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Pacific Coast Highway and the Hearst Castle in California

June 8, 2006

As I mentioned yesterday morning, we were leaving Southern California and heading up the Pacific Coast Highway. Although we won't be able to travel the entire route north with the motorhome, I will be alternating between CA 1 and US 101.

I wish I could show you all the views we saw along the way, but when you're driving a 36 foot motorhome and towing another car, there's not a whole lot of places to pull over. Most of the turnouts will accommodate only a car or two.

Anyway, we drove north to San Simeon State Park arriving about 4 p.m. and decided to stay there for the night. About 6-7 miles beyond San Simeon, the Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1) has such tight and twisty turns that they do not recommend anything over 30 feet pass through there.

After setting up camp, we quickly hopped into the Blazer to drive north so we can see what we would be missing.

It is kind of hard to describe the views so I'll just let the photos below do the talking for me. There was one point along the way where a bunch of elephant seals were basking in the evening sun.

This morning we started out early to take a tour of the Hearst Castle before continuing north.

The Hearst Castle complex was constructed by media tycoon William Randolph Hearst starting in 1919. By 1947, William R. Hearst and architect Julia Morgan had created an estate of 165 rooms totaling 90,080 square feet on 127 acres. If you're anywhere near this area, it is a must see! It was difficult to get some good interior photos since you're not allowed to use a flash or tripod and along with the tour crowds. I did take some photos of the exterior and many of the flowers located on the grounds. Here's a link to their website though where you can get some more info.

After we finished up our tour, we headed south on CA 1 until we reached Hwy 46 taking it east back to US 101. Hwy 46 was a nice scenic drive through a lot of vineyards. We drove US 101 north all the way to San Francisco until we reached the town of Pacifica situated right on the coast south of the bay.

We'll be here in the San Francisco Bay area for a few days. I'll be back then with another update.

Thanks for stopping by.

Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway:

Hearst Castle photos:
This is one of the guest houses:

The view from the balcony:

The outdoor Neptune pool having some maintenance done:

Another view of the California coastline:

The indoor Roman Pool. At over 1600 square feet, its bigger than some houses:

Some of the flowers located in the Hearst Castle gardens: