Love the iconic Pacific Coast Highway drive from San Fran to LA. Prefer to drive south rather than north because that means you are driving the ‘right side’ to get the best views. Conveniently Hearst Castle is roughly half way between these two cities so stopping off in San Simeon for a couple of nights is an ideal break in the journey. I stayed at The Best Western Cavalier each time that I have travelled there and this hotel gave me access to the beach and an opportunity to sit on the bluffs and watch the sun set. Staying for a couple of nights means you definitely get to see the giant elephant seals and Hearst Castle.
Hearst Castle offers something for everyone as there are several tours suiting first time visitors and repeat visits . The two pools are still my favourite Hearst hot spots.