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Elephant Seal Rookery

Features Animals
Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA
+1 805-924-1628
Review Highlights
A must do when in San Simeon

Everybody talked about Hearst Castle but we chose to go to see the seals and we were not... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Brisbane, Australia
fun to watch

The rookery is just north of Hearst Castle and about 15 minutes from Cambria. Worth the drive... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Los Angeles, California
Read all 2,467 reviews
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  • Excellent78%
  • Very good18%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“hearst castle” (224 reviews)
“viewing area” (61 reviews)
Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA
+1 805-924-1628
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Reviews (2,467)
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11 - 20 of 2,173 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Everybody talked about Hearst Castle but we chose to go to see the seals and we were not disappointed. So amazing to see them in their natural habitat and interacting naturally. Great photo opportunities.

1  Thank TravellerDave60
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The rookery is just north of Hearst Castle and about 15 minutes from Cambria. Worth the drive. The first sight is a surprise. From a distance, they look like piles of sand stacked on the beach. With a camera, a zoom lens is best.

Thank angelino
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Don't miss this! We saw probably 150 of these amazing creatures, and watched for about an hour as they lay in the sun, occasionally having minor disputes with each other - or moving slowly into the sea! This is such a special place!

Thank SusannaW799
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Stopped by here briefly to watch the seals. There were at least 100 on the beach sleeping and moving about. Plenty of vantage points to watch them. Went down about 1 hour before sunset and were a few people there but not too busy.

1  Thank nziv2
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Seeing these wild creatures all lying in the sun on the beach was really cool! The doscents on duty were knowledgeable and friendly. It was easy to spend time watching the elephant seals!

Thank Cherigayle
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

If you are in the area, take the time for a visit to the Rookery. These big animals are fun to watch from a distance. There were information boards that told about their lives and habits. It is amazing how long they stay out in...More

Thank Carol A
Reviewed 14 October 2017

Almost skipped this in the interest of time, but so glad we made the extra drive after Hearst Castle to see/hear this! It was truly unique and I wanted to watch them for another hour if I could. (It was actually cold there in June!)...More

1  Thank spot28
Reviewed 14 October 2017

This attraction is right on the 101 highway. There is a large dirt parking lot that even accommodates trailers and motor homes. The observation area is within feet of the parking lot and offers a fantastic view of the animals. The beach is protected and...More

1  Thank Chuck8700
Reviewed 14 October 2017

The seals were all sleeping on the beach. There must have been at least 200 of them. There is a walkway that goes along the beach so that you can see more seals as you go on. It was very entertaining and interesting.

1  Thank U451FTdonnas
Reviewed 11 October 2017

Enjoyed the easy stop and just walked around looking and admiring these amazing animals. Lots of parking and easy walk too.

1  Thank David and Willa B
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Questions & Answers
12 November 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from MVM_12 | Reviewed this property |
Hello, We viewed the elephant seals in San Simeon. Have a great time.
10 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 13 answers
Response from AlanCAL | Reviewed this property |
Yes ground is flat. The only area that may be of concern is the gravel parking area. There a lot of pot holes but if you park close to water front or entrance you should be ok.
7 September 2016|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from anibananie | Reviewed this property |
According to the docents who volunteer there on the weekends, there are seals there pretty much year round...