Hearst Castle, California

23 Reviews

750 Hearst Castle Rd. (805) 927-2020

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  • Hearst Castle
    Hearst Castle
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Hearst Castle
    Hearst Castle
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Hearst Castle
    Hearst Castle
    by Jim_Eliason
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    Hearst Castle

    by Jim_Eliason Written Dec 14, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The sprawling complex of newspaper Magnate William Hearst is spread out over the hills overlooking the Central Coast of California. Enterign the buildings require booking guided tours, you can book online in advance to avoid missing sights if the tours book up during the busy seasons.

    Hearst Castle Hearst Castle Hearst Castle Hearst Castle Hearst Castle
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    A hidden treat to experience

    by biglou10 Written Jul 26, 2010

    There are elephent seals along the California coast that you can see from afar, but if you want to see them up close and personal, go off the beaten path. Just north of Hurst Castle you will come to the first vista point where you can see the seals from the parking lot. Enjoy and contune north to the next pull out and you'll find the same except for the cattle fence north of the lot. Climb over the fence and go along the coast for about 1 mile and you will come to another cove not accessable from any road. There you will find a different visitor. You wil see artist, researchers, naturalist and photo hounds. You can walk up to the giant seals, BUT DON'T. If your lucky, you'll be there during the mating seasion and see your personal National Geographic scene. Even luckier yet, if you happen to be there during the caving days, another facinating show. Don't be afrad and don't disturb this natural beauty. Take your camera and a snack.

    Just a baby Trail along coast to the viewing area

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Hearst Castle

    by richiecdisc Updated Oct 10, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Eccentric multimillionaire William Hearst built this extravagant mansion on a beautiful plot of land along the Big Sur Coast. Constructed between 1919 and 1947, it has been designated a National Historic Landmark and thankfully the Hearst Corporation donated to the state of California who as they often do turned it into a State Park. Tours of the mansion are quite popular. This was certainly an inspiration for the late Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch and most likely down the line they will be competitors for the tourist dollars when tours surely begin there.

    Hearst Castle pool circa 1994
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    RUN!!!

    by DueSer Updated Feb 3, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are driving up or down Hwy 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco a lot of people find themselves reaching Cambria around quitting time. If you do decide to stop and spend the night here (it's right by Hearst Castle) be sure to get yourself to the beach around sunset.

    Sunsets (and sunrises for that matter) are always pretty along the coast but when I made the drive up Hwy 1 (a requirement for all residents;-)), I witnessed an interesting phenomenon. I was on the coast side of Hwy 1 at a little gift shop when I glanced out the shop window and saw people running. Naturally, this made me a bit concerned so I went outside and looked in the direction they had been running. People were on the cliff setting up their cameras and tripods because it was almost sunset.

    It is beautiful but not exactly worthy of a race or anything. If you're in the area around that time of day, mosey on down there but do it safely:-)

    Chasing the Sunset
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  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    Historic Opulence

    by SteveOSF Updated Mar 23, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hearst Castle is located along the Central Coast in the town of San Simeon. Hearst Castle is the former mansion of famed publisher William Randolph Hearst. This lavish structure is filled with priceless artwork and antiques. The castle is a monument to the opulence of the elite of the early half of the twentieth century. However, the estate is fascinating and has a lot to offer including interesting architecture, fine art, and historical perspectives. The castle was in perpetual construction and change during the years Mr. Hearst occupied the mansion. Grand parties were hosted there by Mr. Hearst and his mistress Miss Marion Davies. It has spectacular pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, and countless elaborate guestrooms.

    To access the mansion, one must purchase a tour ticket that currently cost $20 for adults. From the Visitors Center, a bus will take you a few miles to the mansion. Only by tour bus can you reach the castle. They offer various tours that are guided by park staff. Almost all will visit both the famous Neptune (outdoor) and Roman (indoor) pools. However, you may get to see them from different angles. The tours last just under two hours (including the bus ride).

    The tours are a bit pricey, but worth it in order to see the castle. The guides can tailor the tours somewhat to the guest’s interest. As the tours can fill up, advance reservations are recommended.

    The main tours offered are the following:

    1. Experience Tour.
    2. Upper Floors of Casa Grande (Main House).
    3. North Wing of Castle Grande (Main House).
    4. Garden Tour.
    5. Evening Tour.

    An accessibility designed tour is also offered.

    In our visit, we choose the Experience Tour, the Upper Floors of Casa Grande Tour, and the North Wing of Castle Grande Tour. All were worthwhile.

    The Roman Pool Hearst Castle The Neptune Pool Mr. Hearst's Library The Roman Pool
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    Hearst Castle

    by Ewingjr98 Written Jan 26, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hearst Castle was constructed from 1919 to 1947 by newspaper baron and former congressman William Randolph Hearst. The main structure, called Casa Grande, has over 60,000 square feet and features a huge medieval dining room, a pool designed after Roman baths, and a main sitting room full of European artwork. Guests were welcome at all times, and they could stay at one of the three guest houses, or they could take advantage of the Casa Grande's 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, and 19 sitting rooms, but there was no room service... all guests were expected to take dinner with Mr Hearst and the other guests in the main dining room. While staying at the house, visitors were welcome to use the Neptune Pool, a huge swimming pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean and framed with actual Greek ruins that Hearst imported from Europe, or they could enjoy the huge collection of animals at the world's largest private zoo. The buildings at Hearst Castle were designed by architect Julia Morgan.

    Five tours of Hearst Castle are available: the experience tour for an overview, tour two for the upper floors, tour three for the north wing and Casa Del Monte, tour four for the gardens, and the evening tour. Guided tours are $20 to $30 per adult dependign on the tour you choose and the season. Though some people recommend skipping the experience tour and moving on to tours two or three for a more in-depth look at the castle, we decided to try this basic tour to get a good background and overview of the facilities. We started at the Neptune Pool, went through Casa Del Mar, then entered Casa Grande to visit the main sitting room, the dining room, some guest rooms, the theater, and the Roman Pool. After the one hour and 45 minute tour, you may watch the National Geographic film on the building of the castle back at the visitors center. I thought this was a great tour for our first visit, especially as we weren't overly familiar with the background of the castle.

    Neptune Pool Heast Castle from Hwy 1 The Casa Del Mar Roman Pool Ancient Egyptian statue

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  • rajron's Profile Photo

    Dont miss this spot

    by rajron Written Jul 10, 2006

    Hearst Castle: This is a far day trip from most places in California I but highly recommended the visit. Make a reseration see thier web site:
    On the way there are some great views off of Hwy 1 coming from the north.

    Once at the Castle it is a wonder to see!

    It difficult to add anything new so these pictures just complement this interesting place

    Everyone has seen this Not your typical private library Original entrance to it all The indoor pool At the left is the helpers cottage
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    Dont miss this spot

    by rajron Written Jul 10, 2006

    Hearst Castle: This is a far day trip from most places in California I but highly recommended the visit. Make a reseration see thier web site:
    On the way there are some great views off of Hwy 1 coming from the north.

    Once at the Castle it is a wonder to see!

    It difficult to add anything new so these pictures just complement this interesting place

    Everyone has seen this Not your typical private library Original entrance to it all The indoor pool At the left is the helpers cottage
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Family Travel

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  • rajron's Profile Photo

    Dont miss this spot

    by rajron Written Jul 10, 2006

    Hearst Castle: This is a far day trip from most places in California I but highly recommended the visit. Make a reseration see thier web site:
    On the way there are some great views off of Hwy 1 coming from the north.

    Once at the Castle it is a wonder to see!

    It difficult to add anything new so these pictures just complement this interesting place

    Everyone has seen this Not your typical private library Original entrance to it all The indoor pool At the left is the helpers cottage
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • rajron's Profile Photo

    Dont miss this spot

    by rajron Written Jul 10, 2006

    Hearst Castle: This is a far day trip from most places in California I but highly recommended the visit. Make a reseration see thier web site:
    On the way there are some great views off of Hwy 1 coming from the north.

    Once at the Castle it is a wonder to see!

    It difficult to add anything new so these pictures just complement this interesting place

    Everyone has seen this Not your typical private library Original entrance to it all The indoor pool At the left is the helpers cottage
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • rajron's Profile Photo

    Dont miss this spot

    by rajron Written Jul 10, 2006

    Hearst Castle: This is a far day trip from most places in California I but highly recommended the visit. Make a reseration see thier web site:
    On the way there are some great views off of Hwy 1 coming from the north.

    Once at the Castle it is a wonder to see!

    It difficult to add anything new so these pictures just complement this interesting place

    Everyone has seen this Not your typical private library Original entrance to it all The indoor pool At the left is the helpers cottage

    Was this review helpful?

  • rajron's Profile Photo

    Dont miss this spot

    by rajron Written Jul 10, 2006

    Hearst Castle: This is a far day trip from most places in California I but highly recommended the visit. Make a reseration see thier web site:
    On the way there are some great views off of Hwy 1 coming from the north.

    Once at the Castle it is a wonder to see!

    It difficult to add anything new so these pictures just complement this interesting place

    Everyone has seen this Not your typical private library Original entrance to it all The indoor pool At the left is the helpers cottage
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Hearst Castle

    by sim1 Updated Mar 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Hearst Castle was built in 1919 by William Randolph Hearst and it is full of furniture from European Castles. A lot of Hollywood stars would stay here in the summer (Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable). In the picture you can see the outside pool of the castle.

    After I bought my tickets I had to take a bustour that brought me to the castle. During the trip they played music from the fifties to get you into the mood. Although we saw a lot of people going earlier on to the castle, I could hardly notice them when I arrived.

    It is not one particular thing that made me like the tour. It is just the amazement that one person would get all those treasures from all over the world, (e.g. wallpanels, paintings, furniture, tapestry from the Middle Ages, etc.), and ship them to this enormous building. He also brought full grown trees in by ship to put in his garden, and had a zoo around is house. Simply unbelievable.


    Take a look at my San Simeon page for more photos and info.

    The inside pool at Hearst Castle
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    Hearst Castle

    by sim1 Updated Mar 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    A new day, and lots more new things to see and enjoy. After being refreshed and awake from a walk on the beach it was time for the main destination for the day : Hearst Castle. I didn't book the excursion in advance, but that was no problem at all. Of course it was off season when I was there (May). The whole tour took a couple of hours, but it was well worth the time.

    When I arrived at Hearst Castle, I really wondered if I would like it. It was so touristy, busloads of people were brought to the Castle.... But I was proven wrong... I really enjoyed it! Hearst Castle is located on the coast, close to the town of San Simeon.


    Take a look at my San Simeon page for more photos and info.

    Hearst Castle
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    • Museum Visits

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  • IceBear7's Profile Photo

    Hearst Castle

    by IceBear7 Updated Dec 22, 2004

    A place that absolutely exceeded my expectations!! A beautiful palace, with an interesting history and story behind in a perfect location!

    The castle was built by William Randolph Hearst from 1919 on. He was one of the most influential newspaper publishers ever - at one time selling 25% of newspapers in the whole US. He built his extravagant holiday house to be able to spend time with his lover, the actress Marion Davies, and to invite actors, movies stars, politicians and other stars.

    The house is full of collected artwork - statues, paintings but also furniture, ceilings, wall decorations etc. There is an incredibly beautiful outdoor pool - see picture - and an even more beautiful indoor pool, built with lots of blue tiles - and tiles made of real gold!

    What I liked best: he owned his own movie theatre where he would watch the latest movies together with the directors and actors before they were shown in the public cinemas. If he didn't like the movie he would have it stopped and show one starring his lover instead.

    The house is so big you won't see all during one tour, that's why they offer the standard tour for first time visitors and some smaller tours showing other buildings, the gardens, library and wine cellar, also an evening tour.
    You can book your ticket in advance over the phone or internet, but note that you book your ticket for a specific tour - if you're late, tough, buy a new ticket. The place is a tourists highlight with buses going from the car park to the castle every five minutes. The castle is full of visitors groups - but it's definitely worth it!

    Hearst Castle
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    • Museum Visits

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