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Camping near San Simeon, California

Where else can you go camping near a castle tucked into the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean?.

96% (18421 reviews)

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12 top campgrounds near San Simeon

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SMR Carmel Camping

24 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents89 acres · Carmel By The Sea, Monterey
Welcome to Saddle Mountain Ranch, RV and Campground! We are located on 89 acres of forest land off Carmel Valley Road, just 5 miles from HWY 1. Nestled within oaks, Monterey pines, and redwoods, Saddle Mountain offers a great family friendly getaway for those seeking a break from the bustle of life. On site seasonally heated pool (Mid May through Oct). ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: *Please continue reviewing/monitoring California Travel guidelines as they may change and affect your reservation* On site seasonally heated pool (seasonally), private hiking trail, playground, Foosball table and more. No refund for inclement weather during the Winter months. We provide complementary Wi-Fi in designated areas of the park. We ask that there is no streaming at the Park so we can share Wi-Fi with all our guests. Thank you!
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$36
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The Hill Fort - Camelot

18 sites · RVs, Tents48 acres · Greenfield, Monterey
Camelot was founded on the Summer Solstice, in the year 2000, by a small group of like minded people as a peaceful refuge from the trappings and ills of society. The name "Camelot" was chosen because of the groups' belief in a round table approach to problem solving, and the desire to reach a unanimous group consensus in any course of action which might affect any one individual of the group. A pendragon was elected as the the lifetime group leader, or "first among equals". This position exists today, though the members of the original group have faded into history.
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$45
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The Enchanted Forest Retreat

53 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents45 acres · Los Gatos, Santa Cruz
Welcome to the Enchanted Forest Retreat! We are a meditation retreat center with 45 acres of some of the most gorgeous redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains to enjoy hiking, creeks and small water fall exploration, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, star gazing, relaxation, meditation and more. We have 18 campsites, 3 Glamping Tents, 2 Tiny Houses and 2 Guest Suites in the house. Our campground has running water from a natural spring, Men and Women's Restrooms each with 2 toilets and 1 hot water shower and plugs for charging phones, laundry shed with sink and hot water, one shared BBQ grill by the fence up above the creek, and an outdoor amphitheater. 25 minutes to Silicon Valley - 25 minutes to Santa Cruz Boardwalk we're centrally located in the south bay. Dogs and kids are welcome - dogs must be picked up after and kept on a leash if other campers are present. Please note: This is camping - there may be bugs, critters, dirt, unpredictable weather (pack for the cold, just in case - we get surprise fog often!), early sunrise, no cell data, etc etc. It's not the Hilton - but it is gorgeous. ;) Shopping such as Safeway, Costco and the big box stores are 20 minutes away in Soquel; however, we have a charming little market (Summit Center) 3.5 miles away that has a great selection of groceries, drinks and hot foods, etc. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and we'll help however we can!
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$80
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Locatelli Vineyards and Winery

16 sites · Lodging, RVs100 acres · San Miguel, San Luis Obispo
Welcome to Locatelli Vineyards and Winery! Our hands-on approach starts in our estate vineyard, through the winemaking process, and onto bottling. Our family-owned and operated winery has been in business for over 20 years. We're dedicated to producing the finest wines in the Paso Robles Appellation. We offer 15 dry camping RV sites for a unique experience to stay at our beautiful vineyard! Wine tastings are available as well - please contact the winery directly at the email provided on your confirmation page for further details. Thank you for visiting, we're glad you're here. Salut!
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$50
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Cuyama Badlands

25 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents164 acres · Cuyama, Santa Barbara
If you've ever wondered what it might be like to camp on the moon, this is it. Completely removed from civilization and surrounded by a barren nature that is alive with the subtle presence of the universe. Seasonally, Spring wildflowers burst across the landscape. Cave paintings of Chumash Indians remind us of those who lived before us. This is where the deer and the antelope play.  Our Carrizo Camp is surrounded by the Carrizo Plains National Monument. This is truly a get away from it all camping. The preconfigured trailer will sleep two and the site is provided with water and fresh bedding for each booking. That's it. You, the coyotes and your own private moon. Our Songdog Camps are sparsely scattered atop a 200 foot mesa that looks west over a valley offering stunning desert sunsets. Our Lodge, Ranch House and Glampsites are available on occasion. This is our home but we love to share our life in the outback. We believe it will give you a better appreciation of life's simpler side. There are two sites where RVs are welcome.  This land was sparsely populated by the Chumash Indian and is evident by the numerous cave painting that remain here in the Caliente mountain. In the era of the California Missions, this land was a part of the Spanish land grants. Currently the property is privately owned and is adjacent to large sections of publicly held lands.
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Camp Carmel Valley

31 sites · Lodging112 acres · Carmel Valley, CA
The Camp was started in 1925 by Mrs. Douglas as a girls camp to teach young girls the beautiful wonders of the outdoors including horseback riding, swimming, archery, and camping. She felt that boys had plenty of opportunity to explore Mother Nature but at the time, girls had no such camp to attend. This 115 acre, beautiful, rolling hills ranch has been a camp ever since and now offers camping for the young and old, girls and boys, families and singles…. You name it… a camp for everyone. Located on 115 acres historic boys and girls summer camp complete with pool, tennis, and hiking in Carmel Valley, CA. Re-connect to nature and nostalgia! There is plenty to do at the Camp as well as surrounding areas. 2.5 miles from Carmel Village known for its many wine tasting rooms, restaurants and galleries. 14.5 miles inland from Carmel by-the-sea and Carmel Beach. Perfect locations for day excursion to Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur. Camp sessions are Thursday-Saturday nights. MEALS AND ACTIVITIES ARE INCLUDED IN YOUR STAY. This listing is available for 3 night stays. For other dates look at our other listings which require two stays. We highly recommend you stay for more than one day as it is difficult to take part in all activities when at the camp for only one day. Imagine! your own private off the grid cabin where you can enjoy tent camping without the hassle of setting up a tent. Gourmet meals prepared for you by a chef. Numerous activities for you to take advantage of or simple step outside your cabin and wonder on our 115 acres and connect to nature. Welcome to The Camp. CABINS Sunset cabins recently re-built cabins have two queen mattress (max 4 ppl) and are located near a shared bathhouses. Sunset village has cabins have access to a bathhouse with designated full baths with private shower and bathroom for each cabin. Like tent camping without the hassle of having to set up a tent. You bring your sleeping bag, bedding and towels. No electricity or plumbing in the cabins. We provide a battery lantern so bring your flashlight. POWER Cabins are off the grid. No power or Wi-Fi. Bathhouses have power and plumbing. FOOD and DRINK New for 2021 meals are included! Starting with Dinner on arrival day and finishing with breakfast on departure day. Three meals per day will be provided for multiple day stays. Farm to Table cuisine ranging from breakfast sandwiches, fried chicken to premium vegetarian. Our chef can accommodate most food allergies. ACTIVITIES Self guided activities include: Pool, pool deck, basketball half court, tennis courts, yard games, hiking trails and many areas to connect to nature. Guided activities: Hosted campfire on Friday and Saturdays with smores, supervised use of the archery range with sign up (archery is offered in the afternoon on Saturday the last sign up is 5:15PM), Tie Dying is offered Saturday mornings and Yoga is offered on most Saturdays and schedule is subject to change. Highly recommend multiple night stays to participate in activities. In addition to all this there are additional activities like black smith classes or boot camp workouts at an additional cost available. FIRE No individual fires. We do offer hosted campfires for on Friday and Saturday nights. DOG Two dogs are welcome per cabin $50 per dog. MUSIC No speakers, amplification or radios. Acoustic instruments are allowed. RESERVATIONS Camp sessions are a required two-night stay Thursday-Saturday Night. Check-in is between 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. We will send you an email prior to arrival with additional information. Please note Hipcamp site assignments do not correspond to the actual cabin you will be assigned. Our Camp cabin names and assignments are a little different. If you are reserving multiple cabins please let us know so we can try and assign you near each other. Parking is a short walk away from the Cabins. The Camp is private property and for registered guests only. Gate is closed 9PM-7PM. Campers are free to come and go as these please between 7AM-PM, but all Campers must be back onsite before 9PM. WHAT TO BRING: Sleeping Bag or bedding Towels and Toiletries Flashlight Water Bottle
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Sequoia Mountain Farms

72 sites · RVs, Tents10 acres · Miramonte, Fresno
Welcome campers! PLEASE read all of the below before booking and screenshot/print the BELOW DIRECTIONS, as google and other mapping apps have taken guests on very difficult routes. Trust us, mapping apps don't account for the issues of small mountsin roads! We have over 10 acres of stunning campground nestled only 15-20 minutes from the North entrance to the Sequoias! We have multiple sites to accommodate every type of camping from tent camping to tents-attached-to-cars and trucks, to pop-up campers to RVs with or without power and water hookups. Please see our RV hook-up spaces on our sister post! (RV sites at Sequoia Mountain Farms) Site numbers are not used...which allows you to pick any open area on the 10 acres. We have many sites made for you to choose from! There are wonderful views down into the valley, at night with sunsets off-the-hook, and city lights twinkling in the valley distance. Pick your spot and enjoy! First come-first serve, with multiple sites for large groups which can be reserved. Hot showers now available for all campers at no extra charge!! DIRECTIONS: Navigator apps push anyone coming from the south up the 245 highway north. It is a very windy and slow climb up the hill. It's doable (except large rigs), but we HIGHLY recommend continuing north on highway 99 to Fresno and then heading east on highway 180 up the mountain. It's faster, much more scenic and a smoother drive. This route also goes right by the nearest gas station on your way up! Coming east on highway 180, out of Fresno, that gas station is a Valero at 35468 E Kings Canyon Rd. aka Clingans Junction. From Clingans, head east on the 180 for exactly 13.8 miles to the 245 highway (it comes up quick with only 1 or 2 small signs), make a right, heading south. If you hit the park entrance, you went too far, turn around drive back about 5 min and look for the 245 on your left. Once on the 245 heading south, go 5.1 miles. On your right you will pass the 'Pinehurst Lodge', which is on google, an easy reference point and is 1 minute or less away (great food!). Then a few seconds later the "Worksource Center" and we are just past that on the same side of the road. First you will see a Giant Sequoia Tree in the front yard (campground road is just to it's right) then the apple ranch with the ole loggers cabin chimney from the late 1800s still standing in the front yard directly off the highway! If you hit the 'leaving sequoia national forest' sign and the community center, you went too far, turn around and drive 1 minute back and look for the apple ranch on your left, pass it and then turn left after the Sequoia tree into the gravel road with the orange cones coming from this direction. ARRIVAL: Please feel free to drive in and directly find your spot, no need to check in unless you want to say hi or need some assistance! We are usually around working somewhere and make multiple rounds on the camp daily. Please take note of the posted pics from directly across the street facing what you will see when you get here. The address sign is posted on a tree and you can see the apple orchard and ole loggers chimney from the road off to the left and the Giant Sequoia Tree on the right of the address sign with the main entrance just to the right (north) of the tree. There are 3 gates.: The FAR RIGHT GATE (north gate), just to the right of the Sequoia Tree, goes to the campsites! Look for the graveled road with orange cones / solar lights easily visible from the road.The middle gate is to the 2 RV hook up sites in the big pad / yard directly off the road. Far left and southern most gate (to the left of the address sign) is closest to the apple ranch and chimney; leads to the house which is also a rental. We look forward to seeing you soon at Sequoia Mountain Farms!!! :) Please message us for any questions! We are happy to help! We want you to have the best experience possible, so if we can help, we definitely will! Also, please check the weather online before you come up to the mountain! Just know we are operating under the assumption that you are aware of the conditions and are prepared for them. If nature happens message us and we will do our best to assist! :)
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Pismo Sands RV Resort

83 sites · RVs12 acres · Oceano, San Luis Obispo
Off the beaten path, yet near the beach, the caves, kayaking, shell-collecting, surfing, fishing, and all the reasons you come to California’s Central Coast. It’s beautiful here. It’s natural. And it’s just perfect for you. Come in your RV and stay as long as you like – you don’t have to leave!Conveniently located near the Halcyon Road exit of US 101, Pismo Sands RV Resort offers 133-level, paved, full hook-up sites with 20/30/50 amp electric. Our pull-thru and back-in sites will accommodate RVs of up to 40 feet in length. FREE WiFi and cable TV are available at every site.Pismo Sands RV Resort also features four fully-equipped vacation cottages for 4-6 folks who want the resort experience without the RV. These cottages are roomy and fully furnished. Bedding and towels are provided. The kitchen is equipped with a dishwasher. You’ll have a regular-sized bedroom, sofa bed, bathroom with shower, outside deck with patio furniture, and flat-screen TVs in the living room and bedroom. While in the area, visit Hearst Castle, taste wines, see Dinosaur Caves, take a butterfly tour, go hiking, fishing, or horseback riding, play golf, or try a Hummer tour of the dunes. Enjoy all the new and exciting experiences Pismo Beach has to offer. YOUR AFFORDABLE RATE INCLUDES…• Immaculate restrooms and showers • Some sites are ADA accessible • Modern laundry facility • Controlled access gate for safety • Smooth, paved streets for easy walking • Roomy enough for all slide-outs • Patio and picnic table at every site • FREE WiFi and cable TV • Grass areas • Dump station • Onsite management and management office • Use of all the deluxe Amenities• We’re pet friendly!• Sorry, no tent camping• RV Check-in 1 p.m. & Check out at 12 p.m
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$73
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Lupin Lodge

53 sites · Lodging110 acres · Los Gatos, Santa Clara
Experience the Joy “One of the great pleasures of life.” “The freedom to be me.” “The total sensations of sun, air and water.” “Surprisingly relaxing.” “No more soggy swimsuits.” “A direct connection with nature.” “Rearranges the gender-power equation.” “An invaluable reality check.” “The feeling of total acceptance.” “A truly spiritual experience.” Going nude in natural circumstances elicits a spectrum of responses as varied as the increasing number of people who also enjoy nudity in a social context. The wider American culture is basically shame-based, vacillating between puritanism and pornography in its attitude towards the nude human form. But there exists a joyous parallel universe, largely unknown and thus unavailable to the general public until the Internet emerged. Sadly, it is still a rare bookstore which stocks, much less displays, any of the long published guides to nude recreation. This web guide is an introduction to an emerging paradigm which not only accepts the whole human body as natural but also celebrates it as the uniquely individual gift of life it is. You won’t find a lot of nude pictures in this site because it is not intended to serve voyeurism. It is designed to help all who are open to experiencing themselves as nature created us, especially nervous first-timers. Introducing Lupin Sited on 110 wooded acres in the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains, Lupin is a special blend of private nature park, destination resort, recreational/athletic/fitness/social club, mountain campground, art gallery/clubhouse/restaurant, spontaneous retreat, small conference center and certified massage school. Open daily year-round, Lupin can be experienced as a one-day excursion, a weekend getaway, home-base for a Bay Area vacation or a short-term residence during massage training. It is conveniently located between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz only minutes from San Jose International Airport. Lupin nurtures mind, body and spirit. Members and guests may choose to read, relax, hike, swim, float, soak, chat, play, lounge, snack, sunbathe, exercise, meditate, dine, learn, dance, camp, picnic, stargaze, snooze, volunteer, create, recreate or otherwise enjoy a variety of family-style entertainment and group activities. Who Visits Lupin and Why? Transcending differences of age, origin, appearance, career and gender, many people of wide diversity experience personal acceptance, psychic freedom and social harmony at Lupin. A recent profile reveals our clientele to be productive citizens, thoughtful guests and intelligent free spirits, i.e., pleasant, good neighbors. Generally well-informed and well-traveled, they tend to be friendly, fun-loving and inclusive, yet respectful of any individual’s desire for privacy or solitude. People’s reasons for visiting Lupin vary by individual. Many just seek a relaxing, natural break from stressful careers. Some, perhaps new to the Bay Area, come to meet new friends, while others become regular members to enjoy the familiar company of kindred souls. To the athletically inclined, Lupin offers the best nude volleyball in the Bay Area. Some members rarely miss a liberating opportunity to dance nude. Families enjoy Lupin because it appeals to inner children of all ages and offers choices of things to do both together and separately. For some individuals simply visiting Lupin provides an uplifting spiritual experience. What’s It All About? Social nudity is initially about improving a life-long relationship with one’s own quite unique body, the only possession on earth truly worth having, whatever shape it’s in. Simple “body acceptance” is the healthy, wholesome, inclusive, life-affirming, unifying theme. A rare experience of unselfconscious relaxation and universal acceptance of human reality is often a surprising bonus to the newly initiated. Besides being personally liberating, experiencing social nudity is also both humanizing and equalizing. Without clothing’s message-laden facade people tend to accept one another as the special, sometimes fragile being each truly is. Mutual vulnerability promotes mutual respect, honesty and trust. Civilized behavior and open communications seem only natural within such a disarming context. (For better results our world leaders should try negotiations in a hot tub.) Differentiating Nudity and Sexuality An absence of sexual pressure is fundamental to the naturist experience at Lupin, which has served thousands of families since its founding in 1936. Club rules, naturist values and common sense define a clear difference between sexual behavior (excluded by consensus in all public areas) and nudity (encouraged everywhere on the grounds). Such an ethic of confining all sexuality to “consenting adults in private” helps defuse sexual tension, as does an explicit non-harassment policy, which is enforced. Thus, public or predatory sexual conduct of any sort is quite rare (and, if illegal, also subject to prosecution). Gawkers may be asked to leave and not return. Though people who meet at Lupin may often form close friendships and sometimes develop intimate relationships, just being nude at Lupin clearly does not signify sexual availability. In addition to being in bad taste, unwelcome sexual solicitations (especially from a new acquaintance) would be considered harassment and are grounds for expulsion. Rediscovering Eden Being clothes-free in a natural setting may theoretically reactivate some long-dormant genetic memory of a primordial existence well before smelly animal skins and scratchy fig leaves became fashion edicts to our ancestors. (Couldn’t an Eden “au naturel” be reflected in our DNA, as well as in our creation myths? After all, we humans survived tribally nude for a much longer time than the few centuries we’ve lived compulsively clothed.) In plain fact, it just feels sensuously good and intrinsically wholesome to accept ourselves so completely and to experience nature and other people on an entirely “as is” basis. It’s refreshing. It’s relaxing. It’s liberating to mind, body and spirit. It’s just so completely natural. Have you ever wondered what you might be missing by always remaining confined within a body-alienated society’s compulsory cover-up? In the final analysis, nude recreation has to be experienced to be believed. Try it, you’ll probably like it. No body’s perfect. Come as you are. Still Nervous About a First-Time Nude Experience? If you were typically raised (religiously indoctrinated?) within a patriarchal, judgmental, censorial, body-shaming culture (or if you’re among the 80% of Americans who have not yet experienced the enlightening joys of coed skinny dipping), then even the thought of social nudity may stir strong feelings and induce strange images much different from the truly relaxing nature of the experience. Some nervousness is common for almost everyone before taking the first plunge. (Acclimatization rarely takes more than an hour for even the most modest.) Anxiety, guilt, self-rejection, embarrassment or fear of sexual arousal are not uncommon reactions stemming from the unnatural repressiveness of society’s widely enforced nudity taboo. If these negative responses in any part describe your feelings, then a thorough reading of this site (including Lupin’s expected behavior standards) is suggested before attempting a personal visit to Lupin or any other naturist locale. A Network Node for Nude Recreation An adventuresome 20% of experiential North Americans (and a far higher percentage of blase Europeans) are seeking out nude recreation and clothing-optional getaways in growing numbers as a matter of leisure choice. Many now vacation only where they can avoid the need to bring a swim suit. Besides introducing Lupin and exploring social nudity, this site also links to many other naturist related web sites, including clubs, resorts and organizations around the world which support or offer wholesome nude recreation. Reciprocal links with appropriate sites are welcome.
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Granite Mountain Resort

30 sites · RVs10 acres · Oakhurst, Madera
Welcome to Granite Mountain Resort, an RV park and event center located in the heart of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains, just minutes from Yosemite National Park. Our property offers options for all types of travelers, including RV sites, private Airbnb rooms, and an event center and meeting space for gatherings of all kinds. Our 30 RV sites offer a comfortable camping experience for those seeking a convenient and hassle-free stay. Our RV park is ideally situated for easy access to Bass Lake, Yosemite National Park, and the endless recreational opportunities within the Sierra National Forest, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. For those traveling from Los Angeles, we’re approximately a 4-hour drive away, while San Francisco is just a 3.5-hour drive away. If you’re visiting Yosemite National Park, we’re just minutes away from the southern entrance, making us an ideal base for exploring the park and its many natural wonders. If you’re flying in, the closest airport is Yosemite International Airport in Fresno, which is just an hour’s drive away. From the airport, simply take CA-41 N to reach our resort. Our property is located in Oakhurst, a charming town in the Sierra Nevada foothills. You can explore downtown Oakhurst and its quaint shops and restaurants, or head to nearby Bass Lake for swimming, boating, and fishing. Our area is abundant with opportunities for hiking and site-seeing, making it a nature-lover’s paradise. If you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of the area, Yosemite National Park is just a short drive away. Take a scenic drive through the park, hike to stunning waterfalls, or marvel at the giant sequoias. Other nearby attractions include the Sierra National Forest, Nelder Grove, and the Sugar Pine Railroad.
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Mercey Hot Springs Resort

24 sites · RVs, Tents144 acres · South Dos Palos, CA
Mercey hot springs is an off grid natural hot springs oasis located in the Diablo range of Central California, 13 miles west of I-5. With 20 individual outdoor tubs, stunning natural surroundings, Mercey is a magical place for you to unwind, relax, heal and enjoy nature. You can hike and mountain bike in our quiet 144 acre property or just chill, observe the wildlife and birds that call Mercey home. Experience Tranquility at its best!
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The Camp

12 sites · Lodging100 acres · Carmel Valley, CA
Started as a girl's summer camp in 1925 the sprawling 115 acre camp later allowed boys as well and was in business for over 50 years. Now purchased by new owners and renovated it sets the stage for you to make your own summer camp memories.Learn more about this land:Welcome!Experience our one-of-a-kind health & homesteading experience available ONLY on the following dates:May 6-9, June 23-27, August 19-22, September 9-12Wild Roots Health and Homesteading Retreats take place in a rustic camp setting in Carmel Valley, CA. Each day will be a mix of hiking, formal workouts, and homestead-style activities. Guests will take part in group wellness coaching, nutrition education and cooking demos and they will learn how to incorporate these newly acquired skills into life after the retreat. During down time guests are encouraged to take a nature walk, read a book in a hammock, or simply relax by the pool taking in the beauty of the ranch. Scrolling on your phone will not be an option since phones are surrendered at the beginning of the retreat for  full digital detox.This retreat in all-inclusive. You are provided with a private guest cabin for up to two people, wholesome meals, and access to all health services in a small group atmosphere. Weekend itinerary is listed in the photos. Cabins do not have electric, heating or cooling. Bring your own bedding and bath towels. Baths have power, flush toilets, and hot water. No wifi available, but you will be too busy to notice.
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Star Hosts in San Simeon

Within one hour of San Simeon

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Camping near San Simeon guide

Midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the coastal village of San Simeon hugs a picturesque stretch of Highway 1. No trip here is complete without a tour of Hearst Castle, an opulent estate perched above dramatic cliffs with sweeping vistas of the Pacific. Looking for natural attractions? The entire region surrounding San Simeon Bay is sprinkled with state parks, marine preserves, and beautiful beaches. Set up camp in nearby Montaña de Oro, Morro Bay, or Pismo Beach, or venture inland to find a creekside campsite in Los Padres National Forest. When you’re ready for civilization, the seaside town of Cambria fits the bill.

Where to Go

Hearst San Simeon State Park

This park encompasses three highlights: Santa Rosa Creek Natural Preserve, San Simeon Natural Preserve, and Pa-nu Cultural Preserve. Spot marine mammals, including migrating whales, while you stroll the walkways to scenic overlooks along the coastal bluffs. You’ll learn more from interpretive panels or with a visit to the Coastal Discovery Center.

Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve

Nab a viewing spot at the rookery around Point Piedras Blancas for a look at the star attraction: a colony of Northern elephant seals. Docents are on hand to share their knowledge of these massive animals, which haul to shore to breed, give birth, molt, and rest between ocean migrations.

Big Sur

San Simeon is coined the Gateway to Big Sur, situated along some of the most remote portions of the Pacific Coast Highway. Meander this coastal route alongside the Santa Lucia mountains and Los Padres National Forest, stopping to explore two gems: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which includes a popular campground.

Morro Bay

Birdwatching, hiking, sailing, and fishing bring Hipcampers to Morro Bay, located a bit south on the Cabrillo Highway. Fly a kite or try windsurfing at the Morro Strand, stroll the boardwalk over sand dunes in the Elfin Forest, and stop by Morro Bay State Park’s Museum of Natural History before grabbing a bite to eat in the coastal city.

When to Go

While winter rainstorms occasionally batter the coastline, it can be a quieter time of year to visit the region. Between October and February, monarch butterfly populations overwinter at San Simeon Natural Preserve, as well as groves in Pismo Beach and Morro Bay. Elephant seals may be observed throughout the year, but you’ll see the biggest populations come ashore during late January, April, and October. State parks campgrounds fill up quickly in summer months, especially on weekends and holidays, so reserve early.

Know Before You Go

  • Cambria is your go-to town for gas stations, grocery stores, cafes, and craft beer.
  • Dogs must typically be leashed in campgrounds. They are prohibited on most beaches and trails except on W.R. Hearst Beach and some boardwalks.
  • A portion of the 3.3-mile trail that runs along the San Simeon Natural Preserve is wheelchair accessible.
  • Rookery viewing areas are open to the public year-round and are wheelchair accessible.  No reservations or fees are required.
  • Harbor seals and other marine life can also be spotted from the Elephant Seal Boardwalk in Hearst San Simeon State Park.

Frequently Asked Questions

San Simeon camping prices can vary depending on the type of campground and amenities offered. For example, the San Simeon Creek Campground within the Hearst San Simeon State Park charges $35 per night for a standard campsite. For more options, you can explore a variety of San Simeon campgrounds on Hipcamp, where prices and amenities may differ.

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