San Simeon Cycling: History, Views, Unique Wildlife | Cycle Central Coast
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May 3, 2021

Discover San Simeon

San Simeon is a secluded coastal area surrounded by a rich history, unparalleled wildlife viewing, and an immersive oceanside riding experience. The moderate, year-round climate of San Simeon gives different experiences throughout the day in each season, from mild spring days full of wildflowers and pleasant feelings of fall to cool coastal fogs on summer mornings and brisk but invigorating winter winds. We have three San Simeon cycling routes along Highway 1 that explore the natural beauty of San Simeon’s rugged coastline, each offering a unique cycling experience and different perspective of the area.

Adventures abound on the Central Coast, especially in this serene-yet-stunning stretch. During your ride, you may even encounter exotic animals on the land and in the coves. Restaurants and lodging in the area have a palette of delightful flavors and dietary options for those mid-ride snacks and end-of-the-day meals.

Explore Highway 1’s most tranquil San Simeon cycling rides and schedule the break you need from everyday life. Plan your stay today!

Highway 1 Cambria to San Simeon to Ragged Point Cycling

Elephant Seal Rookery

Peak viewing times for elephant seals here are in January, April, and October—however, these wondrous mammals beach at the Piedras Blancas Rookery all year round. This rookery also is unique because it’s free, open every day of the year, and easily accessible by bicycle or car. The rookery falls along our Ragged Point and Silver Peak routes.

San Simeon Cycling Viewing at the Elephant Seal Rookery
Credit Modern Hiker

Hearst Castle

A staple landmark of the Central Coast, Hearst Castle is the pinnacle of William Randolph Hearst’s 270,000-acre oceanside estate. The magnificent castle and museum are currently closed, but when it reopens, cyclists can ride up to the castle and get a tour or marvel at the views of the Coast. Don’t forget to catch the zebras grazing in the pastures of the estate as you pass by on Highway 1.

Hearst Castle Cycling on the Central Coast

San Simeon Pier

As with other Central Coast towns, San Simeon boasts a pier that was used to ship out local products to hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. This historic pier juts out from William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach, where you may catch a glimpse of sea otters and elephant seals. Ride to the end of the pier to catch a panoramic view of the Coast.

San Simeon Pier Cycling on the Central Coast

Piedras Blancas Light Station

This historic lighthouse guided mariners along the Central Coast through the 20th century. “Piedras blancas” means “white rocks,” connecting the lighthouse’s practical use through the 1900s to the rocky coastline. Stop by the lighthouse while riding the Ragged Point and Silver Peak routes and take a tour or simply enjoy the historic view.

Piedras Blancas Light Station Cycling on the Central Coast

Silver Peak

Past Ragged Point is an unheralded gem of the Central Coast. Silver Peak features Willow Creek Beach, a sandy area hidden from view until you take a narrow road down to the beach. The beach is covered with large boulders along with some jade stones. You can also take a short hike to Salmon Creek Falls.

The seclusion of Silver Peak is memorialized in the setting of Wild Coast Restaurant, which features a campfire-style, garden-to-table menu offering the best local and regional ingredients, wine, and beer. The experience is a just reward for the long hike of our Silver Peak Route.

Silver Peak Wilderness Salmon Creek Falls


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