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Santa Barbara and the Central Coast Travel Guide

San Simeon

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.

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