San Simeon campground and Hearst Castle

San Simeon State Park is located 35 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1, and about 5 miles south of the historic Hearst Castle.  If you’re in for a road trip, this is a great little piece of history to check out, just 4 hours from San Francisco or Los Angeles.  A variety of castle tours are offered daily starting at 9am, with adult tickets starting at $25 and children at $12.  Originally known as “La Cuesta Encantada” (The Enchanted Hill), William Randolph Hearst began building in 1915 with a simple idea in mind…

I would like to build something upon the hill at San Simeon. I get tired of going up there and camping in tents. I’m getting a little too old for that. I’d like to get something that would be a little more comfortable  

28 years of construction later, and that quaint idea turned into over a 60,000 square ft property, with 3 additional guest houses ranging from 2,600 square ft to nearly 5,900 square ft!

We were a little late to tour the actual castle, but the visitor center is huge and offers a free self guided tour with pictures, artifacts and an interesting story line to read through.

6:57pm we pulled into the check-in hut at San Simeon campground, and waited patiently for the ranger to look up from his computer to open the window to take our money.  

Should I knock? Maybe he doesn’t see us.
No, he’s probably on the phone, just wait.

He wasn’t on the phone, and he did see us, but he proceeded out of his booth to lower and secure the Flag, without even a nod our way.  So we got out of the car and asked if there were any camp sites available.  Still not looking at us, he said there was self-check-in instructions and motioned towards the side of the booth.  He then locked the door to the booth, got in his car and drove off.

We then noticed there was some free overflow parking just outside the gate next to a nice row of trees.  A limo tinted camper shell does come in handy, doesn’t it?

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