THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Whalers founded San Simeon in the 1850s but had virtually abandoned it by 1865, when Senator George Hearst began purchasing most of the surrounding ranch land. Hearst turned San Simeon into a bustling port, and his son, William Randolph Hearst, further developed the area while erecting Hearst Castle. Today, San Simeon is basically a strip of unremarkable gift shops and so-so motels that straddle
Highway 1 about 4 miles south of the castle’s entrance, but Old San Simeon, right across from the entrance, is worth a peek.
Because the village of Avila Beach and the sandy, cove-front shoreline for which it's named face south into the Pacific Ocean, they get more...
Long a retreat of artists and writers, Big Sur is a place of ancient forests and rugged shoreline, stretching 90 miles from San Simeon to Carmel...