Posted by: cvancil | October 21, 2009

Things to do in San Simeon

From the San Simeon Chamber of Commerce:

Fishing
Fishing off the public pier at William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach does not require a fishing license. Anglers can pull in barred surf perch all year long, but concentrations increase in December and January. Rainbow, rubberlip and walleye perch are common, and in late summer three kinds of croakers add to the action. Surf fishing is permitted with a valid California fishing license. For current information, refer to California Fish and Game regulations, or access their Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov. Both San Simeon and Santa Rosa Creeks are closed to fishing most of the year.

Camping With two campgrounds, this 541-acre park provides the closest camping to Hearst Castle. San Simeon Creek Campground has 134 developed sites for tent camping or recreational vehicles no more than 35 feet long. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table, and water spigots are available throughout the campground. Restrooms have flush toilets and coin-operated showers. A dump station, recycling bins, and pay phones are also available. The camp host sells firewood. Please burn only firewood purchased at the campground, as transporting wood can spread pine pitch canker and sudden oak death. The Washburn Primitive Campground has 68 hilltop campsites approximately one mile inland from the beach. Each of these sites, reachable from the entrance kiosk at San Simeon Creek Campground, is furnished with a fire ring and picnic table. Water faucets and vault toilets are available nearby. From mid-March to the end of September, advance camping reservationsare highly recommended. To make reserva-tions call (800) 444-7275. During the rest of the year, camping is available first-come, first-served.

Hiking
A 3.3 mile trail runs through the park. It offers a number of route variations, including scenic overlooks, rest-stop benches and interpretive panels with information on wildlife and habitat. Hikers may be rewarded with occasional glimpses of Hearst Castle , as well as pastoral slopes and the unspoiled beauty of the southern Santa Lucia Mountains. Hikers reaching Leffingwell Landing will find small knoll and a tidepool area, with benches overlooking the shore. It is a beautiful meeting land and sea, with cliffs, rocky tongues and churning waters. The California Conservation Corps, in collaboration with California State Parks, has created the Moonstone Beach Board-walk, an accessible trail with benches along the way for relaxing and enjoying the view. The trail protects the delicate bluffs from damaging foot traffic. Beginning at Leffingwell Landing Boat Launch, it extends a full mile along Moonstone Beach Drive to Santa Rosa Beach.

Boating Boating and kayaking are popular activities along the coast. Leffingwell Landing Day-use Area and William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach allow easy access to hand-launch watercraft. Surf conditions can change rapidly, so use caution at all times. Personal motorized watercraft are not allowed in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Junior Rangers Junior Rangers (age 7 through 12) learn about nature and the people of the past on special walks and through participation in other fun activities. The Junior Ranger Cubs is a nature program designed especially for children age 3 through 6.

Campfire Programs
Campfire programs have a long tradition in California State Parks, and you are encouraged to keep that tradition alive. Throughout the summer the one-hour evening campfire programs are scheduled regularly at the campfire center in San Simeon Creek Campground. Programs vary each week but usually feature singing, storytelling, an interpretive slide program and some good old-fashioned fun. Dress warmly and bring along a flashlight to help you find your way back to camp.

Bird Watching
For bird watching enthusiasts, the park shelters a large variety of species. At the beach you will see birds such as brown pelicans, gulls, terns, snowy plovers and sandpipers. In spring the blue breeding pouches of cormorants are eye-catching. Further inland hawks and turkey vultures soar overhead. Magnificent great blue herons as well as egrets, mallards, cinnamon teal,harriers, killdeer, goldfinches and kingfish-ers are plentiful. Red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks, kestrels, western bluebirds, quail, great horned owls and the western meadowlark inhabit the plateau at Washburn Primitive Campground.

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