Hearst Beach

  • 01 of 03

    Hearst Nude Beach

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

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

    Where is Hearst Beach Located?

    Hearst Beach is on the coast near the town of San Simeon and Hearst Castle. Get a map and directions on the last page of this guide. The official name of the state beach is William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach.

    What's Hearst Beach Like?

    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.

    Who's at Hearst Beach

    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 and Hearst Beach

    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...MORE 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. You can read a summary of their policies in this guide to Nudity Laws on California State and Federal Land.

    Nude or naturist beach neophytes, please be respectful of others and read the Nude Beach and Topless Beach Etiquette guidelines before you go to a nude beach.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Hearst Beach Reviews and Rating

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

    What Our Readers Have to Say About Hearst Beach

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

    Good if you don't mind being on exhibit

    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.


    Rating Hearst Beach 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 to Hearst Beach

    San Luis Obispo Beaches
    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.


    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. You can check a tide table for nearby Morro Bay to find out when that...MORE happens.