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Elephant Seal Rookery

Features Animals
Review Highlights
Amazing Viewing and Free!

Be sure to stop here if you are in the area - or even go out of your way to view these marine... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Paris, France
Pretty amazing

As we were driving Highway 1, decided to stop at viewing area. Hundreds of elephant seals lounging... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Tampa, FL
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  • Excellent78%
  • Very good18%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“hearst castle”(260 reviews)
“fun to watch”(101 reviews)
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Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA 93452-9715
+1 805-924-1628
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All reviews hearst castle their natural habitat fun to watch viewing area huge creatures amazing animals flipping sand mating season answer questions amazing sight worth a stop off the highway young males great stop these guys big sur piedras blancas
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1 - 10 of 2 457 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

So glad we stopped to see the elephant seals. We initially left the hotel in the wrong direction but were glad we turned back - as we have never seen an elephant seal before!

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank bexandlus
Reviewed 6 days ago

Be sure to stop here if you are in the area - or even go out of your way to view these marine mammals. I have never seen anything like it - thousands of elephant seals lounging on ten kilometers or so of beach. Take...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank TSinParis
Reviewed 1 week ago

As we were driving Highway 1, decided to stop at viewing area. Hundreds of elephant seals lounging on the beach. Fascinating to watch them.

Date of experience: December 2018
2  Thank EdfromTampa
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The elephant seals are fun to watch. The setting is gorgeous. There are volunteers there who can tell you everything about the seals and answer your questions. The rookery is in very close proximity to Hearst Castle. We visited in early morning to avoid crowds.

Date of experience: November 2018
2  Thank jillba10
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The sight of so many of these amazing animals lying on the beach a few feet below you is really something. The guide estimated this guy at 8,000 pounds.

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Seaside792969
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Enjoyed seeing the elephant seals and even saw a domination fight and standoff between two males. It’s a nice walking area but perhaps not for ADA.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank ne1travel
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a must stop and must see. We spent over an hour just observing the elephant seals coming in and out of the water, lying in the sun, and occasionally barking at each other. Impressive and best of all- Free. Except you'll be inclined...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank brlittle
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We stopped here the day after visiting the expensive aquarium in Monterey and let me just tell you thirty minutes here was better than our entire aquarium experience. This place was just amazing. We could have watched the seals for hours it was so interesting....More

Date of experience: November 2018
2  Thank jewelz24
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Even in the off season, when there are a limited number of elephant seals on the beach it’s an incredibly impressive sight. These huge, blubbery animals will make the biggest of us feel svelte and watching them lounge and cavort is an amazing sight. You...More

Date of experience: November 2018
3  Thank Zzardvark
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If you're driving on Hwy 1 in the San Simeon area, this should be on your "to see" list. Lots of parking but there are no bathroom facilities so plan ahead. Perfect for all ages and easily accessible to everyone. We were there on a...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Sally T
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
28 September 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from robbiei468 | Reviewed this property |
As in above, you can't miss it. Have a great time.
1 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from landusd | Reviewed this property |
It is a long way between the two... At more than a 4 hour drive. We were at Yosemite and drove to San Francisco , then down the coast to San Simeon. That was 2 days of driving / sightseeing.
24 February 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from grocks63 | Reviewed this property |
Certainly not. I don't know if it's 24/7, but it's open all day.