Beaches – some sandy, some rocky – line the coast from Cambria to Ragged Point and the Monterey County border. Poke around (or check out the beach-side hikes on the previous page) to find secluded coves and great beachcombing.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the day, try Hearst State Beach (across Highway 1 from the Hearst Castle entrance, 805-927-2020), which hugs the sheltered tree-lined cove of San Simeon Bay. Relax on the sand, fish from the pier, play in the waves and watch the sea otters and seals. The day use area has picnic tables, grills and restrooms, and light snacks are available at Sebastian’s Store.
Take a guided sea kayak tour – suitable even for first-timers -- through Sea for Yourself (at San Simeon Bay, 800-717-5225, 805-927-1787). Choose from three 2-hour tours – San Simeon Cove, Marine Terrace/Otter Cove or Leffingwell Landing/Moonstone Drive – for $45 including all equipment. There’s also a 3-4 hour fishing tour (license required) for $110. The outfit also rents wetsuits, bodyboards, surfboards and bicycles.
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