cambria, CA - 12 mi.
In the region:
Jolly Jim the Mystery Tree, Atascadero, CA - 32 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

December 15, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Save Cool Vacation Destinations!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

LBJ Museum and Library, With Robot, Austin, Texas (Dec 11-17, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, San Simeon, California

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now