San Simeon Bay & Sebastian’s

Floating sea weed

There is a special spot on the central coast that I love to visit when I am in the area – San Simeon Bay! The bay is a beautiful circular stretch of white sand and crystal blue water – when comes to shore crashes upon large rocks, sending white foamy water upward to the sky.  Healthy overgrown groves of seaweed gather and spread at the surface of the water and float languidly – offering a haven for creatures of the sea and sky. Numerous sea mammals call this bay home, which can be spied while standing at the end of the pier that stretches out into the bay. Seabirds glide on the winds overhead – calling to others while some drop from the sky to the water hoping to catch their lunch. It is a peaceful setting – where sea, meets sky, meets land. The air is fresh, cool, and clean, and smells of briny goodness. Perched on the mountaintop overlooking the bay, like a dutiful sentry, is Hearst Castle.

San Simeon BaySan Simeon bay

San Simeon Bay Pier

This mountainous section of California’s central coast is called the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, where in 1840, 48,000 acres of land and coast, where granted through the Mexican Land Grant and named the Piedra Blanca Rancho.  In 1865, George Hearst purchased the Rancho, along with other adjacent Ranchos, amassing over 48,000 acres of prime mountain and coastal real estate. It was George Hearst’s dream to build a cattle ranch, which has been protected and fostered for five generations.

Piedra Blanca RanchoHurst Cattle Ranch

In the 1800s, the San Simeon Bay became the point of entry for the central coast and the tiny town of San Simeon sprang up. Whaling became the main industry, which attracted many newcomers to the area. Some industrious brothers opened a business to supply the growing community and their needs. They called their business, Sebastian Brothers General Merchandise. They sold goods and services to the whalers, miners, and neighboring ranches. The Sebastian brothers opened their general store in 1852, which still stands today and owned by the Sebastian Family. In 1960 the Sebastian General Store became a California Registered Historical Landmark.

Hurst RanchSebastian's Cafe

Today whalers and miners are not their primary customers anymore – no, hungry and thirsty tourists who are driving Highway 101! Sebastian’s is the home to a lively café and wine bar that serves grass-fed prime beef and delicious wine – both grown on the Hearst Ranch. The building also houses the local United States Post Office. I love it – eat a burger and drink a glass of wine while reading your mail!

Hurst ranch wineryHurst Ranch WinerySebastian's CafeSan Simeon U.S. Post Office

I started my visit of Sebastian’s at the wine bar: rose’, chardonnay, tempranillo, malbec, and zinfandel. Quite good! A crisp and dry rose – just the way I like it. The chardonnay had just the right amount of neutral oak, complex, yet an acidic balance. And the tempranillo was earthy and complex. Good start!

Hurst Ranch WineryHurst Ranch Winery

Hurst Ranch Winery

Now lets try some food. What to order?
Hearst Ranch Beef Burgers
Oak Grilled Tri-tip Sandwich
BBQ Pulled Pork
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Fish and Chips
Swordfish Sandwich
Tacos with fish, chicken, or steak
Ahi Poki
New England Clam Chowder

Hurst Ranch Cafe Fish Tacos

Fresh Rockfish Tacos on soft corn tortillas with fresh cabbage, pickled red onion, sliced avocado, and homemade chipotle mayonnaise and tomatillo salsa. Delicious!

I like this place! I will definitely be going back. And next time I’m ordering a big juicy Hearst Ranch burger and drink it with a lovely glass of red wine from Hearst Ranch Winery.

Hurst Ranch Winery

Hurst Ranch Winery

A beautiful day at San Simeon Bay and great food and wine; now that is my kind of day!

Hearst Ranch Winery and Café
442 San Simeon Road
San Simeon, CA 93452
(805) 927-4100

Open daily from 11am to 5pm


  1. Cynthia Rotwein says:

    I love your blogs. Please continue.

  2. Teresa Bredberg says:

    Mmmm, makes me hungry! Love, love the Central coast. So glad to see you blogging again!

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