Lower Central Coast: San Simeon, Cambria

Once you leave the highlands of Big Sur, the highway eases its way into flood plane and the eastern hills soften. The light is thick golden syrup, the hills rusty gold, the ocean deep, deep blue. This is the Alice in Wonderland that is San Simeon, the Hearst Castle. But our focus remains the lovely shot locations available on the coast.

Just another unmarked pull-off. It was a bit north of the elephant seal sanctuary and San Simeon. This is the classic  landscape of the lower Central Coast. For this image, I was drawn to the mossy rocks in the foreground and the surf — and seagulls huddling away from the blasting wind.


Just trying to stay warm

By 7:30 the wind is so penetrating that tourists are stopping at the elephant seal sanctuary, getting a shot or two and jumping back into the car.

The shots below are taken from just south of the San Simeon turnoff. A windsurfer would say that the wind is blasting. But no one should be out with this much wind at low tide.


Elephant Seals to San Simeon to Moonstone,  Cambia

The Golden Light is something the gulls can appreciate.

Elephant Seals to San Simeon to Moonstone,  Cambia

Moonstone Beach, Cambria

Moonstone Beach, west of Cambria, is a treasure most tourists don’t find. It’s a great spot to catch the sunset. And having 30 mph winds only adds to the appeal.

Elephant Seals to San Simeon to Moonstone,  Cambia

Elephant Seals to San Simeon to Moonstone,  Cambia

OK. How can I not use the cute seal shot. Who cares what the New York art establishment thinks anyway.

And just above the heads of our two seal buddies, the sunset goes on. Not sure why a sunset would distort the sun this way but it’s a nice effect.

Elephant Seals to San Simeon to Moonstone,  Cambia

San Simeon

And while we’re here, lets take a peak at Hearst Castle. What a strange treasure: the grounds, the banquet hall and pool, the art culled from around the world, and the house that kept being built and rebuilt. And ultimately, the sinful side of San Simeon with 1930s Hollywood coming up to party and copulate with their own kind — like an American version of the upper classes going to a country house for a hunting and shooting weekend.

Hearst is worth a day or two at if your photographic proclivities run towards Old School opulence. Below, the unwashed masses confront Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.



Next: A Final Look at Central Coast

One Comment on “Lower Central Coast: San Simeon, Cambria

  1. San Simeon is one of my favorite places. Love the shot of the pool! and the dining room!


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