William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach, San Simeon

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William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach is located near the historic town of San Simeon along California State Route 1, in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. It is named for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951), whose family is closely associated with the area.HistoryWilliam Randolph Hearst memorial State Beach is located in northern San Simeon, California directly below Historic Hearst Castle in San Luis Obispo county. William Randolph Hearst State Beach or as it is locally known “The Cove” was once home to the Hearst Family newspaper empire, and was the hub of Trade and shipping in the area. Before the 1800s the land was known to be inhabited by the Chumash. However the known written history of this beach begins way back in the mid-1830s when mission San Miguel was built, and by the early 1850s a small Portuguese whaling village had been built on the peninsula jetting out into the sea. Over the course of ten years, the small village managed to hunt down some three hundred and seventy whales though records of what type of whales was not kept it is assumed the majority of the whales were gray and humpbacks as these are the whales that are commonly spotted in the area. This village was short lived, because only ten years after it was built a severe drought caused the town to move to find fresh water. George Hearst Bought nearly fifty thousand Acres establishing the ground work for Williams Empire. The Hearst Family owned all the land as far as the eye could see from their castle until the early 1950s when the family donated a huge section of land to the state and sold miles of shore line to be used for public use. If you visit the beach today the pier George Hearst build in the 1800s no longer exists, but a new on was built in the 1900s just a few hundred yards down the beach that now stands in its place. now the beach is a California state beach.
A visit to William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach represents just the start of the adventure when you use our San Simeon online journey planner to plot your vacation.
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  • A visit to this beach is a must for those who wish to spend a relaxing day away from the hustle and bustle of those further south.  more »
  • The Hearst Memorial Beach is located across Highway 1 from Hearst Castle. We visited the beach a few times during our stay in the area. We walked out to the end of the pier and took photographs of the...  more »
  • We walked to the end of the pier and had a great whale siting. A pod of grey whales came in pretty close and were very active.  more »

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Where to stay in San Simeon

Deciding where to stay in San Simeon doesn't require a great deal of consideration. All motels, hotels, inns, and lodges are located along Route 1 in the community south of the castle along the coast. If these are full, head just south of San Simeon State Park, where a larger selection of bed and breakfasts line the coast on the northern edge of the town of Cambria.
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