Although its most popular attraction remains temporarily closed, San Simeon is still a fascinating and very affordable California destination. Just minutes from the world-famous Hearst Castle, San Simeon is a historic seaside town filled with spectacular ocean vistas and friendly locals. While Hearst Castle takes much of the national attention, San Simeon has other activities, like hiking, enjoying pristine beaches and the world’s only admission-free elephant seal rookery. Here’s a look at five of the best places to stay in the idyllic community of San Simeon. Each are within a short drive from Hearst Castle, Hearst Ranch Winery and the neighboring seaside village of Cambria.

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort

9415 Hearst Drive
San Simeon, CA  93452
(805) 927-4688

With sweeping ocean views, Cavalier Oceanfront Resort is TripAdvisor’s top-rated hotel in San Simeon. A pet-friendly property with two swimming pools and hot tub, the Resort offers 90 oceanfront or ocean view rooms. Each of the rooms have nice amenities like complimentary Wi-fi, mini-fridge and Keurig single-serve coffeemaker. Premium Oceanfront Rooms are just 20 feet from the shoreline, with additional amenities like a soaking tub and fireplace. ADA accessible rooms are also available. As the area’s only oceanfront resort, Cavalier also features a fitness center, spa and Cavalier Coastal Kitchen.

San Simeon Lodge

9520 Castillo Drive
San Simeon, CA  93452
(805) 927-4601

Just one block from the shoreline, San Simeon Lodge is an affordable option is this peaceful, seaside community. The lodge also offers free parking, outdoor swimming pool and complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas and in rooms. Each of the 60 rooms also come with flat screen satellite TV, refrigerators and coffeemakers. Premium rooms with oceanfront views are located on the second floor. The San Simeon Lodge also offers onsite dining at San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill and fitness center. Adjacent to the restaurant is an independently-owned convenience store for food, refreshments and sundries.

Related: Asilomar: A Literal Refuge By The Sea

Sands by the Sea

9355 Hearst Drive
San Simeon, CA  93452
(805) 927-3243

Conveniently located next to a popular spot for elephant seals is the very affordable Sands by the Sea. A modest, pet-friendly motel, it offers 33 rooms and free parking. Each of the rooms come with modern conveniences like complimentary Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, microwave ovens and refrigerators. Although Sands by the Sea does not have a dining facility, it recommends Cavalier Coastal Kitchen located next door. Sands by the Sea offers a 15 percent discount when booking early. Additionally, discounts are also available for AAA, AARP, state and federal employees and the military. The popular Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery and the beach are mere footsteps away.

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Sea Breeze Inn

9065 Hearst Drive
San Simeon, CA  93452
(805) 927-3284

With a convenient location on Hearst Drive, Sea Breeze Inn is one of San Simeon’s most affordable motels. Just minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Sea Breeze Inn offers 26 rooms, many with ocean views. Listed as San Simeon’s second ranked hotel by TripAdvisor, the two-star property has several nice amenities. This includes like swimming pool and complimentary parking and wireless access. Each of the rooms also have microwave ovens, refrigerator, flat screen TVs. Sea Breeze Inn is ADA compliant, with accessible rooms, accessible entrance to the pool and ADA pool lift. Sea Breeze Inn does not allow pets, with the exception of service animals for no additional fee. Many dining options are nearby, like Sunset Grill, El Chorlito and Cavalier Restaurant.

The Morgan Hotel

9135 Hearst Drive
San Simeon, CA  93452
(805) 927-3878

Named after the architect of Hearst Castle, the Morgan Hotel is San Simeon’s only boutique hotel. Remarkably affordable, the Morgan 56 offers nicely appointed guest rooms across two buildings. Among the impressive amenities are complimentary parking, breakfast and Wi-Fi. Each guestroom also comes with additional conveniences like mini-refrigerator, coffeemaker, flat screen TV and luxury linens. The complimentary breakfast is served in the lobby lounge, with additional dining options nearby, like El Chorlito and Sunset Grill. Current specials from the Morgan are discounts for AAA, older adults and AARP members. The hotel named after renowned architect Julia Morgan also offers up to 20 percent off nightly rates for advance reservations.

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About The Author:

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C. During his peak years with CBS, he reportedly had a digital audience reach of 489 million and more than 5.5 million monthly visitors. His other stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC,, and, among others. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University.

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