Hearst Castle is a palace built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst in 1922. It's located near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco (390km 370km LA and SF). It was built on the principle of "no matter the price or how long it takes". It was donated in 1957 by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California and was later listed as a National Historic Building, and can now be visited by tourists. It occupies an area of 160 km ² and has 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 living rooms, a large expansion of gardens, both indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the largest private zoo in the world, where you can see each some zebras and other exotic animals. It's full of artwork, as much as architectures as sculptures and paintings acquired by the publisher. The running rates vary. You need to make a reservation during the busy season. If you go down the coast from San Francisco to LA the castle is a must see.
Near San Simeon on the California Pacific coast, you can find truly breathtaking scenery. The verdant cliffs fall steeply, but are still different from Big Sur (another region to be found on Highway One), are the main feature, as well as, of course, the intense blue of the Pacific Ocean. One can also observe sea lions in their natural environment, lounging on the beach. You can also see the remains of the huge Hearst Castle here.
Leaving San Simeon Castle, built by the amazing and eccentric billionaire William Hearst, we headed for the coast of San Simeon Bay. Under the clear January sky, the Pacific rolled gently onto the beach, where we saw a colony of elephant seals. A fascinating spectacle, some were sprawled out and sleeping while others bickered with each other. A beautiful sight in the quiet bay of San Simeon.
Elephant Seal Rookery is definitely a worthwhile stop if you’re driving along the Central Coast. Right near San Simeon, this spot allows visitors a glimpse of a bunch of elephant seals and boards containing a wealth of information about the animals. About five to 10 minutes is a good amount of time to observe the seals, and while they mostly just lay out in the sun, they also will spar and flip sad, and it’s quite entertaining to watch. There’s also a boardwalk in the area for those who wish to fit that in. It’s a popular spot in the summer, but parking is never really a problem. I wouldn’t go out of the way to see this place, but if you’re already along the coast, I highly recommend Elephant Seal Rookery!