Driving up to the Highway 1 for 99 miles from monterey will lead you to Hearst Castle, It is a 2/12 hour drive along the scenic and winding roads of CA Route One where you can do several photo stops along the many points of Interests along the Route. In the Hearst Castle, there is no single grand tour of the complex, what the administrators did is to split the tours of the Hearst Castle into 4 kinds of tours (to be able to make more money?) and you can do all of them if you have a whole day and part of the night free time ok.
according to their website:
All tours view the Castle’s two spectacular swimming pools—the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. All visitors will also receive a ticket for our exclusive 40-minute film Hearst Castle – Building the Dream, shown on a five-story screen at the Visitor Center’s Hearst Castle Theater. This fascinating glimpse behind the scenes is shown all day at forty-five minute intervals. The first screening begins at 8:15 am.
Grand Rooms Tour
View the magnificent ground floor rooms of La Casa Grande (big house) where Mr. Hearst's guests met their host and were entertained during their stay at La Cuesta Encantada (the Enchanted Hill). See the Assembly Room, where guests met for cocktails, the Refectory, where meals were served, the Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater. Your knowledgeable Guide will bring this estate to life sharing stories about Mr. Hearst and his many guests who visited for nearly three decades in the early part of the last century. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.
Upstairs Suites Tour
View guest quarters and Mr. Hearst's private floor as you climb high up inside the castle. Visit two libraries and learn how Mr. Hearst's art collection was utilized in the castle. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour inside the castle.
Cottages & Kitchen Tour
Visit the Wine Cellar, two lavish guest houses (including the one Mr. Hearst used when he first stayed here), and the surprisingly modern kitchen. Stroll the grounds at your leisure at the conclusion of your guided tour.
Fondest memory: Ticket Prices:
Tours Adult Ages(5-12)
Grand Rooms Tour $25 $12
Upstairs Suites Tour $25 $12
Cottages & Kitchen Tour $25 $12
Evening Tour $36 $18
Children under 5 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Prices are subject to change without notice.
I did the grand rooms tour 23 years ago and on a revisit, did the Upstairs Suites Tour.
My Suggestion will be is that you need to do the Monterey drive to a 2 day tour as you can go to nearby areas like Carmel By The Sea is just a few miles south of Monterey and while driving along the 17 mile drive, you can take the Carmel exit of the 17 mile drive to go to this quaint artistic and luxe shopping town. I will do separate tips on Carmel at my Carmel pages.
Carmel By the Sea is a quaint town in the Monterey Peninsula, located about 90 miles north of Hearst Castle and is a quaint destination in itself where you can go high end shopping in it's upscale and stylish strip malls and the assorted art galleries that made the town famous where you can buy expensive art pieces. plus it is one of the original 21 Spanish Missions in California and where the Iconic Spanish Friar Junipero Serra is Buried. Thanks a lot to old Clint Eastwood to Make the Town a big blip in the Map of California. A Side to 17 Mile Drive in Pacific Grove which are nearby can be done too and then off to Scenic Highway 1 to Point Lobos and Big Sur and San Simeon to see the Heastr Castle then wine tasting at Paso Robles then back to the City.
After a 2 1/2 hour drive from San Francisco to Monterey and after going around the Monterey Attractions, You can Drive Straight to the Hamlet of San Simeon and off to Hearst Castle San Simeon State Monument and cruise at a leisurely pace along CA State Route 1 south for 95 miles (142 kilometers) and savor the wonderful views of this Scenic Route along the Pacific Coast, offering spectacular views of the Rugged beaches of the Pacific Coast, the Rugged Santa Lucia Mountain Range, Bixby Bridge, Assorted Vista Points for Shooting pictures and Videos, Big Sur, Point Lobos, Rocky Creek Bridge, Morro Bay and all points in Between. This two hour drive is one of the most romantic and breath taking drive along the pacific coast. Then you can go straight to Hearst Castle or check in at the motels in nearby San Simeon. Hearst Castle is almost equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Monterey is a leisurely 2 1/2 drive from San Franciso via US 101 South then to CA 156 west and finally to the Cabrillo Highway (CA Highway 1). the drive is roughly 140 miles (214 kilometers) and US 101 shortens from a multi lane road into just a four lane road after San Jose and you turn east via CA 156 for a few miles then it merges to CA 1 (renamed Cabrillo Highway in this segment). The good thing here is that the roads are all toll free and you won't need your FAST TRAK since there are no tollways. you can have rest or bathroom break stops at the assorted gasoline stations along the route and have snacks at the convenience stores.
Youd don't need a fold up map, just punch the destination at your GPS Navigation (thanks to Garmin!) or via your Iphone 5 maps or Google Maps if on android phone.
Old pictures at The World Famous Lone Cypress in 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach which is just beside pacific grove and monterey and Carmel By The Sea areas. (the site of most US Opens (Golf)) in Monterey City. I seldom do long drives since I'm busy amd prefer to take planes. I will have new pics for my recent revisit but will place some new pics here also.
This aquarium has some really neat displays. They try to make most of the tanks as natural type habitats that you would find in the ocean. They are having a jellyfish as art display right now that was one of the best displays I've seen at an aquarium/
this is my separate things to do tip on 17 mile drive which is just a short drive from monterey Bay and where you will see the world famous lone cypress and the home of the US Open in Pebble Beach.