California Beaches


Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals near Cambria, CA

Cambria and San Simeon on the Central Coast are the nearest cities to one of nature's best shows--the molting seals that slink their way onto the to beach to bask in the sun for some great sleep. They come into shore and cozy up on the warm sand while they molt--allowing their skin to peal its coat in a process that occurs with these mammals at regular intervals. The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery is approx. 7.7 miles north of San Simeon along scenic Coast Highway One.

Roped off for the public to look, but not get too close, you will often see someone standing around who seems a little more knowledgeable than everyone else. It is a good possibility that during your visit you will find one of these volunteer docents, who kindly comes to answer questions about the vista and these massive creatures that crawl out of the sea, putting on a quite a show. The vista is marked with a trail and strewn with educational signs explaining the activity. Educational and interpretive
signs provided by Caltrans tell the story of this elephant seal habitat.

Also look for Friends of the Elephant Seal, or drop by the office nearby at Plaza del Cavalier, 250 San Simeon Ave. Suite 3B, San Simeon, CA 93452