March/May...What to do and see when you vacation in Hearst Castle Country, Central California, month by month description of what is going on near Hearst Castle plus area tourist activities and nearby visitors points of interest.
Some things to do and places to see in Hearst Castle Country:
Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument
William Randolph Hearst Memorial California State Beach
Hearst San Simeon State Park
Junior Ranger Programs
Shamel Community Park
San Simeon Pier
Morro Bay State Park
Morro Bay State Park
Morro Bay Golf Course
Morro Bay Natural History Museum
Christmas at Hearst Castle
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery
Other Pacific Coast Wildlife:
sea otter, California Gray Whale, harbor seals, deer, bobcat, hawks, sea gulls, pelicans, fox and more...
Click and Go Activities and Points of Interest List:
This page will help you plan your San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle Country visit and should enhance your San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle Country stay; it is not a constantly updated event calendar listing every small band that may have an engagement to play in San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle Country; there are listings and descriptions of all the annual major festivals, events and celebrations and it is a month by month general description what you might expect it to be like in San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle Country and some of things for you to do when you come.
March, April & May in San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle Country, Saint Patrick's, Wildflowers, Memorial Day and more...
There are only a few holidays during the three month period of March, April, and May but there are some important ones. Saint Patricks Day should be a good one in 2016 it falls on a Thursday March 18! Easter Sunday falls on April 5th, 2016, (Christian Eastern Orthodox Easter is Celebrated Sunday May 1st also in 2016) and don't forget Mother's Day on Sunday May 8th same day as VE Day, then for all U.S.A. there are three other patriotic holidays, Patriots Day is celebrated September 11 all over the U.S. another holiday called Partiots Day is celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine Monday April 18th, Armed Forces Day Saturday May 21st, 2016 then the biggie Memorial Day is on Monday May 30th, 2016. Why not use your bicycle to discover the beauty of Hearst Castle County; here are a few good suggested bicycle rides: Start in Cambria, San Simeon Acres, San Simeon Village, Piedras Blancas Motel, Seals, and Lighthouse all along the way to Ragged Point ride this route for a good cause June 25th 2016, Country Coast Classic Bike Ride; pass through beautiful Moonstone Beach, stops at San Simeon Acres then Old San Simeon Village and more... Shamel Park / Moonstone / San Simeon Creek Rd / San Simeon Village; Cambria’s Santa Rosa Creek Road and Old Creek Road are nice backcountry rides which could be combined; Morro Bay’s Toro Creek Road and Cayucos Creek Road, Cayucos, CA are beautiful dead-end backcountry rides with very light auto traffic. You can also rent bicycles or take an organized bike, kayak or wine day trip with a small tour company like Central Coast Outdoors of Morro Bay.
MARCH 2016 in San Luis Obispo County, Hearst Castle Country - In March the Central California Coast starts to wake from winters slumber; the usual venues begin having live music for weekend visitor entertainment. The first day of spring (Vernal Equinox) falls on Sunday March 20th in 2016. Santa Margarita is a bit of a drive from the coast but when the wildflowers are in bloom it is worth it, Shell Creek Road is especially famous; this far out little community has the Santa Margarita Wildflower Festival in March every year (March 19th, 2016) to celebrate their wildflower blessings and the kickoff of the new Wildflower Season (rain doesn't cancel the celebration it enhances it!). Tuesday year round ongoing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning --Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Tours : two hour tour of the historic Piedras Blancas Light House and Light Station grounds. Tour meets 9:45 AM the old Piedras Blancas Motel, about 1.5 miles north of the Lighthouse on Highway 1. You will be met there and escorted to the lighthouse in your car (do NOT go to the light house or wait by entrance gate). No tours on Federal Holidays. Groups of 10 or more need to make special arrangements. $10 adults/ $5 for children 6-17, Children under 5 are free. Call 805-927-7361 or email PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com for more info. Piedras Light Station Tour Info BLM 2016 Ongoing Friday-Monday:Cambria Historical Museum (805-927-2891) Historical Museum Burton Drive at Center Street, New displays and exhibits opening Friday, Sat., Sun., 1:00-4:00pm; & Mon. 10am-1pm, Free admission to museum and gardens. Why not see a live stage play in March? -- "Cambria's Pewter Plough Playhouse:(805-927-3877) Live on stage Presentations and a Wine Bar with Live Music in Lounge on Fri & Sat nights. Saturday Saturday March 5, 2016 Special Sunset and Whale Watching Lighthouse Tour --Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Tour : Tour meets at the old Piedras Blancas Motel, about 1.5 miles north of the Lighthouse on Highway 1. Lasts from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Enjoy a special evening tour of the Piedras Blancas Light Station while viewing the sunset and watching migrating gray whales. Wear warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Space is limited. Reservations are required! Details will be given at the time reservations are made. The fee for this special tour is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 6-17. Call 805-924-1807 or email PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com. Weekend of March 18th - 20th, 2016The 23rd Annual Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival: winemakers and enthusiasts come together in celebration of the Zinfandel; a Zin-filled weekend with activities including winemaker dinners, exclusive Zinfandel tastings, winery and vineyard tours and more Zinfandel and Zinfandel blends from over 120 San Luis County wineries paired with Zin-friendly foods and a unique Wine Country Auction; reservations are not required. Saturday & Sunday March 19th & 20th, 2016 --Santa Margarita Wildflower Festival in March of every year to celebrate their wildflower blessings and the kickoff of the new Wildflower Season (rain doesn't cancel the celebration it enhances it!).
Video from KSBY News, No Place Like Home Central Coast Wildflowers
Breathtaking video shots of the bright yellow, orange, blue and white wildflowers wildflowers just beginning to bloom along Shell Creek Road, Santa Margarita and interviews with artists and suggestions for springtime wildflower viewing in San Luis Obispo County.
Springtime Wildflowers, California Central Coast, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo Count back roads & Carrizo Plains...
So many different localities, and short lived opportunities, timing is everything
Nacimiento Road near to PCH 1
Landscape Photo: Dana & John Fiore
Shell Creek Road Santa Margarita
Landscape Photo: Dana & John Fiore
lupine, tidy tips, California poppies...
Landscape Photo: Dana & John Fiore
No better way to shake off the winter doldrums than a springtime wildflower road trip! I have a convertible which makes the experience even better and the call of the green carpeted San Luis Obispo County country landscapes in springtime is just irresistible when the brightly colored spring flowers are really popping.
Any of San Luis Obispo County's back-country-roads will do when the time is right but some areas are famous for their breathtaking displays of carpet-like masses of wildflowers. Places like Santa Margarita and Cambria have annual celebrations and the Shell Creek Road of Highway 58 and Carrizo Plains are famous for their springtime wildflower displays too. The organized wildflower events are fun and educational but a wildflower road trip can take your wildflower appreciation to a whole new level; No painting, video, or photograph can really capture the true beauty of wildflowers; they have to experienced in person. So plan your adventure, pack a blanket, bottle of fine wine and picnic lunch; don't forget a friend and a camera and or a paint kit and have your own wildflower road trip event.
Shell Creek Road Near Santa Margarita
Carrizo Plains central California
So how do you know when and where to go? Santa Margarita has their Wildflower Festival towards the end of March and in early May there is the Annual Cambria Wildflower Show but there are so many variables involved to when and where the best displays how can you plan your wildflower viewing road trip? A road trip and picnic in Hearst Castle country is winner most anytime. The local news stations usually do a springtime report live the video above which can provide some ideas but I usually get reports from friends who have been out looking and the Wildflower Hotline.
Don't forget to be respectful of private property and watch where you step...
Helpful California Wildflower Links:
April in San Luis Obispo County Hearst Castle Country, Big Sur or Santa Margarita Road Trip and more things to do in the Spring...
In April 2016 the rains become less frequent but the streams are running high, clear and deep making April and May prime times to power out of the winter doldrums, get out, and make a road trip to admire some of the Big Sur's beautiful natural waterfalls or coastal backroad wildflowers or if the time is right head out to Santa Margarita for wildflowers or even the Carrizo Plains. It starts to become obviously spring time when the emerald green coastal hillsides and Santa Lucia Mountain meadows burst with the bright colors of the California poppy and other native wildflowers; while you are taking that short hike to one of Big Sur's lovely waterfalls keep your eyes open for purple lupines and one of my favorite Big Sur wildflowers, the precious wild iris or head inland for more California poppies and meadows carpeted with baby blue eyes, goldfields, and tidytips. Just like the rest of nature wakening from its wintery daze so does the tourist industry. With a year around growing season now is a good time to start enjoying lots of fresh local vegetables and have some fun at the road side family farm stands and Farmers Markets. Thursday April 2nd and & ONGOING every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through the middle of June 2016 --Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Tours : two hour tour of the historic Piedras Blancas Light House and Light Station grounds. Tour meets 9:45 AM the old Piedras Blancas Motel, about 1.5 miles north of the Lighthouse on Highway 1. You will be met there and escorted to the lighthouse in your car (do NOT go to the light house or wait by entrance gate). No tours on Federal Holidays. Groups of 10 or more need to make special arrangements. $10 adults/ $5 for children 6-17, Children under 5 are free. Call 805-927-7361 or email PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com for more info. Piedras Light Station Tour Info BLM Weekend of April 8th/10th, 2016 --Annual Western Art Show & Sale: Paso Robles.(805)472-9100 Cattlemen’s Association Western Art Show & Sale at the Paso Robles Event Center; more than 60 artists present original western art. Saturday April 2nd, 2016 -- Jolon, CA -- Celebrate Mission Days in Jolon, learn about the old mission times, have fun and support the historic mission, Mission Days at Mission San Antonio de Padua have an authentic mission-era dinner and “experience early California, with historical re-enactors in costume portraying soldiers, vaqueros on horseback, artisans, musicians and dancers. Mission crafts and activities will be demonstrated, including weaving, rope making, adobe brick making, candle making, beading, acorn grinding, tortilla making, and much more. Members of the New World Baroque Orchestra and Choir will play original music composed at Mission San Antonio by Fray Juan Bautista Sancho in the early 1800's. (the Californian)… take a vacation...; event lasts 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday, also see the museum, shop the mission gift shop, extend your stay and soak up some Hearst historical flavor by spending the night staying at the Hearst Hacienda and Guest Lodge (reservations 831-386-2262). Saturday April 16th, 2016 -- Cambria Chili Cook Off & Car Show : Car Show 10am - 2 pm, Chili Cook Off noon-3 pm Cambria Vets' Hall/Pinedorado Grounds -- Hot Car and Hot Chili competitions, raffles, prizes, entertainment, music, and great beers all add up to great fun for everyone. Chili tasting from 12 noon.( 805-927-3624) April 23rd & 24th, 2016 -- Morro Bay Kite FestivalThe annual Morro Bay Kite Festival will be held Saturday, from 11am to 5pm and Sunday, from 11am to 4pm. Admission is free, this is a great event for families...plus the Central Coast Funds for Children, with a booth offering 500 free kites for kids to decorate and fly, amusment rides new this year...and more... Information Phone Number: 805-772-0113 Sunday April 24th, 2016 -- Earth Day -- 23rd Annual SLO County Earth DayThe Earth Day Alliance; Spend the day in the natural setting of El Chorro Regional Park, under blue skies and green fields from 10 am to 5 pm. Enjoy a Dairy Creek Zero Waste Park Tour, Clean Energy Zone, Kid’s Korner, Eco Marketplace, Health & Well-being Center, Food Court, Beer & Wine and SLO and Botanical Garden Tours. Enjoy live music from two stages throughout the day. The main stage will feature some of the best music on the central coast. Rapid Transit Authority will be giving free bus rides from every corner of the county to and from the park all day. Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24, 2016 -- Cambria Wildflower Show to benefit the Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve: from 12:00 - 5:00 pm. Saturday & from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Sunday at the Cambria Vet's hall...view and enjoy a collection of area wildflowers and learn the names...wildflower experts on hand, books and art for sale, food and drink vendors...a feast for the senses. April 27th through Sunday May 1st, 2016 -- Wine, Waves & Beyond Celebration: This is 4 days full of fun, froth and foam at various SLO/Pismo Beach Venues; a long of weekend surf movies, live music, local beer & wine, and chow at a Barrel to Barrel tasting, a silent auction, art competition and bikini show. The Second Annual Longboard Surf Competition at the Pismo Pier and display of vintage VW's; all the profits are donated to The Association of Amputee Surfers (Ampsurf) 805-744-8622. Saturday April 30th, 2016 -- SLO Dazzling Diamond Ball. gala event at the Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA. Proceeds provide services for hospice patients, clients and families. April 30th & May 1st, 2016 -- Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show : at Paso Robles Event Center featuring 90 antique collectors and dealers. Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; take the Highway 46 East Exit off Highway 101 (805-459-2541 or 805-440-7274).
Books on California Plants & Flowers
Get out of your car and enjoy the best picnic spots in Hearst Castle Country...
Beautiful Historic San Simeon, California, fun place to visit, play & picnic
Fun & Beautiful Hearst Memorial California State Beach, San Simeon, near Hearst Castle Visitors Center
Looking for a good place for a picnic or outdoor celebration near Hearst Castle San Simeon?: Choice #1 has to be the William Randolph Memorial State Beach pictured in the panoramic aerial photo above, it is just down the bluff and across the Pacific Coast Highway 1 from Hearst Castle Visitors center and has everything you could possibly want or need for a picnic and a great spot for an outdoor celebration. This park close to Hearst Visitors center has picnic tables, barbecue stands, water, public restrooms, nice beach and more
Washburn Day Use Picnic Area south of San Simeon Acres motel row
Leffingwell Landing Picnic, Moonstone Beach
My second best choice would be the Washburn Day Use Picnic area at San Simeon State Park, this is an ideal spot when it is breezy at the beach because it is in a protected area. Washburn Day Use Picnic Area is 5 miles south of the Hearst Castle Visitors Center, just south of San Simeon Creek Road on the Pacific Coast Highway 1. There are some picnic tables on the west (ocean) side of the highway but most of the facilities are the east side of PCH 1 and they include, picnic tables, barbecue grills, restrooms and there is beach access and a nice self guided wheelchair accessible nature trail.
Another very good choice just a little further south is Leffingwell Landing California State Day Use Area; it is located at the very north end of Cambria's Moonstone Beach. This beautiful and popular picnic spot lacks only barbecue grill stands.
Shamel Community County Park CCRP Aerial Photo
Shamel Park Swimming Pool
Shamel Community Park: If you have a large group the perfect place may be another the great picnic spot just 8 miles south of Hearst Castle Visitors Center, Shamel Community Park, a San Luis Obispo County Park in Cambria that has what the others but often larger, like huge barbecue pits, picnic table seating for hundreds, a community swimming pool, playground for the kids, old fashioned gazebo bandstand, an acre of green grass, nice beach and more
Links for the best picnic spots near Hearst Castle Hot Links:
MAY 2016 in Hearst Castle Country...San Luis Obispo County- May and 2016 Ongoing-- Outback Trailrides - Now featuring vineyard rides in Los Paso de Robles: (805-286-8772) The stables at Outback Trails Rides offer 1 or 2 hour horseback riding on the trails of a large Paso vineyard with beautiful scenic views from rolling hills, vineyard rides in Paso Robles and sometimes beach rides in Morro Bay and...
The CCRRF Public Wine Rail Excursions Times and specifics and upcoming events are always changing.. Past trips include wine-rail activities, shorter family trips, and day-trips to Santa Barbara: What began as an annual special festival event has by demand turned into a variety of events excursions and programs; the 6th Central Coast Railroad Festival is scheduled for October 7-9, 2016 , 805-773-4173 to get current information check the schedule or make reservations or visit the Central Coast Railroad Festival’s website, www.ccrrf.com/... April 27th through Sunday May 1st, 2016 -- Wine, Waves & Beyond Celebration: This is 4 days full of fun, froth and foam at various SLO/Pismo Beach Venues; a long of weekend surf movies, live music, local beer & wine, and chow at a Barrel to Barrel tasting, a silent auction, art competition and bikini show. The Second Annual Longboard Surf Competition at the Pismo Pier and display of vintage VW's; all the profits are donated to The Association of Amputee Surfers (Ampsurf) 805-744-8622. April 30th & May 1st, 2016 -- Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show : at Paso Robles Event Center featuring 90 antique collectors and dealers. Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; take the Highway 46 East Exit off Highway 101 (805-459-2541 or 805-440-7274).
Saturday May 7th 2016 and ONGOING every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday --Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Tours : two hour tour of the historic Piedras Blancas Light House and Light Station grounds. Tour meets 9:45 AM the old Piedras Blancas Motel, about 1.5 miles north of the Lighthouse on Highway 1. You will be met there and escorted to the lighthouse in your car (do NOT go to the light house or wait by entrance gate). No tours on Federal Holidays. Groups of 10 or more need to make special arrangements. $10 adults/ $5 for children 6-17, Children under 5 are free. Call 805-927-7361 or email PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com for more info. Piedras Light Station Tour Info BLM Ongoing, 2016 -- Live theater performances at Cambria's Pewter Plough Playhouse: Presented live on stage, plays and other events year-round since 1976, now celebrating its 40th season! The cozy Cafe Lounge, just off the lobby, offers wines and other refreshments. Shows are usually on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm, with frequent Sunday matinees at 3 pm and occasional Thursday performances. call for the Current Show and for further information on show times (805-927-3877). NOW PLAYING: "Nuts”. May through August 2016-- Vina Robles Concerts in Paso : Big name talent performing at this venue Vina Robles Amphitheater, this season includes Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marley Jackson Browne and more... located 3800 Mill Road, Paso Robles, CA,
805-286-3680. May 7th, 2016Miracle Miles for Kids Run: a Morro Bay beach run fundraiser created to help provide private funding to allow Family Care Network 501 to fully support the crucial needs of children, youth and families impacted by trauma. May 5th - May 8th, 2016 -- 20th annual Cruisin' Morro Bay Car Show : Classic cars from around the country compete, cruise and show off their shines. Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce (805-772-4467). Thursday May 19th - 22nd, 2016--Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance presents the 34th annual Wine Festival Celebrating Paso Wines...(805-239-8463): The Paso Robles Wine Festival is the paramount wine tasting event of the California's Central Coast; it offers guests the opportunity to taste many local Paso Robles (60+ wineries represented) made wines together in the charming Downtown Paso Robles City Park. The best made wines of Paso Robles are complemented by paired connoisseur indulgences throughout the weekend. Wine Festival also includes winemaker dinners, live music and open house festivities at many area wineries throughout Paso Robles Wine Country. Saturday May 6th, 2016-- Estrella War Birds Museum: Los Paso de Robles Airport- Vintage aircraft, and more ... suport the museum and enjoy an old fashion Barn Dance and Dinner to start the WWW8 event festivities. Dance to the tunes of Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band. Limited to the first 250.(805) 227-0440, 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. May 27th & 28th, 2016 --California Festival of Beers at SLO Madonna Inn Meadows:Craft beers, live music, fun and sunshine! Taste from 200 beer selections from of over over six dozen breweries from around the world. 100% net proceeds benefit Hospice of SLO; purchase tickets online 805-544-2266 for info. Madonna Inn, 100 Madonna Road San Luis Obispo. Memorial Day Weekend May 28th - 30th, 2016 --Spring Art In the Park (Morro Bay): Local artist shows and vendors display a variety of arts and crafts in Morro Bay Park. Sponsored by Morro Bay Art Association (805-772-2504). Memorial Day Weekend May 27th-29th, 2016 --Paso Robles Festival of the Arts: guest lecture series, art dinner, Sunday brunch, westside art tour, a plein air quick-draw and auction, followed by a fine art show... adult art seminars, a paint jam, hands-on art stations, live music, dance performances and other musical and visual surprises. Demonstrations & Art Show Admission FREE, Purchase tour & event tickets online, questions, toll free phone : 888-988-7276.
Links to Many More San Luis Obispo County & Monterey Events Calendars...
Water Sports in SLO County, family fun and more from relaxing harbor cruises to hot surf spots to visit in Hearst Castle Country...
Outdoor Sports Equipment
Casual Harbor Cruises on Tiger's Folly, Fun Family Kayaking, Hot Surf Spots & such
Photograph of Rob Dudley windsurfing a large exceptional wave at Arroyo Laguna near Hearst Castle
Family Fun Kayaking Morro Bay, CA
Photograph of kite-boarding and windsurfing at Arroyo Laguna.
Central California Water sports, our beautiful Pacific Ocean: You may want to make your next Hearst Castle vacation a wet one. Some water-sports enthusiasts drive hundreds of miles to kite-surf (aka kite-boarding) or windsurf (aka sailboarding) the Arroyo Laguna just north of the Hearst Castle visitors center; Arroyo Laguna is said to have one of the highest average wind velocities on the coast. Of course being windy is not necessarily a positive thing to most folks but truth be told most other conditions desirable for other water sports fall short on the central coast. Lots of folks surf here but the water is cold, good surf breaks are few and far between so the surfing is enjoyable but rarely great.
Scuba Diver Pacific Kelp Forest
Tiger's Folly II, Morro Bay
The underwater sport conditions aren't much better; I have spent much time here scuba diving, the kelp forests are beautiful but the water is cold and the visibility is usually limited. I have filled my freezer many times over from the seafood available here but they say that if you can dive here you can dive anywhere in the world because conditions are often so bad. Kayaking is good here and stand-up paddle boarding seems to be growing in popularity too.
You don't necessarily have to get wet to enjoy the ocean here though, fishing and boating are both good and you can just take pictures or paint if that suits you. Rental boards are available to all novices who just want to give things a try. These days I just enjoy sport fishing occasionally; are good rockfish, albacore, and salmon. If you just want to look Virg's Sportfishing and others also have whale watching excursions or you can just eat and drink while boating around the harbor on Morro Bays Tigers Folly II ( 805-772-2257 ). If you're more of a landlubber you can fish off the rocks or beach and you don't even need a license to fish off the San Simeon or Cayucos piers but check the laws and regulations where you plan to fish, fines can be expensive if you make a mistake like fishing in the Marine Sanctuary. Bottom line is the Pacific Ocean and beaches are some of our greatest assets here for you to experience and enjoy.
Links for Watersports Equipment Rentals, Tour Companies & Water Sports Clubs: List of local companies that rent stuff like surfboards, boogie boards, wetsuits, and kayaks in San Luis Obispo County Morro Bay and North near Hearst Castle:
Google Search Central California Visitor Information Websites Including www.san-simeon-lodging.com for the best Central California Coast tourist information, travel tips & tricks...
I have provided this information on this web page to help you have wonderful vacation or trip. I have made this information current, complete and good to the best of my abilities but everything is subject to change at any time and I have to relieve myself of any responsibility for you, I have no control over how you use the provided tourist visitor information and accept no liability for anything that happens to you while you visit and vacation on the Central California Coast or anywhere else.