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William R. Hearst State Beach

San Luis Obispo, California, USA

Description

The wooded peninsula that frames William R. Hearst State Beach sets a magical backdrop for the shimmering pale waters you'll find here. A lagoon leads to the sea, and a high wooden pier juts out into the water. Eucalyptus trees stretch to the sky, and you walk through a forest of the multi-colored trees to get to the beach. It's a cold, dark-sanded beach covered in driftwood. Kids have fun using all the sticks for their games.
We lucked out and discovered two gigantic elephant seals lazing on the sand among all the weekend beach-goers. I had no idea elephant seals were so tame! But I was nervous when visitors were letting their children stand right next to the seals. Seals can roll fast and crush you. So stand back!
It was exciting to watch the elephant seals fling sand onto their backs. What a treat!
According to the docents, never get between an elephant seal and the ocean- this is dangerous! Elephant seals can move faster than humans. Also, don't allow dogs near elephant seals.
While you're here, you must visit the amazing Hearst Castle!
Head up the coast just a few minutes more and you will come to Piedras Blancas, an elephant seal viewing area, where hundreds of elephant seals gather.
Head south down the coast 45 minutes and check out the very cute beach town of Cayucos, where you can stop to eat.

Photo Gallery


Miles of rugged coastline await you in this part of California!

The lagoon and sparkling waters of William R. Hearst Beach.

I love the bark of eucalyptus trees!

What a pretty beach!

Elephant seal lazing beside weekend beach-goers!!

Elephant seal flinging sand on his back!

What a funny dangling nose the elephant seal has! It's called a proboscis.

The forested peninsula and pier.

Directions

This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

About 6 miles north of Cambria, pull off Highway 1 at the sign for William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach. There is plenty of parking, and entry is free.
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