Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark located on the California coast near San Simeon, about 250 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The estate itself is five miles inland atop a hill of the Santa Lucia Range at an altitude of 1,600 feet.
We have had the opportunity to visit and tour the Castle and its grounds .... it is an impressive location, high above the Pacific Ocean. The buildings and surrounding gardens are superb, and we highly recommend a visit.
The home was a residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst between 1919 and 1947. When Hearst died in 1951, it became part of the California State Park system, and opened to visitors. It is designated the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, encompassing the main house, guest houses, gardens, terraces, pools, tennis courts, swimming pools, a movie theater, airfield, zoo and walkways.
Entrance sign at the Hearst Castle in California
Hearst's land holdings eventually totaled 250,000 acres. With architect Julia Morgan, Hearst conceived a retreat he called La Cuesta Encantada, Spanish for Enchanted Hill.
Invitations to Hearst Castle were highly sought after in 1920s and 1930s. The Hollywood and political elite often visited, usually flying into the estate's airfield or taking a private Hearst-owned train car from Los Angeles.
Today, it is a popular tourist destination for visitors from around the world.
|As you arrive on the grounds, park and walk into the Hearst Castle Visitor Center, seen in this photo
|Tour tickets are purchased inside the Hearst Castle Visitor Center. Or, you can purchase tickets in advance online ... we chose the date, time and tour type and booked online.
|Once tour tickets are purchased, visitors board a bus for the trip to the castle at the top of the hill
|As visitors exit their tour bus at the top of the hill, the impressive outside view of the main house at Hearst Castle comes into view (Photo courtesy of Kodiak Greenwood and the Visit California
|Towering spires and palms at the Heartst Castle (Staff Photo)
|Entrance to the main house at Hearst Castle (Staff Photo)
|On tour inside the main house at the Hearst Castle in California
(Photo courtesy of Visit California)
|One highlight of the estate is the outdoor Neptune Pool, located near the edge of the hilltop, which offers an expansive view of area mountains and the Pacific Ocean (Staff Photo)
|View of the Pacific Ocean to the west from Hearst Castle
|The ornate indoor pool at the main house at Hearst Castle (Staff Photo)
|Courtyard outside guest houses at the Hearst Castle
|Part of the extensive sculptures and exotic gardens at Hearst Castle
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