Hearst Castle is a gorgeous mansion in San Simeon that was the longtime home of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The mansion and its expansive grounds have a rich history that dates back to 1865, when George Hearst, a wealthy miner, bought 40,000 acres of ranchland along the Central Coast. In 1919, son William Randolph Hearst inherited the ranch, which by then had grown to 250,000 acres. Construction on the castle began that year. Hearst renamed the rocky perch from which it rose La Cuesta Encantada—The Enchanted Hill. By 1947, Hearst and architect Julia Morgan had created an estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways. Hearst died in 1951, and in the late 1950s, the Hearst Corporation donated the castle and its extensive property to the State of California. For the past five decades, the site has been a state historic park, with the vast collection of arts and antiques and the beautiful grounds open to the public. The estate's main house, Casa Grande, and three guesthouses are of Mediterranean Revival style, while the towers of Casa Grande were inspired by a Spanish cathedral. The combination of the architectural style with the surrounding land, and Hearst's exceptional European and Mediterranean art collection, make this a must-see attraction when visiting the Central Coast.

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Expert Review of Hearst Castle

Beach Review of Hearst Castle

Away Travel Expert: Christine Loomis
expert favorite Beach Expert Favorite
BeachExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5
BeachExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • There are five tours to choose from, but Tour #1, an overview of the castle, is best for first-time visitors. On the Evening Tour in spring and fall, docents in period dress recreate life as it was when Hearst entertained Hollywood and political elite.
  • If you book two tours, schedule them at least two hours apart. You'll have ten minutes between trips at the Visitor Center.
  • Tours require ascending and descending 170 to 404 stairs, walking 2/3 to 1.1 miles, and a lot of standing.
The over-the-top opulent, Mediterranean Revival style "ranch" of publishing giant William Randolph Hearst is a must-see. It's not just the 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 41 fireplaces, and 127 acres of gardens, pools, and walkways that keep visitors in

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San Simeon, California 93452-9740
Parking: 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 805-927-2020
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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