The coastal towns around California’s Hearst Castle offer oceanfront inns and Tuscan-inspired spa havens to ensure your weekend getaway is everything you want it to be – all bookable on Culture Trip.
Cambria and San Simeon are seaside villages just off California’s Highway 1, embodying a romantic escape. But they offer more than endless walks along Moonstone Beach. Think Hearst Castle – today’s museum was once publisher Hearst’s private villa, built on Cuesta Encantada, or “Enchanting Hill.” Even more enrapturing is the castle’s Roman pool with shimmery glass-mosaic tiles, marble walls, Greek and Roman-style marble sculptures and water refracting light to create a bright blue setting.
Snuggled into seaside acres amid bright green grass and fragrant California pines, this Moonstone Beach hotel has a rustic feel. There’s the lobby fireplace with its quarry stone wall, a chandelier hanging from a tin ceiling and a Chesterfield couch. Parquet floors, horse prints, leather accents and vaulted wood ceilings create a homey atmosphere – perfect for those who like their stays to be chilled out. Padded plaid headboards and bull horns complete the ranch-chic vibe, and the outdoor pool, restaurant, plus private beach trail make for an unforgettable coast escape.
Set on the shores of Moonstone Beach, enclosed by rolling grass hills, Fireside boasts a warm summer house look. Earth colors dominate the spacious rooms – and hardwood floors, plush beds, velvet chairs and a firepit make the place cozy. Rather than bland towel hooks, the owners have used sparrow sculptures perched on a branch, paying attention to little details to ensure your stay is memorable. Whether you sip a glass of wine on your natural stone patio or lounge at the pool, drifting off to the sound of ocean waves is second to none.
Steps from Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, El Colibri is for wine lovers and chill-seekers. Terracotta roof tiles and arched windows characterize this three-star hotel, radiating a typically Tuscan-Mediterranean charm. Some rooms come with a jacuzzi air-jet tub and natural stone shower – others score with woodland or town-side views. All have a gas fireplace, wood galore, carpets adding elegance and the softest linens in town. Complete with a full-service spa, sauna and wine bar serving vintages, this Tuscany-inspired hotel sets the bar for central coast hotels in Cambria.
Minutes from elephant seal-viewing at Piedras Blancas, this San Simeon beachfront resort sits on a seaside bluff and boasts Pacific coast views out of this world. The lobby welcomes guests with a fireplace and couches and adds aesthetic value with ceramic tile flooring. Carpets, velvet armchairs and bedding in matching earth tones give the rooms an elegant, warm design. Cribs are free – and adjoining rooms are available. Like dining in style? There’s a natural stone restaurant overlooking the ocean. Outdoor facilities include a giant chess set, barbecue area and two pools with recliners.
Just 4mi (6.4km) from Hearst Castle and a short walk from the beach, Sea Breeze is a no-frills San Simeon motel. The earth-colored non-smoking rooms have retro accents with wooden chairs, bedside tables and an old-time bed frame. Carpets and marble sinks add a touch of luxury, and the windows offer views of the Pacific Ocean. Need in-room amenities? They’re all kitted out with a fridge, microwave, TV and ironing board. On-site parking is free, and there’s an outdoor pool with recliners to soak up the sun.
Hiding in a garden near Moonstone Beach, this pine-and-flower-surrounded lodge is a popular wedding area. No wonder! The sun peeping through the trees creates an utterly serene atmosphere. This spa hotel makes a statement with early 20th-century style – wood and natural stone prevail in the bar and restaurant with a fireplace. The rustic charm continues in wood-dominated rooms with maroon-brown baroque sofas. The breakfast area, with its kitchen decor, chandelier and wood ceilings, enchants even spoiled hearts. Still not enough? An outdoor pool and spa tub complete this delightful experience.
Separated from Moonstone Beach by fragrant pines and colorful flowers, this mansion – with its delightful toy-house look – offers a quiet escape. Sit back on your patio or balcony, where the peace will only interrupted by squealing herring gulls. This smoke-free, pet-friendly property – partly built with natural stone – has warm-hued rooms with couches and comfy beds with padded headboards. You can cozy up by the fireplace or enjoy other convenient amenities such as the spa and 24-hour business center. Keen to work on your tan? Grab a recliner and lounge by the heated pool.
For more excellently located stays in California, see the best hotels near Legoland. Or, see more options by the coast with the best beach hotels in San Clemente. Book your stay now through Culture Trip. Check out the most beautiful coastal towns in the state, or head north to enjoy a chilled-out San Francisco vacation. Alternatively, south is the glitz of Los Angeles; make sure you dine at the best restaurants in the City of Angels.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.