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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. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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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.

Watch the Elephant Seals

There's a nice area to pull off and see some very large elephant seals.

[Nicole, 05/24/2024]

Elephant Seals.

Watch the Elephant Seals

Well worth stopping at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. Easy place to park.

[Todd, 11/11/2018]

Elephant seals.

Watch the Elephant Seals

It's kinda cool. Likely better during calving season. Was still beautiful though. And believe the person with the tip saying they saw a zebra. It's not drugs. Hearst had zebras on his ranch and they still graze the area.

[Ann and David, 10/14/2018]

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]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Hearst's XanaduHearst's Xanadu, San Simeon, CA - 4 mi.
Nitt Witt RidgeNitt Witt Ridge, Cambria, CA - 11 mi.
O'Man the OllalieberryO'Man the Ollalieberry, Cambria, CA - 12 mi.
In the region:
World's First Motel, San Luis Obispo, CA - 43 mi.

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