Visiting Hearst Nude Beach in San Luis Obispo County

Seals on Hearst Beach
Craig Howell/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • 01 of 03

    Hearst Nude Beach

    Hearst Beach at San Simeon
    mlhradio/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    Hearst Beach is on the coast near the town of San Simeon and Hearst Castle. The official name of the state beach is William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach. The location is a pretty, small cove. The beach is seldom busy and there's a nice pier in the clothed section to walk out onto.

    Where to Stay

    Nearby Cambria is a nice place to stay while visiting Hearst Beach beach and Hearst Castle. It gets occasional use by locals.

    Who's There

    Hearst Beach gets occasional use for nude recreation, mostly by locals. Some people who grew up in the area say they knew about it since they were kids. However, the fact that it's not used very often makes it hard to find accurate information about where to go.

    Nudity Laws

    Laws regarding nudity at the naturist beach vary by location and fines are stiff in some places. We haven't been able to find any information about nudity laws in San Luis Obispo County.

    Hearst Beach is in a California state park. The parks department has stringent rules about nudity, but they enforce them more strictly in some places than in others.

    Nude or naturist beach neophytes, please be respectful of others and understand nude beach and topless beach etiquette guidelines before you go to a nude beach.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Reviews and Rating

    Pier at San Simeon Beach
    Audrey AK/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Only one of our readers ever sent in a comment about Hearst Beach. Here's what he had to say:

    I have been to this beach several times, but the last time I felt a little uncomfortable being nude with as many people as there were, but no one said anything. Also hiked the bluff nude several times, passed by a jogger once.

    —Rod

    Rating for Clothing Optional Recreation

    More than 1,000 of our readers rated Hearst Beach in a poll. 49% of them say it's excellent and 13% say it's good but with a few flaws.

    More than 8,700 of our readers voted for their favorite San Luis Obispo County nude beach. 43% like Pirate's Cove, 37% voted for Guadalupe Dunes, and 19% like Hearst Beach.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Getting There

    San Luis Obispo Beaches
    Adapted from Google Maps

    If you want an interactive version of the map, would like to convert to a close-up satellite map that shows the beaches and trails or need driving directions, use our San Luis Obispo County Beach map at Google.

    Driving Directions

    Hearst Beach in San Simeon is north of Cambria on CA Hwy 1. You can set your GPS to 750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon CA — or just look for signs to Hearst Beach, San Simeon Road or Hearst Castle Road from the highway. Take the road toward the ocean.

    Parking

    You can park in the lower parking lot, but you'll have to pay the state park entry fee to get there. 

    Walking From Parking Lot to the Beach

    You can walk to the north end of the beach, which is usually not busy but open to view from clothed visitors.

    Or look for the path that goes out toward San Simeon Point, where there's a very secluded beach at the base of the cliffs. The beach is not very wide and could be under water at high tide.