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Hearst San Simeon State Park contains most of the waterfront property along a 20-mile segment of Highway 1 north of the city of Cambria on California’s Central Coast. This area of the coastline, which is centered on the town of San Simeon, is probably better known for Hearst Castle than the lovely beaches along the shore. While the Castle should not be missed, each state beach in this park is a worthy destination by itself. Hearst San Simeon State Park has thirteen different beaches from Santa Rosa Creek on Moonstone Drive in Cambria to San Carpoforo Creek on the southern Big Sur Coast. Many of these beaches are hidden gems that few tourists ever see.

Elephant seals, birds and other wildlife can be spotted on these remote beaches. Most of the beaches are large enough for long beach walks and are tops for beachcombing. While beach visitation is highest during the summer months, this scenic drive and these beaches are worth seeing any time of year.

IMG_9255 Hearst State Beach (Large)

Cambria and San Simeon have many options for food and lodging. If you are driving northward there are even more options along the highway near the beaches of Big Sur. Camping is available at the San Simeon Creek Campground and additional tent camping spots can be found at the primitive campsites of Washburn Campground. Both of these campgrounds are near San Simeon Creek Beach. Hiking trails wrap around the Washburn Camp, but the best place to get out and walk around in the park is on the boardwalk above Moonstone Beach.

Kayaks can be rented at William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach where it’s usually calm on San Simeon Cove. After exploring this beach consider stopping into Sebastian’s General Store and Cafe just up the street on San Simeon Road.

Here are the beaches in Hearst San Simeon State Park listed from south to north.

Beaches on this map

  • Santa Rosa Creek Beach

    Santa Rosa Creek Beach at the Santa Rosa Creek Natural Preserve is a day-use beach access in Cambria, CA. Santa Rosa Creek Beach is the southernmost part of the huge […]

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  • Moonstone Beach

    Moonstone Beach is along Moonstone Beach Drive which parallels Highway 1 in northern Cambria, California. The shoreline here is made up of brown sandy coves separated by rocky bluffs. At […]

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  • Leffingwell Landing at Moonstone Beach

    Leffingwell Landing is a day-use area at the north end of Moonstone Beach in Cambria. This is a state-run facility that is part of Hearst San Simeon State Park. On site […]

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  • San Simeon Creek Beach

    San Simeon Creek Beach is at the mouth of San Simeon Creek north of Cambria, CA. This is a wide sandy beach with dunes, wetlands, and driftwood. Birds can be […]

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  • Little Pico Creek Beach Access

    Little Pico Creek Beach is part of the expansive Hearst San Simeon State Park along the northern San Luis Obispo County coastline. There are no signs to indicate the beach […]

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  • William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach

    William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach is the beach nearest Hearst Castle and not far from the town of San Simeon. The beach entrance road is opposite the road to […]

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  • Arroyo Laguna Beach

    Arroyo Laguna Beach is a windsurfing and kiteboarding spot along the northern San Luis Obispo Coast. The beach is at the mouth of Oak Knoll Creek which is commonly called […]

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  • Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

    Elephant seals crowd these two sandy San Luis Obispo County beaches at different parts of the year but especially during their mating rituals in February. The other peak periods include […]

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  • Point Piedras Blancas Beach

    Point Piedras Blancas Beach is located just north of the Piedras Blancas Light Station in northern San Luis Obispo County. Windsurfers and kiteboarders have already discovered this spot and might […]

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  • Arroyo Del Corral Beach

    Arroyo Del Corral Beach is located about a mile north of the Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County. Access to this beach is from the old Piedras […]

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  • Arroyo De La Cruz Beach

    The Arroyo De La Cruz Beach Access is another one of the state-owned properties included in Hearst San Simeon State Park. This is a sandy beach at the mouth of […]

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  • Point Sierra Nevada Dunes Beach

    Point Sierra Nevada sticks out into the Pacific Ocean north of San Simeon and Point Piedras Blancas. North of the point is a seldom visited sand dunes structure and a […]

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  • San Carpoforo Creek Beach

    The San Carpoforo Creek Beach Access is the northernmost portion of the state-owned properties in Hearst San Simeon State Park. A portion of this beach is also in Los Padres National […]

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Other locations on this map

  • Hearst Castle

    Don’t pass by Hearst Castle if you haven’t taken a tour here before.

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