In 1865, George Hearst, a wealthy miner, purchased 40,000-acres of ranchland that included the Mexican Ranchos of Piedras Blancas, San Simeon and Santa Rosa. In 1919, the ranch had grown to 250,000 acres and was inherited by his only son, William Randolph Hearst.
Hearst Castle is one of the largest historic house museums in the U.S., with one of the most sophisticated guided tour programs in the country. The tours take the visitor back into time through the interpretation of a combination of many aspects regarding the estate, including William Randolph Hearst and his family, and the collection, architecture, gardens and lifestyle at the Castle.
For more information about Hearst Castle and tour availability, call 1-800-444-4445 or visit the website at http://www.hearstcastle.org/
Cayucos Abalone Farm
The Abalone Farm is a working aquaculture facility and is not open to the public. However, in order to accommodate a growing interest in abalone aquaculture, we have arranged a limited number of public tours in the summer months. Public tour every Wednesday at 10:00 am beginning June 9th and ending September 15th. Some public tours may be arranged on Saturdays during this period.
Private tours can be arranged – minimum 20 people or $140. Tours for school groups, field trips, etc. are free of charge.
If you have any questions, call us Monday - Friday 8:00AM - 4:00PM PST at (877) 367-2271.
Elephant Seal Colony
In November 25, 1990 fewer than two dozen elephant seals were counted in the small cove just south of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Spring of 1991 brought almost 400 seals to molt and in January of 1992 the first birth occurred. The colony grew at a phenomenal rate. In 1993, about 50 pups were born. In 1995, 600 pups were born. The population explosion was underway. By 1996 the number of pups born soared to almost 1000 and the colony stretched all the way to the beaches that run along the Coast Highway.
The Piedras Blancas rookery, home to about 15,000 animals, is located on Highway 1, 7 miles north of San Simeon. The area is open for viewing every day of the year and there is no admission fee or reservation required. For more information call (805)924-1628, or visit The Friends of the Elephant Seals website at http://www.elephantseal.org.
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
Tours are available and for groups of less than 10 persons, no reservations are required. For further information call (805) 927-7361 or visit the website at http://www.piedrasblancas.gov .
Elephant Seal Colony
The Piedras Blancas rookery, home to about 15,000 animals, is located on Highway 1, 7 miles north of San Simeon. The area is open for viewing every day of the year and there is no admission fee or reservation required. For more information call (805)924-1628, or visit The Friends of the Elephant Seals website at http://www.elephantseal.org .
Morro Rock Preserve
Home of nesting Peregrine Falcons the "Rock" is closed to any climbing or disturbance.
Morro Rock was an important navigational aid for mariners for over 300 years as it height of 576 feet made it the most visible in a chain of nine peaks. Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo named the rock “El Morro” in 1542. In Spanish "Morro" means crown shaped hill. Morro Rock, sometimes called the “Gibraltor of the Pacific,” is the last peak which extends from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.
For more information visit the California State Parks website at http://www.slostateparks.com/morro_rock/default.asp
Morro Bay State Park & Golf Course
For more information, call (805) 782-8060 or visit the website at http://www.slocountyparks.com/facilities/morrobay.htm
Montana De Oro State Park
Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park’s trails. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. The best-known beach is Spooner’s Cove, across from the campground.
The park’s name, "Mountain of Gold," comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring. Wildlife in the park includes black tailed deer and the black oystercatcher. The park includes primitive and equestrian campsites.
For more information call (805) or visit the website at http://www.slostateparks.com/montana_de_oro/default.asp