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Piedras Blancas

15950 Cabrillo Highway, San Simeon, CA 93452
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Ranked #2 of 12 attractions in San Simeon
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Beaches, Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Viewing wildlife
Traveler Description: Three miles north of the turnoff to Hearst Castle, you'll find a parking lot overlooking a beach at Piedras Blancas. If it's Dec-Feb, the presence of... more »
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239 reviews from our community

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English first
Reno, Nevada
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

First you see them, then you hear them, and finally you smell them. As we pulled off the PCH into the roadside parking area, just four miles north of the Hearst Castle visitor’s center, we saw hundreds of elephant seals sunning themselves on the sandy beach below. Upon opening our car doors, the violent grunting noises and eye-watering stench made... More

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Aurora, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
22 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014 NEW

I was fascinated by the seals. When we visited it was past the mating season and the seals on the beach were "moms and babies", so smaller than what you might be expecting, but still quite large. They were here to molt. There were hundreds of them. It was like looking at a thousand fat puppies rolling on the beach.... More

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Ventura, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014 NEW

We were amazed to see such a huge colony of elephant seals right on the beach along side of Highway 1. In April, there are hundreds of young males and females on the beach interacting. We want to come back in the winter when the 5000 pound males are there battling for mating rights and the females are giving birth... More

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Agoura, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
32 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014 NEW

The Elephant seals are still there. We weren't sure they would still be on the beach this late in the season. There were hundreds of them rolling about. The young males are trying to learn how to spar, while the rest of the group lays about molting. Great picture opportunity. The parking lot is easy to find, and there are... More

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San Jose, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
19 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

I have been disappointed before but this was one that I could have avoided. I wasn't looking for a tour I was looking to photograph the area around the light house perhaps with the light house in it only to be turned down with closed signs and trails that were blocked. The tours are limited on which days and times... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Aliso Viejo, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

Definitely worth the stop. You can stop for 5 minutes or watch the seals for hours. We hung out for an hour just before sunset and I had to drag my kids back to the car. They were equally fascinated with the squirrels who followed them around thinking they might get some food. I took about 100 amazing pictures of... More

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Lake Grove, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

This was a wonderful 2 hour tour...very organized and informative. The grounds and the outbuildings are very interesting. Lovely day overall!

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Story City, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

Free, educational and a unique experience. One of those places to put on a "must see before I die" list (IMO). We went in February, the active time for Elephant Seals. Also whale spouts were spotted all along the horizon. A short stop would be fine if there's not enough time but a longer stay did us well, we soaked... More

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El Paso, Texas
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
128 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

I visit Piedras Blancas by chance when I drive throught CA Rt 1. This is my first time to see so many seals and elephant seals. It's amazing that they can live in the coast so cozily. Learn a lot knowledges about elephant seals. It's funny than watch animal planet channel :)

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Manhattan Beach, California
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
27 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

I could not have timed my visit any better!! Just by chance, I happened to be in the area for the weekend and I sure hit the jackpot for prime Elephant Seal viewing season! Just up the coast from Cambria, just past the Hearst Castle sigh, you will see a sign for Elephant Seal Viewing Vista. There are several places... More

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