4 Great Reasons to Visit San Simeon's Coastal Discovery Center!

San Simeon Bay

“Ocean in View! O! The Joy!”


These were the words William Clark used to describe seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time after he and Meriwether Lewis finished their yearlong journey across the United States.


It’s easy to imagine how excited those weary travelers must have been to finally set their sights on the west coast.  Luckily you don’t need to go on a yearlong expedition to learn how to appreciate the Pacific Coast. Simply go to The Coastal Discovery Center in San Simeon!


The Coastal Discovery Center is a great educational resource for anyone interested in nature or learning more about the unique ecosystem located in the coast.  Opened in 2006 as a joint venture between California State Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Coastal Discovery Center is free and open to the public all year.


4 Great reasons to visit the Coastal Discovery Center in San Simeon


4. Low Cost  

It’s hard to find a better value for the amount of education and entertainment the Coastal Discovery Center provides. Admission to the Center is free and it’s open year round.  There are some programs and exhibits that do have an associated cost, but it’s usually between $2 and $5.


3. Perfect Location

Located at the beautiful Hearst Memorial Beach the Coastal Discovery Center is conveniently nearby some other local attractions. Take a tour of the beautiful Hearst Castle, try and spot some elephant seals or learn the history behind Piedras Blancas Light Station. You can always cap off the day by exploring the shops and restaurants at “One of America’s Prettiest Towns”


2. Something for Everyone  

There are a wide range of programs and exhibits at the Coastal Discovery Center. From events aimed at children, to guided and unguided tours; the wide range of options is suitable for any age group or interest level. Exhibits range from the history of San Simeon Bay including the 1,276 shipwrecks that have happened there, to wildlife of San Simeon.


1. Support the Conservation of our Natural Resources

Visiting the Coastal Discovery Center benefits both California State Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Both organizations work to preserve the coastline and beaches including wildlife habitats. It’s easy to take our natural resources for granted; visiting the center is a great way to keep interest in the coast alive!




Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay

Location: William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach

Hours: Open Friday Through Sunday and Holidays, 11am- 5pm

Admission: Free, though some programs and exhibits have fees.

For more information: 802-927-6575



The Morgan

A boutique jewel nestled along California’s scenic Central Coast, The Morgan welcomes you with a warmth and personality all its own. As the favorite choice in Hearst Castle hotels, The Morgan at San Simeon is located only 4 miles from the Visitor Center. 9135 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA 93452. 805-927-3878.