(C)  2002-2014 J. Watson       All rights reserved  
San Simeon.  The Hearst San Simeon State Park is a “must
see”.  William Randolph Hearst started a major media empire,
which now includes numerous newspapers, magazines and TV
properties as well as a ranch and vast real estate holdings.  
During the early 1900s he constructed the most exquisite “castle”
in the US.  See the mansion with its grand gardens, fountains,
pools, antiques, priceless art, as well as the rooms that are larger
than most American homes.  (One room is so large that Hearst
used a telephone to talk to people at the far end.)  Hearst spared
no expense to import world treasures, which are displayed.  Four
tours are offered and you select those that match your interests.  
Your tour bus leaves the visitors center and drives through the
wild animal preserve.  You disembark and walk about this
“kingdom”.  RV parking is available.  Route 1 north to...

Take time to enjoy the many viewpoints along the way.  A few
miles north of San Simeon stop at the lookout for Elephant Seals,
photo.  What a sight.  Hundreds of the elephant seals loll on the
nearby beaches (seasonal).  

Big Sur is very scenic as the road clings to the seaside cliffs and
twists and turns as the sea beats against the rocky shore below.  
Big Sur’s worth a stop to take in the redwoods.  

Point Lobos State Park (photo) is south of Carmel on Route 1.  It
is renowned for its rockbound coast and the hundreds of seals
and sea lions on the nearby offshore rocks.  Then to…

Carmel, Monterey, & Marina.  This is a good point to fan out to
visit a variety of spots of interest.  There are plenty of
accommodations in this area.  

Carmel where you can visit the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de
(photo) and famous 17 Mile Drive along the Pacific.  The
mission is a fine example of mission architecture.  The
17 Mile
(photo) is a scenic highlight along the coast and there are a
number of parking areas so you can get out and walk along the
shoreline to enjoy the surf and see the seals that populate it.  You
will enjoy this shoreline with the famous
Pebble Beach Golf

(If you’re a golfer you may wish to play the beautiful Spyglass –
just check the price before setting your heart on it!)  Then in…

Monterey visit the noted Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is world-
renowned for outstanding exhibits.  Here you will gain an
appreciation of the research that takes place to learn of the
underwater resources.  It’s located on the waterfront at the end of
Cannery Row, made famous by Steinbeck.  East of
Monterey is…

San Juan Bautista with the Mission San Juan Bautista.  With its
many arches, this is one of our favorite missions.  It is alongside
the San Andres Fault.  Heading north you pass
which is famous for strawberries, and
Gilroy for garlic.  (Honestly
– in Gilroy you can get garlic flavored ice cream!)  

.  From here you may wish to head north to San
through Santa Cruz and quaint Half Moon Bay.  Or
go east through ‘49ers country to the grand
Yosemite National
– just check available accommodations if you plan to stay
overnight.  (See Petaluma, below.)  Then to
Lake Tahoe and

.  See Route C

We usually avoid city traffic and go around San Francisco Bay via
I-689 to…

Napa Valley.  This is one of the most productive wine areas in
the US.  Take time to taste and enjoy.  There are dozens of
wineries with tasting rooms and most have tours.  Then drive
alongside the many vineyards toward the coast to…

Petaluma or south.  Here, the KOA- RV park runs excellent all-
day tours of San Francisco.  Seasonal tours are open to the
general public, as of this writing.  Leave the driving to them.  

South of Petaluma there are ferries to
San Francisco if you
prefer to do it on your own.  Or, drive south over Golden Gate
Bridge.  Some highlights of the city – Chinatown (photo), Golden
Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Girardelli Square, Japanese
Tea Garden, and
Alcatraz National Monument (a former federal
prison that is reached by ferry – advance reservations are
advised), and many nightspots.  Expect morning fog in San
Francisco .  

North of the Golden Gate Bridge is picturesque
nearby are
Muir Woods National Monument with a redwood
forest; and
Point Reyes National Seashore.   Don’t plan to swim
at this seashore as the ocean water is considered too cold for


From here connect to:

Route B Coastal  Route-    Northern California & Oregon

Route C Interior  Route-    Northern California & Oregon
Elephant seals loll on the beach during mating season
You will see and hear offshore seals from Point Lobos
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
Mission San Juan Bautista is one of the more picturesque missions
Monterey Bay Aquarium is a research center
The Seventeen Mile Drive has many splendid view spots
San Francisco's Chinatown is always busy
Travel Letters
Hearst Castle at San Simeon
Vineyards near Napa Valley