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Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
Vacation Travel Guide

Go on a tour of this 19th-century lighthouse and explore an interpretive trail showcasing the surrounding scenery, historic buildings and wildlife.

The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is a landmark structure on the Pacific Coast, having guided the way for seafarers since 1875. Take a glimpse into San Simeon’s maritime history when you explore the historic park that protects the lighthouse. While you might not see many ships sailing around the Pacific coastline as you look out to sea, you might spot some of the elephant seals and shorebirds that make the surrounding wildlife sanctuary their home.

Join a guided tour and begin your exploration of the 19-acre (7.7-hectare) site. Learn about the towering cone-shaped lighthouse, which stretches 70 feet (21 meters) into the sky. The light first beamed out across the water on Feb. 15, 1875. Its original design had classical revival and Romanesque architectural features, but the ornate upper floors were removed after an earthquake in 1948. Learn about the ships and boats that the lighthouse gave safe passage to as they traversed the rugged coastline. Today, the lighthouse’s beam still flashes throughout the night to aid navigation of the waters.

Follow the half-mile (800-meter) interpretive trail and check out the surrounding buildings and beautiful native plant life. Your guide will show you some of the trail’s best lookouts, as well as popular spots for wildlife viewing. Bring your camera and capture the sunlight hitting some of the craggy offshore rock formations.

Don’t miss seeing the elephant seal rookery located a short distance south of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. You might also spot sea otters playing and feeding in the waters offshore.

The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is located less than 10 minutes’ drive northwest from San Simeon. Tours depart from the historic Piedras Blancas Motel and run for approximately 2 hours. Join a tour on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings year-round, except for federal holidays. Discounted admission is available for children aged between 6 and 17. Children under the age of 5 visit for free. Reservations are not required, but you can book in advance online. While in the area, visit the Hearst Castle and San Simeon Pier.

Top things to do in Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

Top Hotels Close to Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
3.5 out of 5
9415 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $129 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2

Nestled on the beach, this San Simeon hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cambria State Marine Park and San Simeon State Park. William Randolph Hearst State ...

4.2/5Very Good! (976 reviews)

"I love this place. GREAT view, and Dog friendly. We visit every year at least one time. The restaurant: food sucks, service is not so friendly. In room coffee, yuck, bring your own Keurig cups, they have the Keurig single machine, but bring Water. Great location for everything from hiking to Cambria ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb 15, 2021

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Tuscan Villa - #ss2
Tuscan Villa - #ss2
San Simeon, CA
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Situated by the ocean, this villa is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from San Simeon State Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse and Elephant Seal Rookery. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (16 reviews)
Beautiful place, a bit tired, could use better management

"The directions to the house were not completely accurate leaving us scrambling for a time, but we worked it out. Possibly arriving before dark would solve this problem as the house is very distinctive. The house is true to pictures. Quite grand and the photos don’t do justice to the proximity to ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb 4, 2021

Tuscan Villa - #ss2
Ragged Point Inn and Resort
Ragged Point Inn and Resort
3 out of 5
19019 Highway 1, Ragged Point, San Simeon, CA
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $209 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2

Situated in San Simeon, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Silver Peak Wilderness and Ragged Point. San Simeon State Park and Salmon Creek Falls Trail are also ...

4.4/5Excellent! (528 reviews)

"as soon as I opened the door to the deluxe cliffhouse room the back window had the wooden shades drawn so you could be teased by the spectacular view. I immediately walked to open the back door to see more. it had a built in bench on the patio to sit if it rained or two wooden lounge chairs to enjoy ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb 18, 2021

Ragged Point Inn and Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Flight + Hotel Deals

La Serena Inn
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Best Lodging Options Near Piedras Blancas Lighthouse

Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
3.5 out of 5
9415 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA
The price is $129 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Tuscan Villa - #ss2
Tuscan Villa - #ss2
San Simeon, CA
Tuscan Villa - #ss2
Ragged Point Inn and Resort
Ragged Point Inn and Resort
3 out of 5
19019 Highway 1, Ragged Point, San Simeon, CA
The price is $209 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
Ragged Point Inn and Resort
San Simeon Lodge
San Simeon Lodge
2.5 out of 5
9520 Castillo Drive, San Simeon, CA
The price is $49 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
San Simeon Lodge
The Morgan Hotel San Simeon
The Morgan Hotel San Simeon
3.5 out of 5
9135 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA
The price is $89 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
The Morgan Hotel San Simeon
Pelican Inn & Suites
Pelican Inn & Suites
3 out of 5
6316 Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, CA
The price is $119 per night from Mar 7 to Mar 8
Pelican Inn & Suites
El Colibri Hotel & Spa
El Colibri Hotel & Spa
3.5 out of 5
5620 Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, CA
The price is $108 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
El Colibri Hotel & Spa
Days Inn by Wyndham San Simeon
Days Inn by Wyndham San Simeon
2 out of 5
9280 Castillo Dr, San Simeon, CA
The price is $47 per night from Mar 11 to Mar 12
Days Inn by Wyndham San Simeon
Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach
Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach
2.5 out of 5
6700 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA
The price is $119 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.