We had a little weekend getaway to the beach at the San Simeon State Park from 12/4/15-12/6/15. I booked us in the main campground, not the Washburn primitive campground. I thought this meant we would have hook-ups but we didn’t. This was our first time completely dry camping. We were in site 101, which is a great site. It was kinda in a secluded corner and it was the longest site closest to the beach. The beach was only a 2 minute walk.
Saturday morning we woke up and immediately headed to the beach. The campground has a path that you walk under the 1 freeway, and then you are there! Also, this beach has no other access to it so we were there alone because there was also no one camping almost at the campground. The boys played and had a lot of fun. There is also a huge hill to climb to get some good views of the beach from higher ground.
When we checked in on Friday night, the ranger gave us a junior ranger activity guide and said if the boys did a lot of it then they would get a metal pin. That book was awesome and encouraged us to visit the elephant seals just 4.5 miles up the 1.
I had seen the elephant seals many times before, but never that active. We found out that December-January is when they all come to the beach to have babies, fight for dominance, and breed before heading out to sea again. They boys loved them and James saw this cute baby with big dark eyes and named him Eli the Elephant seal.
We didn’t know this existed, but there is a 1.9 mile hike along the beach that takes you to more view points of beaches with elephant seals, then to the Piedras Blancas lighthouse, and then still much further than that. We walked round trip 2 miles because we made it to the lighthouse and then went back. The walk was easy and BEAUTIFUL! Definitely a great way to spend a couple of hours.
The ranger adventure guide also took us to the Coastal Discovery Center which was a small but cool place. You can easily miss it because there is no sign from the 1, but it was at the Hearst Castle exit by the pier. There the boys got to see the microscopic plankton in the sea in a microscope. They learned about trout, tide pools, and a boat that is sank about 70 miles off the coast.
Then we walked out on the pier. We walked all the way to the end of the pier. There was an older couple fishing and she pull up 4 little fish on her line. Her husband took them off the hooks and let the boys hold them and then throw them back in the ocean. They were a little hesitant, but then found it so fun.
We also saw a cute little otter eating a crab. It was so cute!
We got the boys’ metal badges, had them repeat their pledge, and then pinned them. We spent the rest of the evening at our campsite with the boys playing, having a campfire, roasting marshmallows, then we turned on the generator and watched Pirates of the Carribean and went to bed. The only bummer was the heater for some reason stopped working and we were definitely a bit cold! Brr!
Sunday morning we immediately headed to the beach again and enjoyed a walk which even lead to us seeing a group of vultures. That beach is so private and nice. We definitely want to head back in the summer because u could set up there all day, and walk back to the trailer in a minute if you needed anything. It’s definitely our summer to do list!!!