Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  San Luis Obispo County  /  San Simeon  /  Historic Sites  /  Friends of Hearst Castle

Friends of Hearst Castle, San Simeon

(4.3/5 based on 5,000+ reviews on the web)
It took William Randolph Hearst, the famed newspaper magnate, nearly three decades to complete Friends of Hearst Castle, one of the largest houses in the United States. Architect Julia Morgan envisioned the house with 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, tennis courts, movie theaters, an airfield, and the world's largest private zoo. Part of a state park since 1958, the house Hearst called his "Enchanted Hill" now offers public tours, attracting visitors with its considerable collection of art and antiques. The estate's focal point is an outdoor swimming pool, rebuilt three times to suit its owner's tastes. The centerpiece of the pool, which offers expansive vistas of the mountains and the ocean, is the facade of an ancient Roman temple Hearst imported from Europe. Plan to see Friends of Hearst Castle and other attractions that appeal to you using our San Simeon vacation builder.
Create a full San Simeon itinerary
map

Plan your trip to San Simeon

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in San Simeon by other users

11 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 25 days in California BY A USER FROM BELGIUM July, teens, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in California BY A USER FROM ITALY August, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in California BY A USER FROM ISRAEL September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in United States BY A USER FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA September, culture, relaxing, romantic, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • amazing all the wealth in this area, guided several tours of various parts of the field. I visited it there is 11 years old and I wanted to go again this year. Not to mention the great view from the top of the mountain. If ever you go to California, the castle is about 3hrs drive from San Francisco.
    View original
  • What I expected and what I saw were two very different things. First, I thought Hearst Castle was much closer to LA than it is. The Central California coast in this area is spectacularly beautiful. Su...  more »
  • This place is mind blowing. Hearst built a truly amazing castle and packed it with art and antiques from around the world. It was my second time here and I made sure to organise myself to book a numbe...  more »
Google
  • **Keep in mind that these tours are only recommended for those who value nature and history. If not, you will likely be bored the entire time** Is place is gorgeous. So much history and beauty wrapped up into one. Cindi was a fantastic tour guide, very knowledgeable, animated and thorough, she was such a pleasure. We took the, Grand Rooms Tour and it was very nice. The one thing that was unfortunate though is that the castle is not very handicapped accessible. My mother who has very bad legs had a lot of trouble getting around and although the enjoyed the tour I feel that more provisions need to be made for people with certain physical limitations.
  • Hearst castle is the extravagant home of THE Hearst and is also home to his eclectic art collection of sculptures and other art forms from all over the world. The gardens are beautiful and the view of the California coastline is amazing. There are several guided tours available, I recommend the grand rooms tour. Note, however, that this is not a grand European castle. This is more modest and less awe inspiring, but interesting non the less.
  • It's pricey, but totally worth it. If you love history, especially California history, you'll love it. Seeing how the rich lived, even while the Great Depression was going on, was fascinating. Seeing all the European treasures he brought over and the stunning art work. Just incredible. I've toured the great rooms on my first visit there and this time we did the upstairs suites and the Kitchen and Guest Houses. It was a perfect day on the Enchanted Hilltop. I sat out in front of the grand entrance contemplating the lotus pool while the rest of my party walked the esplanade. The outdoor pool is currently dry, but still worth seeing. Can't recommend it enough. Just like either Getty. Just amazing!
  • I must say I agree with all the negative reviews here listed on Google. The three stars go for the tour guides that are knowledgeable, and have so much passion in history, and are happy to answer your questions. Even though this was my first time coming to the Castle I was not impressed whatsoever. I think what threw me off the most was how much they charge to visit one room, How the quickly you enter a gift shop . During my time there I don't know how many times I heard that the reason why the prices went up is to keep the establishment running .On top of that the pool was not running. They call it an American treasure yet everything was imported from Europe.
  • Wow! A definite must see! We took the evening tour which was fabulous. It was a great way to see a large portion of the estate. Docents were all around the property and you get could a feel what is was like to be a guest there. Our guide, Chris, was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. So much beautiful art.