Hearst Castle is the result of one man's architectural dream of creating a building reminiscent to those found in Europe. William Randolph Hearst was an influential man in the twentieth century, with interests in politics, publishing, Hollywood, art, and life in America. Together with architect Julia Morgan, Hearst began a 28 year project that brought his dream to life in the form of Hearst Castle. The land upon which Heart Castle rests was originally part of a 40,000 acre land purchase made in 1865 by William Hearst's father, George Hearst, a wealthy miner. In 1919, when William Hearst inherited the land, the property had grown to approximately 250,000 acres.
This historical treasure is located in California, where several tour options are offered. As one of California's top tourist attractions, reservations for tours are highly recommended as they tend to fill up fast. There are several options for taking the Hearst Castle Tour. Guests may take the Grand Rooms Museum Tour, Upstairs Suites Museum Tour, Cottages and Kitchen Tour, or Evening Museum Tour.
The Grand Rooms Tour is a favorite of first time visitors taking the Hearst Castle Tour and also has the least number of stairs to climb if stairs are a concern. Guests will visit the Assembly Room, Refectory, Billiard Room, and Theater. At the conclusion of the tour, guests are allowed to wander through the grounds' gardens and to view the Roman Pool and Neptune Pool.
The Upstairs Suites Museum Tour gives guests an opportunity to view the upper floors of the historical Casa Grande, more commonly referred to as Hearst Castle. Rooms viewed on this tour include the Doge's Suite, Library, the Gothic Suite, and Duplex Bedrooms. Guests will see Mr. Hearst's private collection of three thousand books, late-Medieval pieces, painting, statues, metalwork, and textiles.
The Cottage and Kitchens Tour will explore the personal, yet practical rooms of the property, including the wine cellar, House B, House A, and the kitchen. Both House A and House B served as the early residences for the Hearst family before moving into the castle. Guests may also take a leisurely stroll through the gardens during this tour.
In the Spring and Fall of each year, visitors to Hearst Castle can enjoy special Evening Museum Tours while taking a step back in time thanks to the period attire of staff and guests, sporting fashion styles from the 1930's. This tour visits the Casa del Mar, Assembly Room, Refectory, Kitchen, Library, Gothic Suite, Theater, and Billiard Room.
Some hotels near Hearst Castle that come recommended by other tourists are the Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort and The Pelican Inn in Cambria. Best Western offers beautiful ocean views, and Pelican Inn is located only ten minutes from Hearst Castle.
The Visitor Center at Hearst Castle offers both indoor and outdoor dining options. Visitors may choose from the Snack Bar and Espresso Bar while on the premises. The Snack Bar features both hot and cold meal options, including burgers and fries, salads, soups, and sandwiches. Guests may also purchase hot pretzels, cold drinks, Vegetarian entrees such as veggie wraps and garden burgers, and children's meals. The Espresso Bar offers refreshing espressos and cappuccinos, fresh pastries, ice cream, hot tea, hot chocolate, and gourmet chocolate treats.