San Simeon

San Simeon's viewing site is situated on iconic Scenic Highway One (one of California's three All-American roadways) 3 miles south of world-famous Hearst Castle, and the 1860's site of shoreline whaling at historic San Simeon. Old Town is also the home of William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's Discovery Center.  Here, one can see the whale oil rendering pots used at the shoreline whaling facility in the 1860's.

Where the Whales Are

Located on a sloping terrace above the Pacific, this site is 7 miles south of Piedras Blancas Light Station where the Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale Cow/Calf Production Survey occurs each March-May. Wheelchair accessible and equipped with three telescopes for close-up viewing, this site is only a few steps north of the Friends of the Elephant Seal's Shop and the Visitor Center.  

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The Whale Trail

Address / Contact

9415 Hearst Dr., San Simeon, CA 93452  805-927-4688

Whale Trail Features

The Whale Trail sign is on boardwalk next to the Cavalier Resort.


  • camping
  • restrooms
  • accessible
  • picnic-area

Marine Mammals Commonly Seen Here

Marine Mammals Occasionally Seen Here

Marine Mammals Rarely Seen Here

Travel Tips

Seven miles to the north is Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery Viewing Site, home to some 17,000 animals. This site is also wheelchair accessible. 

The Whale Trail is a nonprofit organization in partnership with
Partners NOAA Seattle Aquarium People for Puget Sound Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife The Whale Museum National Marine Sanctuaries